Dendy Direct | A dandy addition to the on-demand market

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Australia's favourite cinema also streams the latest movies on the small screen.

From the opening of its very first cinema back in the 1940s, Dendy has been a mainstay of Australian film entertainment. Though never quite as big as Hoyts or Event cinemas, Dendy continues to entertain Aussie film buffs, with 27 cinemas nationwide dedicated to highlighting local and alternative content that the bigger chains tend to neglect.

In 2014, Dendy decided to apply the same approach online and launched Dendy Direct into the blossoming video-on-demand (VOD) market. In order to compete with the likes of Netflix, Dendy Direct emphasises quality over quantity, featuring weekly collections of movies and TV shows hand-picked by both its own team and guest curators such as Michael Caton and Maya Forbes.

That isn’t to say it lacks content. From new-release movies like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Hacksaw Ridge to Aussie TV shows such as Upper Middle Bogan, Dendy’s catalogue features plenty of quality titles to rent, buy, stream and download.

What's the difference between renting and buying?

Similar to most VOD services, Dendy Direct offers both rental and purchase options. Only movies can be rented, and once you've made your choice you have 30 days in which to start watching. Once you hit play, you'll have 48 hours to watch the movie before your rental licence expires.

If you purchase a movie or TV show outright, you have access to it indefinitely. You can stream or download it as many times as you like across all the devices registered to your Dendy account. Dendy Direct will even remember where you were up to if you pause a video on one device and resume it on another, which is a very handy feature for continuing your Legion binge on the train ride to work.

How much do movies and TV shows cost on Dendy Direct?

Standard pricing falls in line with most other VOD services. Older titles such as The Simpsons Movie can be rented for as little as 99 cents for Standard Definition (SD) and $1.99 for High Definition (HD). Newer releases like Dreamworks' Trolls costs $5.89 to rent in SD and $6.89 in HD.

The price of buying movies and TV shows is a little less consistent. A new movie such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story costs $19.99 SD and $24.99 HD, while The Birth of a Nation, which was released even later, is cheaper at $15.99 SD and $16.99 HD. An older film such as Phone Booth can be yours for just $5.99 SD or $6.99 HD.

For those who enjoy scooping up a bargain, Dendy Direct also has regular sales, with movie rentals going for 99 cents a pop in SD. Thanks to Dendy's focus on quality curation, the movies on offer aren't typical bargain-bin fodder, either.

Can I watch my purchases offline?

No matter how good your Internet connection, there are going to be times when you're stuck offline. Whether it's on the train to work, or on a long road trip with the family, the lack of a constant connection makes streaming your online video library impossible. Thankfully, Dendy has you covered. Using the Dendy Direct Player app on iOS or Android, you can download movies and TV shows to your mobile device and watch them on the go.

What devices are compatible with Dendy Direct?

Dendy Direct supports a number of different devices, from PCs and TVs to phones and tablets.

To access your Dendy Direct library on PC, you'll need to be running Windows 7 or higher along with a compatible web browser: either Google Chrome version 47 or higher or Internet Explorer 11. If you're on a Mac, you'll need OS X 10.7 or higher, along with either Google Chrome or Safari 7.0 or higher. Additionally, whether you're watching on PC or Mac, you'll need to install the Widevine video player if you haven't already.

For Apple devices, iOS 8 or higher is necessary to run the official Dendy Direct app. Android devices require Android 4.3 or higher. For mobile devices of either persuasion, it's also worth noting that you can only stream video over a Wi-Fi connection; according to Dendy, mobile networks cannot ensure a “quality viewing experience”. However, the ability to download and watch videos offline takes most of the sting out of this shortcoming.

If you'd prefer to watch your Dendy Direct library on your TV, both the mobile apps and the Dendy Direct website support streaming to Chromecast. Alternatively, if you have a Samsung Smart TV from 2013 or later, you can simply download the Dendy Direct app to access your library, no extra gear required. 

How many devices can I connect to my Dendy Direct account?

To prevent excessive account sharing, Dendy Direct requires you to register devices to your account before you can access your library on them. You can have up to five devices registered at once, with the ability to de-register a maximum of two devices in any 30-day period. Unlike some other services, though, only one device can be logged in and streaming at any given time.

How much data does Dendy Direct use?

Both streaming and downloading from your Dendy Direct library count against your Internet plan's monthly data allowance. The amount of data used depends on the length and quality of whatever you're watching.

If you're streaming in SD, Dendy Direct requires a connection of 3Mbps, which will chew through approximately 1.4GB of data every hour. If you watch an average of 10 hours of video content a week, this adds up to roughly 56GB of your monthly data allowance. If you want to watch in HD, however, you need a 7.5Mbps connection, which accounts for roughly 135GB of your monthly data allowance, assuming the same 10 hours per week average.

Dendy Direct does not provide information on download sizes for its movies or TV shows, but judging by similar VOD services, downloading a title typically uses up slightly more data than streaming it.

What content is available on Dendy Direct?

Despite boasting a smaller library than some of its competitors, Dendy Direct has plenty to offer discriminating movie and TV buffs. In addition to fresh collections every week, the library is constantly expanding with new releases and popular blasts from the past. If you can't find what you're looking for in the catalogue, Dendy encourages you to head over to its Facebook page and let its support team know, so it can gauge which titles to release in the future.

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