TV streaming

When it comes to watching popular TV shows via online streaming, we're missing out.
 
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  • Updated:9 Jul 2013
 

01 .The current situation

tv-on-the-net-lead

Australian viewers get a raw deal when it comes to watching our favourite TV shows. We pay more, and often content isn’t accessible how and when we want it. CHOICE examines why that’s the case.

In the US, online streaming services for TV and movies are affordable and flexible, providing lots of content on many different devices. A Netflix or Hulu Plus subscription is cheap and will give you a generous selection of TV series and movies to watch online whenever and wherever it suits.

In Australia, Quickflix starts at twice the price of Netflix, only streams some TV shows and movies, and charges extra to watch certain content.

A cable TV subscription is also expensive in Australia and doesn’t provide back seasons on demand. Similarly, iTunes Australia gives you access to some of these shows, but each new series costs around $35 per season, or $3 per episode.

TV networks and movie studios aren't keeping up with changes in technology and viewer desires, and often failing to offer content directly to paying consumers. Some fans turn to piracy when they might otherwise have paid for content if it was available at a reasonable price and in a way that suits them.

Piracy undermines the industry, but to counter it the industry needs to change to meet the needs of consumers and keep up with advances in technology.

Australian and US overview

Online
  • Netflix in the US costs only $US8 per month and features a comprehensive range of movies and TV shows including Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, House of Cards and Arrested Development. Extensive back catalogues for many series are available for instantaneous viewing.
  • In Australia, Quickflix subscription costs range from $15 to $35 per month, and you pay extra to watch some movies and TV shows. Also, it still uses DVDs for new release movies.
  • Some Australian consumers use free browser plugins such as Hola to access Netflix in the US.
  • US Amazon has a subscription service called Amazon Prime that costs $US79 per year which lets you stream TV shows and movies and even borrow eBooks.
  • iTunes and Amazon in the US screen popular shows such as Game of Thrones and Mad Men, but they’re not available until after they screen on the cable channel because of network deals.
  • In Australia, iTunes provides downloads for TV shows that are available to watch a little while after they screen on Foxtel. A season pass to these shows costs about $35. While delayed, this is on par with, or even slightly cheaper in some cases, than the US.
Cable/Pay TV
  • In the US, there is a choice of cable networks with different packages and prices.
  • Australians are limited to Foxtel and subscriptions are expensive.
Free-to-air TV
  • In Australia, free-to-air TV series usually screen behind the US and scheduling can be disrupted or delayed by other programs. For example, SBS recently screened an older season of Mad Men while the latest season was showing in the US.

Video: CHOICE on digital streaming and geo-blocking

CHOICE takes a look at digital streaming, geo-blocking and internet piracy and sends a clear message to media outlets and content providers in Australia.


 
 

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02.Australia vs the US

 

In the US, online streaming services for TV and movies are affordable and flexible, allowing you to view lots of content on a range of devices. Choices in Australia are much more limited.

US services

Amazon Prime Instant Video $US79/year

Amazon Prime is an online movie and TV portal from the bookselling giant. Yearly subscription provides access to movies and TV shows including new release titles, adult and children's TV shows and e-book loans.

Hulu Plus $US7.99/month

Hulu has a large catalogue of TV and movies including Saturday Night Live, The Carrie DiariesModern Family, Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. There are also foreign language shows. The service includes free short- and long-form content, including TV shows and clips from popular shows, interviews with TV stars and news segments.

Netflix $US7.99/month

In the US, Netflix has an enormous catalogue of TV shows, such as Breaking Bad, as well as Netfix Original series like House of Cards and the exclusive fourth season of Arrested Development. Netflix currently doesn't operate in Australia and there’s no definite launch date in sight.

Australian services

Quickflix

    Quickflix is an online movie and TV streaming service with a DVD post-out service. It has movie and TV subscriptions from $15 to $35 per month, pay-per-view movies and season pass TV shows. The collection includes popular TV shows such as The Sopranos, Veep, True Blood and Game of Thrones. Shows can be viewed on iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets, as well as computers, Xbox and PS3 gaming consoles and some TVs.

