We receive questions every day about how to stream television, and the best streaming services to use. If you have an older television that isn’t a Smart TV you will need some hardware to get streaming up and running. Even if you have a newer Smart TV you might choose to use hardware such as an Apple TV to stream television because of the simpler user interface.
Apple TV From $209
From TV shows to movies to games, it’s all available on Apple TV. Enjoy content from iTunes and apps like Netflix, Stan, Tenplay and 9Now — or use the Siri Remote to find just what you want.* You can even enjoy the photos you take on your iPhone on the big screen. And it all looks great in HD. You can also turn your television into a computer monitor using AirPlay from your Apple device.
Apple TV connects to your existing television using a HDMI cable, and can connect to the Internet via WiFi or ethernet cable.
Telstra TV $192 outright or get it on a Telstra Home Broadband Plan
With Australia’s first integrated live TV, catch-up and on-demand search function, Telstra TV is the only device in the country with the ability to search simultaneously for specific titles across live TV, Foxtel Now, Netflix, Stan, BigPond Movies, and free-to-air catch-up TV. Telstra broadband connection required.
Google Chromecast $59
Chromecast plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. Simply use your device and the TV you own to stream TV shows, movies, games and more. Chromecast works with iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, Mac and Windows laptop and Chromebook.
Screenbeam HDMI Adaptor Were $70 NOW $50
ScreenBeam Mini2 takes many of the same features of Actiontec’s award-winning, market-leading ScreenBeam Pro platform, and squeezes them into a tiny form factor perfect for connecting to today’s flat-screen TVs, and at a ground-breaking low price. With ScreenBeam Mini2, you can enjoy your favourite videos, photos and movies on the best display in the house. Simply connect the tiny adapter to your HDTV and you can wirelessly display content from a compatible laptop, tablet, or smartphone. That means you can sit back and watch movies from Netflix or YouTube on your HDTV.
Subscription Streaming Services
There are a number of subscription-based streaming services available now. Popular ones include Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Go and Amazon Prime.
Netflix from $9.99/mth
Netflix provides both TV shows and movies. Netflix screens a lot of reruns of popular TV shows including Outlander, Mad Men and Gilmore Girls. Netflix Originals are television shows and movies commissioned by Netflix and available exclusively on Netflix. Netflix spends around 25% of their budget on new original programming. Popular Netflix Originals include: Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, The Crown, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Grace and Frankie.
There are three subscription tiers: basic, which is SD quality and allows only one stream to run at any one time; standard, which allows for two simultaneous streams and HD quality; and premium, which lets you run four simultaneous streams and gives you access to 4K streaming (for titles that support it).
Stan from $10/mth
Stan is Australian owned, similar to Netflix and slightly less expensive. Stan’s library isn’t as extensive as Netflix, but it tends to have more Australian content. Like Netflix, Stan also produces original content (Stan Original) and also have First on Stan, content which hasn’t been shown first on pay or free to air, and Only on Stan content. Popular content available exclusively to Stan includes Younger, Impostors, Billions and The Royals.
Stan comes in three subscription tiers: basic, which is SD quality and allows only one stream to run at any one time; standard, which allows for three simultaneous streams and HD quality; and premium, which lets you run four simultaneous streams and gives you access to 4K streaming for titles that support it.
Foxtel Now from $10/mth
Foxtel Now is essential if you’re wanting to catch up on popular television such as Game of Thrones, Wentworth, Top of the Lake and the new episodes of Outlander (coming in November). The content packs start at $10 per month for Kids, Docos and Lifestyle and are $15 per month for drama and pop. Premium packs for Movies and Sport for $20 and $29 per month respectively. Foxtel Now offers Live TV and On Demand, and there is more on offer if you can tie yourself to a TV guide, as the On Demand options are often quite limited, due to streaming licensing rights. The good news is that you can often get a free Foxtel Now subscription with select mobile and home broadband plans from Telstra. Keep in mind that it is not unmetered and will use your data allowance.
Amazon Prime from $6.99/mth ($4.99/mth intro)
Amazon Prime has similar content to Stan with repeats of comedies such as Parks and Recreation and Seinfeld. There are also partial series available with Seasons 9-13 of NCIS, seasons 1-4 of Law and Order SVU and seasons 9-16 of CSI. Prime Original Series are also available – which is content produced exclusively for Amazon. A couple of programs worth checking out include Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and Emmy award-winning The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.
Free Streaming Services
As well as the paid subscriptions services, there are a number of free view services including ABC iView, SBS On Demand, 7Plus, 9Now and Tenplay.
These are great for catching up on shows from the last week or two, but increasingly are providing back catalogues for binge-watching.
Current picks include.
ABC iView: Rake, Anh’s Brush with Fame and Back in Time for Dinner.
SBS On Demand: The Handmaid’s Tale, The Way and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
7Plus: Blue Heelers and City Homicide.
9Now: 165 episodes of Getaway, Love Child, McLeod’s Daughters, Marple, and Poirot
TenPlay: Heartbreak High.