Catch up on your favourite SBS programs and watch hundreds of great movies for free with SBS On Demand.
SBS On Demand quick facts
What is SBS On Demand? A video streaming service for watching a wide range of movies and TV shows from SBS's catalogue.
Where can I watch SBS On Demand? SBS On Demand is available on most mobile devices, smart TVs, set-top boxes and computers.
Does SBS On Demand cost anything? No, but you'll have to sign up for a free SBS account before you can watch anything.
SBS, the Special Broadcasting Service, is an Australian public broadcasting network that was founded in 1978. SBS is one of Australia’s five main free-to-air TV networks and its purpose is “to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia's multicultural society”.
SBS Online is the network’s online portal and plays host to SBS On Demand, a video streaming service. This service allows Australians to watch more of their favourite SBS programs anytime and without having to pay a fee. Users can browse through thousands of TV series, documentaries, movies, news and sport programs and watch them whenever they wish.
SBS On Demand offers a free video streaming service to people all over Australia. Streaming provides a special technique for transferring multimedia data, allowing it to be sent in a steady uninterrupted stream. This means that users can watch videos from a provider in real time, as opposed to downloading a video file to their computer for later viewing.
SBS On Demand offers thousands of programs for viewing. Some of the programs available through SBS on Demand include:
- Comedy series
- Drama series
- Cooking shows
- News programs
- Sports highlights
The best part about SBS On Demand’s video streaming service is that it is entirely free. There are no subscription costs and there is no need to fork out any money at all to utilise the service, plus you can use it whenever you want. There’s also no limit to how many times you can view a program, but keep in mind that shows and films will expire after they have been featured on the website for a certain period of time. Videos expire because SBS only has the rights from each production company to offer programs for a limited period.
To watch a video, all you have to do is click on it and it will start playing. You can search for a particular program, or browse through categories such as Programs, Film or News & Sport. You can view programs that have been recently added or that may be expiring soon, while you can also search for shows in your favourite genre, for example, the arts or comedy.
Signing up to an SBS On Demand account
To stream SBS On Demand, users must create a free account using their personal email address. SBS On Demand's new account system allows you to queue your streams and subscribe to upcoming TV shows. It also allows you to pick up where you left off when you sign into another device, much like Netflix or Stan.
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SBS On Demand is available on a wide range of devices, allowing you to watch your favourite shows in your preferred format. Compatible devices include:
- Phones and tablets. You can watch SBS On Demand on Apple devices running iOS 9.3.5 and above and Android phones and tablets running Android 4.4 and above.
- Personal computers. SBS On Demand is available on all PCs.
- Internet-enabled TVs. Watch on select models of Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players, LG TVs, Panasonic TVs, Hisense TVs, TCL TVs and HbbTV-enabled TVs and devices.
- Gaming consoles. You can view your favourite SBS programs on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
- Set-top boxes. You can also access SBS On Demand through Telstra TV and Fetch set-top boxes.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How can I save a video to watch later?
To do this you will need to access your playlist, which can be done on any device that allows you to watch SBS On Demand. You can add a video to your playlist by clicking the ‘+ Add to playlist’ button in the description dropdown for each video. Once you see a green tick appear, the video has been successfully added to your playlist.
Q: How do I know which devices are compatible with SBS On Demand?
A: See a full list above under the ‘Compatible Devices’ heading.
Q: Is SBS On Demand available outside Australia?
A: No. Rights agreements mean that SBS On Demand can only be accessed from within Australia.
Q: How can I find the program I want?
A: You can search for a particular program by typing its name into the search box at the top of your screen. If it doesn’t show up in results, the program may have expired or SBS may not have the rights to screen it through its On Demand service.
Q: How long are programs available for?
A: This varies depending on the rights agreement in place for each program. Some shows, for example RocKwiz and Go Back To Where You Came From, are available indefinitely. Others may be available for seven days, 14 days or even 30 days. Movies are available for one year and new titles are regularly added.
Q: Is unmetered viewing available?
A: No, SBS does not have any deals in place with internet service providers to offer unmetered viewing. Watching programs on SBS On Demand will count towards your monthly download limit.
Q: How much data will I use when I watch a video?
A: SBS provides the following guide for average data usage per hour at different video qualities:
- Low quality: up to 100MB
- Medium quality: up to 250MB
- High quality: up to 500MB
- Very High quality: up to 700MB
- Max quality: up to 1.2GB
Check with your ISP to confirm what your monthly download limit is.
Q: How fast does my internet connection need to be?
A: SBS recommends an internet connection speed of 1.5 Mbps or above to use SBS On Demand.
Q: Which web browsers does SBS On Demand support?
A: You’ll need to use Firefox 3.5 or above, Internet Explorer 8 or above, Google Chrome or Safari.
Q: How can I enable closed captions on my video?
A: Once the advertisement at the start of your video has finished, click the ‘CC’ icon in the video’s control panel. At the time of writing, closed captions were only available through the SBS On Demand website and not through any of the SBS On Demand apps.
Q: Can I watch SBS On Demand on my Samsung Smart TV?
A: Yes you can. If you’re experiencing any problems with video playback, you may need to update the software to the latest version.
Q: What are the minimum technical requirements for using the SBS On Demand app on an Apple device?
A: To watch SBS on Demand through an iPhone, iPad or other Apple device, you need to be running iOS 9.3.5 or later.
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