    Foxtel Australia

    Basic package $47/month + Movies & Premium Drama pack $25/month

    It costs $72 per month for the package that includes more than 30 different series, such as House of Cards (US and UK versions), Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Girls, Nurse Jackie, Dexter, and True Blood. Not all are airing at present, but most are scheduled over the coming months. However, you can only watch the season Foxtel is screening and must wait for previous seasons to screen if you want to catch up. You can watch Foxtel GO on your iPhone and iPad as well as your TV, as long as you are a TV subscriber.

    02.Australia vs the US

     

    In the US, online streaming services for TV and movies are affordable and flexible, allowing you to view lots of content on a range of devices. Choices in Australia are much more limited.

    US services

    Amazon Prime Instant Video $US79/year

    Amazon Prime is an online movie and TV portal from the bookselling giant. Yearly subscription provides access to movies and TV shows including new release titles, adult and children's TV shows and e-book loans.

    Hulu Plus $US7.99/month

    Hulu has a large catalogue of TV and movies including Saturday Night Live, The Carrie DiariesModern Family, Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. There are also foreign language shows. The service includes free short- and long-form content, including TV shows and clips from popular shows, interviews with TV stars and news segments.

    Netflix $US7.99/month

    In the US, Netflix has an enormous catalogue of TV shows, such as Breaking Bad, as well as Netfix Original series like House of Cards and the exclusive fourth season of Arrested Development. Netflix currently doesn't operate in Australia and there’s no definite launch date in sight.

    Australian services

    Quickflix

      Quickflix is an online movie and TV streaming service with a DVD post-out service. It has movie and TV subscriptions from $15 to $35 per month, pay-per-view movies and season pass TV shows. The collection includes popular TV shows such as The Sopranos, Veep, True Blood and Game of Thrones. Shows can be viewed on iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets, as well as computers, Xbox and PS3 gaming consoles and some TVs.

      Foxtel Australia

      Basic package $47/month + Movies & Premium Drama pack $25/month

      It costs $72 per month for the package that includes more than 30 different series, such as House of Cards (US and UK versions), Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Girls, Nurse Jackie, Dexter, and True Blood. Not all are airing at present, but most are scheduled over the coming months. However, you can only watch the season Foxtel is screening and must wait for previous seasons to screen if you want to catch up. You can watch Foxtel GO on your iPhone and iPad as well as your TV, as long as you are a TV subscriber.

      02.Australia vs the US

       

      In the US, online streaming services for TV and movies are affordable and flexible, allowing you to view lots of content on a range of devices. Choices in Australia are much more limited.

      US services

      Amazon Prime Instant Video $US79/year

      Amazon Prime is an online movie and TV portal from the bookselling giant. Yearly subscription provides access to movies and TV shows including new release titles, adult and children's TV shows and e-book loans.

      Hulu Plus $US7.99/month

      Hulu has a large catalogue of TV and movies including Saturday Night Live, The Carrie DiariesModern Family, Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. There are also foreign language shows. The service includes free short- and long-form content, including TV shows and clips from popular shows, interviews with TV stars and news segments.

      Netflix $US7.99/month

      In the US, Netflix has an enormous catalogue of TV shows, such as Breaking Bad, as well as Netfix Original series like House of Cards and the exclusive fourth season of Arrested Development. Netflix currently doesn't operate in Australia and there’s no definite launch date in sight.

      Australian services

      Quickflix

        Quickflix is an online movie and TV streaming service with a DVD post-out service. It has movie and TV subscriptions from $15 to $35 per month, pay-per-view movies and season pass TV shows. The collection includes popular TV shows such as The Sopranos, Veep, True Blood and Game of Thrones. Shows can be viewed on iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets, as well as computers, Xbox and PS3 gaming consoles and some TVs.

