TELLY-PORTED TO THE FUTURE
Streaming services, digital platforms and TV on demand are changing the way we watch television television, writes Clare Rigden
Remember when watching TV meant deciding w which of the four channels yo you wanted to flick to? Maybe, ifi you were lucky, your aerial pointed in the right direction an and you could get SBS too? T Those days seem almost qu quaint now.
The way Austra Australians watch televi television has chan changed dram dramatically in the past few years, espe especially since the intro introduction of digitaldi platforms and streaming serv services like inter international play player Netflix and loca local services PresA PrestoA year and on Stan. from their launches, not only are more of us signin signing on, but it’s chang changing our viewi viewing habits.
In Instead of all tunin tuning in at the same time to watch the sa same shows on the sam same networks, viewer viewers are now streamingstreami content via the internet,in dipping i in and out, or bingin binging on entire series and eroding viewer num numbers for free to air.
Aussie fa fans of these services are consumingc hundreds of t thousands of hours of stream streamed content each day, addin adding up to millions of hourshou each week — that’s an aw awful lot of square eyes.
It’s an excit exciting time for viewers, who nown get to call the shots, and tune out ads. But in a world where there’s now more choice than ever, how do you decide how to get the best bang for your buck?
It’s a tough call, and depends entirely on what you’re into. Each service has a large line-up of TV series and movies, some of which may appeal more than others. But even outside of that, each service has its pros and cons. Here are the biggest.
US giant Netflix landed itself in the Australian market with an advantage — it has an extremely large budget to commission high-quality original programming overseas. Award-winning series including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Bloodline were made by Netflix and as such automatically have a home on the service.
In addition, an estimated 200,000 users had already signed on to an international version of the service, so they came to the local market with a distinct advantage.
Those who signed on to the Australian version of Netflix have hit a snag. Many of the hit series available to overseas subscribers like The Walking Dead (which is on Presto) and Breaking Bad (which screens on Stan) fell foul of competing distribution deals.
For a time, proxy servers, VPNs and “unblockers” allowed savvy streamers to duck the geo blocking rule, but Netflix has begun cracking down.
Plus those award-winning shows we mentioned? Many of them had already aired on TV in Australia so they’re not firstrun as they are in other regions.
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