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How we test movie and TV streaming services

Streaming services give you the power to watch what you want, when you want.

remote points at many tv screens

From Netflix and Disney+ to Stan and Amazon Prime, movie and TV streaming services have come into our lives in a big way. There's now well over a dozen options to choose from in Australia, but which ones best suit your needs? Our rigorous testing means you can be confident in your choice. Here's how we do it.

Our expert testers

Our testers have years of expertise in testing video equipment and streaming devices. Their focus is not on experienced viewers who already favour streaming, but people who regularly watch free-to-air or pay TV and are interested in trying out a new avenue for finding movies and TV shows.

In the case of this test, we reveal which services are easiest to use, sign up to and stop using. We also look at how easy it is to find new content once you get going.

How we choose what we test

In this test we're looking at the biggest streaming services in Australia, based on subscription and user numbers, and brand recognition. We also cover some smaller and niche services, as well as the free catch-up apps run by each of the major broadcasters.

How we test

All services are tested for ease of use on the Android TV platform running the available version, except for Apple's services, which were tested using an Apple TV 4K device.

Previously tested services undergo a spot check to cover any updates to the features and specifications (such as price and app support) and changes to the aspects that make up the CHOICE Expert Rating. If a service has undergone significant changes then we completely re-test it from scratch. If not, then there may be slight adjustments to the scores to reflect minor tweaks to the interface.

Layout and stability score

We look at how easy it is for new users to navigate a service, and whether it crashes regularly or loses internet connectivity.

What to watch score

This score considers how easy it is to find content that appeals to you, either by automatic suggestion or by manually searching.

Sign up and cancel score

Our testers assesses how easy it is to sign up to and start using a service, plus how easy it is to cancel your account.

Playback control score

This is based on the level of control you have to navigate a movie or show while you're watching it.

Scoring

We give every streaming service a CHOICE Expert Rating so you can see at a glance which are the best and worst performers.

This overall score is based on the following criteria:

  • layout and stability (40%)
  • what to watch (35%)
  • sign up and cancel (15%)
  • playback control (10%).
We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.