I've put together a comprehensive list of video streaming options, so you know exactly what you're signing up for.
Just as video killed the radio star, online streaming is out to get traditional free to air television. If you're a newbie to the world of video streaming you could be unsure about which streaming platform to go with. The good news is that we've got more choice now than ever before - why restrict yourself to ‘Netflix and chill' when you can ‘Stan and relax' or ‘Presto and kickback'?
A tough one to beat, Netflix has a lot of the ingredients that make it affordable and easy to use. The biggest tick for Netflix is that it has the largest selection of television series and movie options compared to other streaming platforms. Many of those are original to Netflix, such as Orange is The New Black and Sense8.
But the big Netflix differentiator is its ability to recognise your likes and dislikes – it'll suggest shows and movies for you to watch based on your viewing history rather than push you straight to new content. This killer suggestion algorithm combined with Netflix's auto-play feature is a recipe for binge watching, so don't be surprised when you hobble from your musty room a couple days after you first sit down for a Netflix session with a new appreciation for Aziz Ansari and an aversion to sunlight.
- Cost: Basic $8.99 (HD not available), Standard $11.99 (HD available, streaming available on two devices simultaneously) and Premium $14.900 (Ultra HD available, streaming on up to four devices simultaneously)
- Compatible with all devices when connected to the internet (desktop, phone and tablet)
- Shows can change month by month depending on licensing agreements
Look out Netflix, Stan has you in their sights and they're not backing down anytime soon. With high-speed quality for video streaming and partnerships with Sony Pictures Television, CBS (including Showtime), MGM, BBC, ABC, Viacom, SBS, and World Movies, Stan is the platform rivalling the video-streaming giant. These network partnerships mean that Stan has the exclusive rights to new shows like Better Call Saul and Billions. Stan is also creating their own original Aussie content, including a six-part series based on Wolf Creek and mini-series Enemies of the State.
An added plus of Stan is that it doesn't sound as sad when you leave a party early to ‘hang out with Stan'.
- Cost: $10 per month
- Can watch on up to three devices at a time
- Compatible with a range of devices including Chromecast and Apple TV (and the list is always growing)
- HD streaming available, but Stan will match the bit-rate to the speed of internet connection for a better streaming quality
The Aussie battler of the video streaming empire, Presto is more expensive than Stan and Netflix and has fewer shows and movies available. A deal with HBO means that Presto can offer access to 13 premium shows (and first run shows), which include crowd pleasers Boardwalk Empire, The Wireand Entourage. They also launched a 10-episode original series called Let's Talk About in October last year.
- Cost: Presto TV $9.99 per month, Presto Movies $9.99 per month, Presto Entertainment (a combination of both) $14.99 per month
- Can stream on up to three devices simultaneously
- 60% of content is HD
The new kid on the block of video streaming is YouTube Red. Launched in the US and on its way to Australia, YouTube Red is a monthly paid subscription that allows you to watch videos without those pesky ads and with the ability to keep listening when the screen is locked or when you're on another app.
Another perk is the original content available (including documentaries and television shows). You can also download videos to watch later, available up to 30 days without an Internet connection. This is certainly the space to be watching over the coming months.
- Cost: $10 per month
- No advertising
- Compatible with: Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, YouTube and YouTube Gaming apps for both Android and iOS
Still not sure which service you want to sign up to? The good news is that Netflix, Stan and Presto all offer first month free trials – so give them all a go before committing to one… or two… or all three.
If you're thinking about streaming on the go you can storm through your mobile data pretty quickly. Check out our Data Calculator to make sure you're on the right plan or remember to connect to WiFi where you can to save data. Oh, and don't forget to share in the comments below what you're currently binge watching – sharing is caring!
Mariah – amaysim's communication's coordinator