WHAT IS STREAMING?
Also known as On-demand or Video on demand (VOD)
Streaming is the new way of watching TV. You can watch what you want, where you want, how you want and when you want.
The term “streaming” refers to any media content – live or recorded – delivered to computers, mobile devices and Smart TV’s via the Internet. Podcasts, webcasts, movies, TV shows and music are common forms of streaming content.
Streaming has ended the days of waiting for shows to be broadcast on free-to-air TV or paying a hefty fee for a pay TV subscription.
Australia’s line-up of on-demand movies and TV services is extensive. From Binge to Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Apple TV all competing for our viewership – which is good news for us.
Existing Australian TV channels now all have their own streaming services too, including ABC iView, SBS on Demand and 10Play, 7Plus and 9Now.
Streaming services generally come in three models: monthly subscription, catch up TV (which is free) and buy/rent.
If all of the choices feel overwhelming to you, please contact Grandaids on 1800 472 632 for advice on choosing the right streaming service for you.
WHY DO PEOPLE DO IT?
You can watch any show you want at any time. For example, you’re finding it hard to go to sleep and want to switch on the Tele? No problems. You can watch The Crown on Netflix at 1 am or The White Lotus on Binge at 1pm.
Or if you’re in the middle of an episode of Antiques Roadshow on iView and your grandchildren arrive for lunch, you can simply pause and come back.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT IS STREAMING AND WHERE?
JustWatch is a vast searchable database that gathers the library from almost every streaming and rental service, so you can figure out where to watch your favourite shows. JustWatch lists all the streaming services that host the content you’re after and lets you click through via the browser or app you are in. Just remember to set the region to Australia before you start searching!
Alternatively, every streaming service offers you the ability to search for the show’s title on its website or app. You can search these by genre. Examples: COMEDY, DOCUMENTARY, LIFESTYLE.
WHAT KIND OF INTERNET PLAN DO YOU NEED?
Before subscribing to a streaming service, you should consider two main factors:
- Whether your internet download speed is fast enough to watch content at the desired quality level
- Whether your monthly internet data quota is sufficient
Internet plans are important to get right, so they don’t unnecessarily cost you a lot of money. Grandaids often assist clients with choosing the right internet plans – please ask if you need advice in this area.
You can talk to your Internet Service Provider (Telstra , Optus, AOL ) about whether your set-up can handle streaming. If it can, you should be able to set up alerts when you are approaching the data limit.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The main benefit of a subscription platform is the vast range of content on offer, available at an affordable price. You can always find something new to watch, whether you want a TV series or a movie.
Overall, there’s a reason that streaming services are now bigger than pay TV in Australia. They offer a wide range of content, generally ad-free, for a significantly lower price.
ANY DOWNSIDES OR CHALLENGES?
The biggest downside to subscription services is that there’s no content ownership. If you stop paying, it will stop playing.
There are challenges with streaming content on the Internet. If the user needs more bandwidth in their Internet connection, they may experience stops, lags or slow buffering in the content.
Some people may be unable to stream certain content due to needing compatible computer or software systems. For example, you will need a smart TV connected to the Internet or Apple TV to stream – you can’t just start playing Netflix on an analogue TV that’s 30 years old.
WHERE DO YOU START?
If you want to know more, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has a guide to subscription video on demand (SVOD) that explains your rights and how to compare platforms.
Alternatively, call Grandaids! We are here to advise, set up your devices, set up streaming accounts and show you how it works. We want you to enjoy all that streaming offers – when and where you want it!
Please call Grandaids on 1800 472 632 if you need help streaming your favourite shows!