What should I look for in online video streaming?
With so many streaming services, which one is best for you?
What is streaming?
Streaming apps lets you enjoy video over the internet without downloading the media file first. You can stream on devices like smartphones, tablets, PCs and smart TVs. With a smart TV, you can use the app on your smartphone as a remote control.
Why would I use streaming?
Convenience. You can watch what you want, when and where you want. You're not tied to a TV schedule, or even a TV. You can watch TV series, movies, sport and more. Or binge on a full season of episodes at once. Some streaming providers will also recommend content according to your viewing habits.
What kind of services are there?
Basically, there are two kinds of services - free or paid.
Free streaming services
These are the free-to-air channels that generally stream the same content as they broadcast. Free-to-air channels also offer catch-up TV for programs you've missed. Often these programs will have a use-by date.
Paid streaming services
You'd recognise the names because everyone's talking about them. Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now and of course Telstra TV Box Office.
Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Now have a monthly subscription and sometimes an initial free trial period. Fees can vary depending on a range of factors including the number of screens you use. For example, Netflix has packages across smart TVs, phones, tablets and some gaming consoles.
Which streaming service is best?
That depends on what you want to watch, and whether you want to pay for it.
If you're happy with what's on TV, then free-to-air is fine. Online channels include:
SBS On Demand
Some broadcasters like SBS On Demand require you to sign in. Others like ABC iView don't.
All free-to-air on one app
Instead of logging into different channels, you can access all of them with the Freeview FV app. The app offers live streaming from more than 25 free-to-air channels and supports Chromecast. Plus you get:
When selecting a subscription service, see what content best suits you. Are you addicted to TV series or a movie buff? Is sport your passion? See what's on offer and make your choice. You might even decide to have more than one service.
With Australia’s first integrated live TV, catch-up and on-demand search function, the Telstra TV device lets you search simultaneously for specific titles across live TV, Foxtel Now, Netflix, Stan, Telstra TV Box Office, and free-to-air catch-up TV. No more juggling multiple apps to find what you want! Plus, the device remembers your usage patterns and intuitively takes you back to what you were last watching. It’s exclusive to eligible Telstra broadband customers. Find out more here.