With the numerous subscription video-on-demand services that have just launched in Australia, it’s easy to be confused about who you should go with.
Presto, owned by Foxtel and Seven West Media, offer a pretty decent, if somewhat pricey subscription ($14.99) that includes both Legally Blondes, the Kill Bills, recent indies The Babadook and Only God Forgives, and a few classics like The Evil Dead and True Lies. The selection isn’t huge but features many great titles with little filler—still, having to pay extra for access to both television show and movie catalogues is fairly outrageous.
Quickflix have the most eccentric catalogue with Final Fantasy, RV, and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed among their featured titles—as well as high-brow content like The West Wing, Quickflix have an exclusive HBO deal which provides access to The Sopranos, The Wire and True Blood. Newer content (like Girls) costs $2.99 an episode, while a $9.99 subscription will get you access to their older non-premium TV and movie catalogue. You’d be better off with any other service.
Stan, a joint venture between Channel Nine and Fairfax, boasts Better Call Saul and a chunk of Viacom content like South Park. They also have a bunch of MGM movies including the Robocops, The Silence of the Lambs, West Side Story and every Bond film. Stan is somewhat impressive at $9.99 until you look at Netflix.
Netflix have by far the most diverse catalogue of the lot, although it pales in comparison to what’s offered internationally. It’s $11.99 for the HD plan, an extra $2 expense you won’t regret.
Who should you give your money to? None of them, actually—SBS offer a free on-demand service with some of the best films available on domestic services including Drive, the Pusher Trilogy, Appropriate Behaviour, and Oldboy, and even some decent Australian content—unless you’re comfortable using a geo-blocking service in which case you should get yourself a US Netflix subscription. You can access other countries’ catalogues using free browser extensions like Hola Unblocker or a cheap DNS-redirect service like Adfree Time (which will work with gaming system apps)—both will dramatically increase the number of titles available and make a Netflix subscription more than worthwhile.