Stream away the quarantine days

 

By AKIRA KATO

COVID-19 has forced us in and closed us off from the world. But streaming services can take us away from our isolation for a time, taking us to just about anywhere we can imagine.

Streaming platforms such as Stan, Netflix, Foxtel Now and Amazon Prime can help us pass the time during the weeks of quarantine.

Here, we lay out how they compare.

What’s on offer?

Netflix

Finder reports that Netflix had 1705 TV shows and 3650 movies with a total of 5355 titles as of August 2019. Thanks to its comprehensive library, Netflix is often considered as the leader in digital streaming content. The service started releasing its excellent quality original productions over the past few years, which were 1,178 original shows in 2019.

Netflix’s subscription plans are similar to Stan’s, but free trials are not offered anymore.

  Price (monthly) Stream quality Simultaneous streams
Basic $A9.99 SD One device
Standard $A13.99 HD Two devices
Premium $A19.99 HD and 4K Four devices

Stan

Stan is an Australian-owned streaming media platform, which has a variety of well-received original series, such as Wolf Creek and No Activity. Stan doesn’t have as extensive a library as Netflix, but Reviews.org reports the platform is currently over 1,300 movies are ready to stream. But the platform has a large amount of Australian local content, with 9 per cent of its titles being Australian shows.

Stan’s streaming plans start at $A10 per month for the Basic tier with a 30-day free trial for new subscribers.

  Price (monthly) Stream quality Simultaneous streams
Basic $A10 SD One device
Standard $A14 HD Three devices
Premium $A17 4K Four devices

Amazon Prime

Compared with other streaming services, much older local content is available on Amazon Prime. The oldest movie dates back to 1933 and there are dozens of classics from the 1970s, which is attractive for film buffs. Also, Amazon Prime has been producing award-winning original content including The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Jack Ryan.

Although the number of titles in their Australian library isn’t as extensive as other services, Amazon offers many shelter-in-place workout videos and free kids’ programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon launched its full-blown Amazon Prime service in Australia in 2018. An Amazon Prime subscription includes not only Amazon Prime Video access but also free and expedited shipping, Prime Music, Prime Reading and a gaming service. There is only one subscription, which costs $A6.99 per month or a year subscription at $A59 paid upfront. Premium features include 4K content with three devices at once. A 30-day free trial period is also available for new customers.

Foxtel Now

Since many of worldwide sports have been shut down for the time being, Foxtel Now is losing its subscribers because the service is especially relevant if you want to enjoy sport offering. This livestreaming sport channel is the only Australian streaming platform to have the rights to live coverage of AFL, NRL, Super Rugby and much more.

Foxtel Now is the only Australian streaming service with content from HBO, an American premium television network, featuring shows such as Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, and Westworld. Its library is smaller than those of Netflix and Stan, but it has timelier access to the latest American TV shows.

This service requires building your own package based on different channel packs to suit the viewer’s interests. Pricing starts with the Essential base pack, including Pop and Lifestyle pack at $A25 per month, then you can add drama, sport, movie, kids and documentaries with an additional monthly fee. The service began to offer 25 per cent discount across four pack options for three months as streaming service are experiencing a huge increase in demand. New customers are eligible for a 10-day free trial.

  Price (monthly) Stream quality Simultaneous streams
Essential Pack

(Pop & Lifestyle)

$A25 HD Two devices
Essential + Drama Pack $A35 HD Two devices
Essential + Sports Pack $A40.50 (Only for three months) HD Two devices
Movie Pack $A33.75 (Only for three months HD Two devices
All Pack $A78 (Only for three months) HD Two devices
Essential + Movie + Sports Pack $A55.50 (Only for three months) HD Two devices

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