Australian T3 - - FIELD OF STREAMS -


WEB Presto is a strange lit­tle stream­ing beast. A col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Seven and Fox­tel, it of­fers TV and movie ser­vices, which you can sub­scribe to separately or com­bined, but the con­tent is only avail­able in stan­dard def­i­ni­tion.

Tak­ing a qual­ity not quan­tity ap­proach, Presto’s big­gest sell­ing point is a deal struck with HBO that sees in­cred­i­ble series like Band of Broth­ers, The Wire, The So­pra­nos, and Board­walk Em­pire all mak­ing an ap­pear­ance. Other shows like Dex­ter, Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion, Dead­wood, and Ray Dono­van are also all worth a look, but would be even bet­ter if they were stream­ing in high def­i­ni­tion.

A movie stream­ing ser­vice be­fore its tele­vi­sion branch launched, Presto has an im­pres­sive li­brary of films on of­fer. There are hun­dreds of ti­tles swiped from Fox­tel’s movie chan­nels, but again, the lack of high def­i­ni­tion is as­tound­ing. Like Net­flix, Presto of­fers newish films like Cap­tain Amer­ica: Win­ter Sol­dier and Thor: The Dark World, but the view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence just can’t com­pete with the US ser­vice. There are times when it feels like you might as well have hired that old VHS tape af­ter all.

Kids can be en­ter­tained by the likes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Ex­plorer, and the Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles, and chances are they won’t no­tice the dip in pic­ture qual­ity. A big bonus is the ap­pear­ance of clas­sic Dis­ney films like Aladdin, The Lit­tle Mer­maid, Toy Story, and Tarzan, along­side more re­cent re­leases like Frozen.

Presto is not gen­er­ous with its ac­ces­si­bil­ity op­tions. It’s avail­able on a limited range of smart­phones, in­clud­ing iOS de­vices later than the iPhone 5, and se­lected An­droid de­vices from Sam­sung, HTC, LG, Sony and ZTE. It’s pos­si­ble to use your Mac’s Air­Play to cast to an Ap­ple TV, but this isn’t op­ti­mised for Presto. Also, there’s a Presto Any­time app for your iPad, but strangely you can’t use that to stream con­tent to your Ap­ple TV.

If you only want Presto’s TV or movie pack with­out the other you’ll be pay­ing $9.99 per month. For both, the cost is $14.99, which is ex­tor­tion­ate when you con­sider that the only other ser­vice charging that much is Net­flix, and even then it’s for the 4K of­fer­ing. SD just doesn’t cut it.

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