After almost 20 years, Netflix has finally come to Australia. Here is what you need to know.
It is estimated that over 200,000 Australians have been accessing Netflix from the United States using VPN to hide their IP address. This is no longer necessary as the Australian version of Netflix includes popular original series like Orange is the New Black, along with television shows like How I Met Your Mother and Lost.
There is also a large variety of children’s programming offered in addition to the selection of movies.
Included in the movie selection are a number produced originally for the Australian market. These include The Hunter, Storm Surfers, and Wake in Fright among others. This is the type of personalised programming that has made Netflix a success globally.
|Name||Service||Content||Price Per Month||Purchase|
|Streaming||TV, movies||TV - $9.99, Movies - $9.99, TV & Movies - $14.99||Free Trial|
|Streaming||TV, movies||$25 to $50||Free TrialMore info|
|Streaming||TV, movies||$10.00||See Content|
|Streaming||TV, movies||Single - $8.99, Double - $11.99, 4 Device - $14.99||See content|
|Downloading||TV, music, movies||TV - $3.50 per episode or $32.50 per season, Movies - $25 to buy and $6 to rent||Go to site|
|Renting, downloading||TV, movies||Rent - From $3.99, Downloads - From $8.99|
For a limited time, Australians are invited to try Netflix for one month free. If they choose to continue service plans start at $7.99 USD a month, approximately $10 Australian dollars (AUD). There are no contracts with Netflix so you can cancel the service at anytime, but your credit card that was used to sign-up will automatically be charged for the service each month.
If you have obtained a coupon code for Netflix services, you can get your discount when you sign up for the service. Simply wait to be prompted during check-out and enter the code where indicated. You will see the discount applied on your first billing statement.
There are three plans offered by Netflix that you can choose from, Basic, Standard and Premium. The one you pick will depend on the types of features you want with your Netflix subscription.
|Prices in the US (per month)||$7.99||$8.99||$11.99|
|Prices in Australia (per month)||$8.99||$11.99||$14.99|
|Number of screens you can watch at the same time||1||2||4|
|Watch video on laptop, TV, tablet and cell phone||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited access to TV shows and movies||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|First month free||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Not only can you cancel at anytime, you can change your plan if your needs change. Differences in rates will be prorated to account for the difference.
It is important to note that your account is going to be automatically billed by Netflix. If you wish to cancel you will need to do so before your billing cycle ends.Back to top
One appealing aspect that Netflix has over other video streaming providers is the number of devices you can use to access the movies and TV series. These include:
- PlayStation 4
- PlayStation 3
- Xbox One
- Xbox 360
- Wii U
Tablet and mobile
- iPod Touch
- Android Tablet
- Windows Tablets
- Windows Phone
Smart TV, streaming media player and other
- Samsung Smart TV
- LG Smart TV
- LG Blu-ray Players
- Google Chromecast
- Apple TV
- Boxee Box
- Western Digital (WD) Set-top boxes
- Strong Digital Media Receivers
In order to watch a video streamed from Netflix on your PC or laptop you will have to have the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in installed. This is a free download that enables Netflix to run properly through your computer.Back to top
In 1997 the way in which movies were rented in the United States was revolutionised when Netflix was founded. Subscribers could view the company’s selection of movies online, order what they wanted and it was delivered to their mailbox. The customer would watch, pop the movie back in a pre-paid envelope and send it back to Netflix. In 1999 they introduced their customers to monthly subscriptions and stopped offering single rentals by 2000. This was the start of a movie rental concept with no due dates or late fees and unlimited rentals per month for a flat fee.
The business plan took a few years to catch on, but by 2003 Netflix posted its first profit of $6.5 million US dollars (USD). By 2005 Netflix was shipping a million DVDs out to subscribers daily from a stock of over 35,000 different film titles. Ten years after its introduction, Netflix had delivered its billionth DVD and was looking towards introducing video on demand using the internet.
Online streaming of video through Netflix turned the company from being one of the post office’s biggest customers to being the largest source of internet traffic in North America by 2010. By 2011 Netflix began to acquire content that would be exclusive to their service. This includes House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Lilyhammer. This has also included picking up popular TV series for additional seasons like with Star Wars. The Clone Wars.Back to top
The international expansion of Netflix
Netflix began offering its video streaming services to Canada in September of 2010 followed by a large expansion into Central and Southern America including Mexico in 2011. This proved to be very lucrative, especially in the Canadian market.
By 2012 they had become available in the UK and Northern Ireland which was even more successful than their introduction into Canada. From here they slowly integrated into most of the rest of Europe over the next two years. Distribution rights makes it impossible for Netflix to provide the exact same content to foreign countries, but they attempt to make up for this with their exclusive series and movies as well as adding localised content for their overseas subscribers.
In the early part of 2015, Netflix entered Australia and New Zealand video streaming market, with plans on expanding to Japan by the end of the year.Back to top
Netflix Australia offers gift cards priced at $20, $30 and $50. These can be gifted to a friend or family member, or even used by yourself if you're particularly paranoid about storing your payment details online. Below is a list of stores you can purchase Netflix gift cards from in Australia.