        Foxtel Australia

        Basic package $47/month + Movies & Premium Drama pack $25/month

        It costs $72 per month for the package that includes more than 30 different series, such as House of Cards (US and UK versions), Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Girls, Nurse Jackie, Dexter, and True Blood. Not all are airing at present, but most are scheduled over the coming months. However, you can only watch the season Foxtel is screening and must wait for previous seasons to screen if you want to catch up. You can watch Foxtel GO on your iPhone and iPad as well as your TV, as long as you are a TV subscriber.

        02.Australia vs the US

         

        In the US, online streaming services for TV and movies are affordable and flexible, allowing you to view lots of content on a range of devices. Choices in Australia are much more limited.

        US services

        Amazon Prime Instant Video $US79/year

        Amazon Prime is an online movie and TV portal from the bookselling giant. Yearly subscription provides access to movies and TV shows including new release titles, adult and children's TV shows and e-book loans.

        Hulu Plus $US7.99/month

        Hulu has a large catalogue of TV and movies including Saturday Night Live, The Carrie DiariesModern Family, Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. There are also foreign language shows. The service includes free short- and long-form content, including TV shows and clips from popular shows, interviews with TV stars and news segments.

        Netflix $US7.99/month

        In the US, Netflix has an enormous catalogue of TV shows, such as Breaking Bad, as well as Netfix Original series like House of Cards and the exclusive fourth season of Arrested Development. Netflix currently doesn't operate in Australia and there’s no definite launch date in sight.

        Australian services

        Quickflix

          Quickflix is an online movie and TV streaming service with a DVD post-out service. It has movie and TV subscriptions from $15 to $35 per month, pay-per-view movies and season pass TV shows. The collection includes popular TV shows such as The Sopranos, Veep, True Blood and Game of Thrones. Shows can be viewed on iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets, as well as computers, Xbox and PS3 gaming consoles and some TVs.

          Foxtel Australia

          Basic package $47/month + Movies & Premium Drama pack $25/month

          It costs $72 per month for the package that includes more than 30 different series, such as House of Cards (US and UK versions), Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Girls, Nurse Jackie, Dexter, and True Blood. Not all are airing at present, but most are scheduled over the coming months. However, you can only watch the season Foxtel is screening and must wait for previous seasons to screen if you want to catch up. You can watch Foxtel GO on your iPhone and iPad as well as your TV, as long as you are a TV subscriber.

          02.Australia vs the US

           

          In the US, online streaming services for TV and movies are affordable and flexible, allowing you to view lots of content on a range of devices. Choices in Australia are much more limited.

          US services

          Amazon Prime Instant Video $US79/year

          Amazon Prime is an online movie and TV portal from the bookselling giant. Yearly subscription provides access to movies and TV shows including new release titles, adult and children's TV shows and e-book loans.

          Hulu Plus $US7.99/month

          Hulu has a large catalogue of TV and movies including Saturday Night Live, The Carrie DiariesModern Family, Law and Order, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. There are also foreign language shows. The service includes free short- and long-form content, including TV shows and clips from popular shows, interviews with TV stars and news segments.

          Netflix $US7.99/month

          In the US, Netflix has an enormous catalogue of TV shows, such as Breaking Bad, as well as Netfix Original series like House of Cards and the exclusive fourth season of Arrested Development. Netflix currently doesn't operate in Australia and there’s no definite launch date in sight.

          Australian services

          Quickflix

            Quickflix is an online movie and TV streaming service with a DVD post-out service. It has movie and TV subscriptions from $15 to $35 per month, pay-per-view movies and season pass TV shows. The collection includes popular TV shows such as The Sopranos, Veep, True Blood and Game of Thrones. Shows can be viewed on iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets, as well as computers, Xbox and PS3 gaming consoles and some TVs.

            Foxtel Australia

            Basic package $47/month + Movies & Premium Drama pack $25/month

            It costs $72 per month for the package that includes more than 30 different series, such as House of Cards (US and UK versions), Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Girls, Nurse Jackie, Dexter, and True Blood. Not all are airing at present, but most are scheduled over the coming months. However, you can only watch the season Foxtel is screening and must wait for previous seasons to screen if you want to catch up. You can watch Foxtel GO on your iPhone and iPad as well as your TV, as long as you are a TV subscriber.