SYDNEY: Australia’s new streaming services do have their sights set on other devices. Presto is coming to Telstra’s T-Box personal video recorder – which is reportedly in at least 750,000 Australian lounge rooms. Foxtel Play works with some Samsung and LG Smart TVs, so these devices might be next in line for Presto access.
Presto also has the advantage of unmetered data for Foxtel Broadband and Telstra Bigpond customers, while Netflix has a similar deal with Optus, iiNet and its subsidiaries such as Internode.
While Stan is co-owned by Nine Entertainment, which has always lagged behind Australia’s other television networks when it comes to streaming video apps on Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. You’ll find Nine’s catch up videos on FreeviewPlus television.
Stan and Presto have roughly a two-month head start on Netflix when it comes to wooing Australian customers – geo-dodgers aside – but when Netflix does arrive on March 24 it’s going to hit the ground running. Almost overnight the US raider will be available on millions of Australian Smart TVs, Blu-ray players, video recorders, set-top boxes and games consoles – making it easy to watch Netflix from the couch.
Most people tend to keep a smartphone or tablet within arms reach but when it comes to watching television, especially at the end of a long day, I reckon we prefer to kick back on the couch and watch on the big screen.
Australian online viewing figures support this. Like Netflix, Quickflix is available on a wide range of home entertainment devices as well as mobile devices. Quickflix tells me that more than 60 per cent of viewing occurs in the lounge room, and that’s not including streaming to a television via Google’s Chromecast stick.
It’s a similar story with ABC iView, the figures aren’t made public but I’m told that the bulk of iView watching occurs via fixed devices rather than smartphones and tablets. If Australians do prefer to enjoy internet video from the couch then Quickflix and Netflix have a massive advantage over newcomers Presto and Stan (co-owned by Fairfax, publisher of this website).
Right now your options are pretty limited when it comes to watching Stan or Presto in the lounge room. Both are available on Apple and some Android handheld devices, plus they’re compatible with the Google Chromecast stick for streaming video from mobile devices to your television.