Netflix, Presto, Stan: why not get them all?

09 April 2015

Australian TVs have been catapulted into the 21st century with 3 awesome streaming TV services launching within months of each other, which in turn has sparked a media frenzy asking ‘Which service should you get?’

We've seen articles comparing every movie currently available on each service, articles with lists of movies that aren't available on either service, and lots of discussion about the virtues of SD, HD and Ultra HD streams.

But at the end of the day, shouldn’t the question should be: ‘Why not get them all?’

Choosing between Netflix, Presto and Stan is not like choosing which car you want to buy, or choosing whether you want an iPhone or an Android. This is not a decision you are locked into and may end up regretting.

It’s much more like deciding what you'll have for dinner.

Netflix starts from $8.99 per month, Stan costs a flat $10, Presto is $15 for a combined pack of TV shows and movies. A ‘cheap’ meal at the pub, a restaurant or a cafe will cost you more. Going to the cinema will cost you nearly twice as much.

So, for under $35 per month, you (and your entire family) can access all three services at the same time, with surprisingly little crossover in their respective content libraries.

Perhaps you don't want to spend $35 per month on TV. That's fine too, but you should still sign up.

Each service operates on a monthly commitment, and each has a 30-day free trial. This gives you the option to sign up to them all, browse the catalogues, then ditch the ones that you don’t think are worth $10. Later, if the libraries update and there is a bunch of new content you do want to watch, just reactivate your account to watch these shows.

Broadband consideration

If you think this is excellent advice, and you plan to sign up to Netflix, Stan and Presto, don’t forget that you need enough internet data to stream all of the shows you want to watch.

Broadly speaking, each service uses about 1GB per hour to stream in Standard Definition.

We’ve covered this in greater detail here, but as a general guide, here are some of the most popular TV series available and an estimate of how much data you’ll need to have in your monthly quota to watch just one season of each.

  • The Sopranos: (Presto, 13 episodes) 14GB
  • Band of Brothers: (Presto, 10 episodes) 11GB
  • Better Call Saul: (Stan, 12 episodes) 10GB
  • House of Cards: (Netflix, 13 episodes) 10.5GB
  • Downton Abbey (Netflix, 7 episodes) 6.5GB

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently reported that the average Australian household watched 52 hours of TV each week. As you can see from the short list above, it is very easy to rack up that sort of time watching popular shows, not to mention the weird, quirky documentaries on Netflix, or the mainstream movie options on Presto and Stan.

In short, unless you are on a 200GB home broadband plan each month, or higher, it might be worth considering a shift upwards in data if you want to make the most of streaming TV.

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