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BigPond Movies | Telstra’s video service is no couch potato
Telstra's BigPond service offers some of the latest movies to download or rent.
Launched back in 2006, BigPond Movies began life as Telstra's answer to the growing popularity of on-demand video, following in the footsteps of the then-ubiquitous iTunes. Unlike iTunes, BigPond Movies saw that the future lay in streaming video rather than downloading it and set about building a rental service long before Netflix entered the picture. And though Netflix eventually overtook it to become the name synonymous with video streaming, BigPond Movies continues to offer a solid alternative to the streaming juggernaut for people who prefer renting movies and TV shows a la carte rather than forking out for a subscription or purchasing their content outright.
Over the years, Telstra has fashioned BigPond Movies into quite a competitive storefront. One of the big advantages it has over its contemporaries is its catalogue of new releases. Where Netflix and Stan typically don't get the latest blockbusters until a year or two after their release, BigPond Movies currently offers the likes of Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Doctor Strange, all of which hit the silver screen less than six months ago.
BigPond Movies features a similarly extensive range of recent hits on the TV front, from the latest seasons of dramas like The Blacklist and Westworld to ongoing superhero shows, like Gotham and Arrow. You can buy or rent episodes individually or purchase them together in a season package for a sizeable discount.
How much do movies and TV shows cost on BigPond Movies?
Pricing varies from title to title across the BigPond Movies catalogue, with a number of different factors affecting how much you're going to pay. New-release movies are often available to purchase, not rent, and will typically run you around $19.99 for Standard Definition (SD) or $24.99 for High Definition (HD).
A couple of months after release, rental options become available at around $5.99 for SD and $6.99 for HD. Older or less popular titles are often available at a lower price. Some drop as low as $5.99 for SD and $6.99 for HD when purchasing titles. If you just want to rent a title, it will cost you $1.99 for SD and $2.99 for HD. You can only purchase TV shows, not rent them. Individually, episodes typically run $2.99 for SD and $3.49 for HD.
Full seasons range in price from $22.99 for SD and $24.99 for HD to upwards of $44.99 for SD and $49.99 for HD when those seasons are still being aired. In the latter case, buying the entire season before it's complete ensures you get access to new episodes as soon as they are released.
What does renting get you?
When you rent a movie on BigPond Movies, you have an initial window of seven days to start watching it. Once you hit play, you'll then have 48 hours to watch it before your rental expires. What devices are compatible with BigPond Movies? BigPond Movies is available on a wide array of devices, accessible both through dedicated apps and modern web browsers.
On iOS, the BigPond Movies app provides access to your movie and TV library, provided your Apple device is running iOS 8.0 or above. Due to restrictions in Apple's marketplace, you cannot purchase movies or TV shows through the app, but you can add interesting titles to your wishlist and purchase them at a later time through a web browser or other device.
A similar app is available on Android through Google Play, with no restrictions on making purchases on mobile. The app requires a device running Android 4.0 or later. BigPond Movies supports any PC or Mac with a Flash-enabled browser like Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox.
A number of Samsung and LG Smart TVs also feature built-in BigPond Movies support. A full list of compatible devices is available on the BigPond Movies website. Telstra's own TV devices provide yet another way of accessing BigPond Movies. Telstra TV, as well as the older Telstra T-Box units, allows you to watch BigPond Movies on standard TVs provided you also have a Telstra broadband connection.
What are the benefits of being a Telstra Customer?
Though you don't have to be a Telstra customer to use BigPond Movies, you'll score a number of perks if you are. Every Thursday, Telstra customers receive a free rental of one of three movies, with the choices changing every week. You have to claim your free rental between 5:30 AM and 11:59 PM, after which normal renting terms apply.
Most Telstra home broadband customers also enjoy unmetered BigPond Movies access, meaning the movies and TV shows they watch on BigPond Movies don’t count against their monthly data usage. Telstra customers can also link their BigPond Movies account to their broadband plan allowing purchases and rentals to appear automatically on their Telstra bill instead of being charged to their credit card.
To compare Telstra's current broadband plans, including bundles that come with Telstra TV, check out our comprehensive buying guide.
How much data does BigPond Movies use?
BigPond Movies streams its content using adaptive bit-rate technology, changing the image quality of its streams depending on the speed of your connection. The faster your connection, the higher the bit-rate, and consequently the more data you'll use during streaming.
Similarly, streaming in HD uses significantly more data than streaming in SD. Telstra provides the following guide for users, based on streaming 10 hours of TV or movies a week:
|Video quality||Typical data used||Data used per week||Data used per month|
|Typical Low definition||300MB per hour||3 GB||13.2 GB|
|Typical Standard definition||700MB per hour||7 GB||30.8 GB|
|Typical High definition||3GB per hour||30 GB||132 GB|
If your Internet plan comes with a low data cap, you'll want to avoid renting or buying in HD. As mentioned earlier, Telstra broadband customers don't have to worry about data usage thanks to unmetered BigPond Movies access.
What content is available on BigPond Movies?
The BigPond Movies catalogue contains thousands of movies and TV shows, including new releases, documentaries, dramas, and children's entertainment. New titles are added each week, with recent movies often arriving 5-6 months earlier than on competing services.
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