- Australia Post
- Big W
- EB Games
This depends on what quality you're streaming Netflix at. Usage varies depending on whether you're streaming in SD, HD or 4K. Below is a guide to how much data Netflix will consume at each quality grade:
- Low quality: Approx. 300MB p/hour
- Standard Definition (SD): Approx. 700MB p/hour
- High Definition (HD): Approx. 3 GB p/hour
- Ultra High Definition (UHD): Approx. 7GB p/hour
Not sure what quality you're streaming at? There is a way to check (see below), but essentially, if you're paying for the basic package, you're streaming in SD, up to HD with the standard package and up to 4K (assuming you have a 4K capable television) on the premium package. If your internet service provider (ISP) offers unmetered Netflix streaming (not sure? check here) or you're signed up to an unlimited broadband plan, data usage isn't going to be of much concern to you. If you do have a data limit, however, or even worse, you're streaming on the mobile network, data usage is something you should seriously consider, as excess usage can result in hefty charges from your provider.Back to top
Yes. Whether or not that has an effect on your broadband speed is dependant on a few factors, including your modem and internet service provider (ISP). Considering the climate of Australian broadband speeds, however, it's safe to say you will likely experience lag on other devices when streaming Netflix– this can be especially annoying if you're in the middle of an online match and somebody under the same Wi-Fi decides to binge House of Cards.
How do I stop Netflix from hogging my bandwidth?
Unfortunately, there's no easy fix that will keep both parties satisfied. However, if the Netflix user in your house is willing to compromise, there is a way to lower the amount of data Netflix user and effectively lighten the load on your bandwidth. There four playback settings you can choose from:
- Low quality - 0.3 GB p/hour
- Medium quality - Standard-definition: 0.7 GB per hour
- High quality - High-definition: 3 GB p/hour, Ultra high-definition - 7 GB p/hour
- Auto - Alters the video quality based on your internet connection
To change these settings, simply access Netflix from your web browser and click on the profile image in the top-right corner of the window. Then, in the drop-down menu, select "Your Account". On the "My Profile" page, select "Playback settings" in the "My Profile" section. From there, you can manually select the video quality of your Netflix stream. In the case where you're experiencing lag, you're going to want to switch it to "Low" (you may have to wait up to 8 hours for the changes to be processed).
If you want to do the opposite and maximize your Netflix stream, check out our guide to speeding up your Netflix stream.Frequently asked questionsBack to top
In Australia, Apple TV has become the go-to device for Netflix users who don't currently own a Smart TV or video game console but still want to stream through their televisions. It's a reasonable, low-price alternative that should be familiar and easy-to-use for anyone accustomed with the Apple ecosystem. However, as many are pointing out, Apple's TV streaming platform is rife with issues and many users are experiencing trouble when trying to connect to Netflix. Look for a solution in our basic troubleshooting guide below.
Basic troubleshooting for Apple TV and Netflix
Running Netflix on Apple TV can be quite finicky, but most issues can be solved by performing these four basic troubleshooting techniques:
- Power cycling your Apple TV (powering off and on)
- Closing down and reopening the Netflix application
- Restarting your Wi-Fi modem
- Making sure the correct time and date are set on your Apple TV.
Netflix gives the message "An error has occurred loading this content. Try again later."
This issue most commonly occurs when the Apple TV is having trouble establishing a connection with the Netflix service. This is an awfully common problem that, unfortunately, lacks one simple solution. Many users have reported success with following methods.
Test the strength of your connection
- Navigate to "Settings" from the Main Menu
- Select "General"
- Select "Network"
- Select "Test Network"
- Select "OK"
- Select "Yes"
- Select the download speed your Netflix connection requires (0.5Mbps is the minimum, but 3.0Mbps is the recommended speed for Standard Definition (SD).
Deactivate and reactivate Netflix
- Using the Apple TV remote, open the Netflix application
- Navigate to the main Netflix menu and select "Sign Out"
- Select Yes
- Exit the Netflix application and reopen it from the Apple TV menu
- Select "Already a member? Sign in"
- Enter your registered email address and password
- Attempt to stream a TV show or movie
Recently watched shows have disappeared from Netflix application
This is another common experience with Apple TV users. Fortunately, this one seems to be resolved with a simple firmware update. To perform a firmware update on your Apple TV, follow these steps below:
- Enter "Settings"
- Select "General"
- Click "Update Software"
- Then, select "Download and Install" to begin the download
- Wait for the download to complete
- Your Apple TV should then restart and the update will install automatically.
Does Netflix stream in HD?
Yes, you will find that a large number of titles available through Netflix are available in HD. Of course, this quality will only be evident if you are streaming the video to an HD equipped television.
Will using Netflix affect my internet quota?
Yes, Netflix is a metered video streaming service so your allowed usage will be affected. Keep in mind that streaming in HD uses a higher bandwidth and will affect your usage at a faster rate than watching videos in standard definition will.
How fast does my internet speed need to be in order for Netflix to work?
The minimum connection speed is 0.5Mbps, but this will give you a poor quality image. The speed and the bandwidth of your internet connection will have a direct impact on how you view the content, so you will want a high speed connection for best results.
On how many different devices can I use Netflix on at the same time?
This will depend on the membership plan that you have ordered.
Is there a Netflix app?
Yes, the Netflix app will enable you to watch content from Netflix on any of your mobile devices.
The introduction of Netflix has changed the video streaming industry instantly, as Australians now have more choices than ever before when it comes to choosing a video streaming service provider. Before you make any final decision, check and compare the features and prices to find the one that has what you want for the right price.
Am I charged in USD or AUD when using Netflix Australia?
You would be charged in AUD for the services, Netflix processes the payments locally so that you don't have to be worried about exchange rates.