Comparing Presto and Netflix Australia side by side - who is better?
|What service is available?||Streaming||Streaming|
|What content is available?||TV shows and movies||TV shows and movies|
|How to buy||Click here for your first month free||Click here for full details|
|Starting price per month|
|Contract type||No lock-in||No lock-in|
|Hardware||Tablet, mobile, desktop, TV through Chromecast||Smart TV, desktop, gaming console or mobile device|
|Compatibility on your mobile phone||Yes||Yes|
|Compatibility with consoles||No||Yes|
|Maximum streaming sessions||2 devices||Depends on plan (up to four streams)|
|Closed captions||No||Select programs|
|Quality||SD||From SD to 4K Ultra|
|Content (approx)||100 TV shows, 1,100 movies||220 TV shows, 900 movies|
|Hours of content(approx)||4,500 hours||5,000 hours|
|Affiliates include||HBO, Foxtel, 7 Network, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Disney||Netflix USA, Disney, Warner Bros, BBC Worldwide, 20th Century Fox, NBC Universal, Village Roadshow, ABC Commercial|
|How much data does it use?|
|Who's offering unlimited data on these providers?|
|3-month free trial||30 day free trial, great for kids|
|Not compatible with Apple TV||Their cheapest option only offers single streaming|
What is Presto?
After Foxtel Play (now known as Foxtel Now) failed to impress Australian consumers, and with Netflix Australia on the horizon, Australia’s long time entertainment provider, Foxtel, had to come up with something new if they were to stay ahead of the competition. The result of this panic was their streaming service, Presto.
Released in March of 2014, the service began its run purely as a movie streaming service. In December last year, with Netflix fast approaching, Presto added a TV package to their services. And in March this year, Foxtel and Seven West Media became partners with equal footing in the company, each holding 50% interest in the joint venture. This partnership looks to usher a range of popular free-to-air shows, like Home and Away, to streaming video on demand (SVOD).
Presto’s deals work like most other streaming services. You pay a monthly fee for either TV shows, movies or both with the Presto entertainment package and to gain access to thousands of shows on just about any device you own.
Now, let’s take a look at the competition…Back to top
What is Netflix?
Netflix owner, Reed Hastings, kicked the service off as a DVD delivery service, much like Australia’s own Quickflix. It took 18 years for Australia to get Netflix, and though we’ll never see their DVD delivery service here, we did get our first look at their beloved streaming service in March of this year. With all the buzz surrounding the release of Netflix in Australia, it’s likely you’ve heard the name tossed around. But, if you’re still not quite sure what a ‘Netflix' is exactly, let us explain it.
Netflix uses its own global network of storage servers, known as a content delivery network (CDN), to cache content. This network of servers stores data so that each time you stream on your home device you’re given a smooth, high-quality stream with very few hiccups. The Netflix network consists of around 1,000 storage systems each storing approximately 100TB of data. Each server can stream between 10,000 and 20,000 movies and television shows simultaneously. Their huge library, although not entirely fleshed out here in Australia, consists of around 220 TV shows and 900 movies, including Netflix exclusives like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and the recently released Daredevil.Back to top
What’s the difference in price?
At $9.99 per month for either the TV or Movie package and $14.99 for both, Presto is certainly cheaper than its overpriced parent service, Foxtel. But, don’t be fooled, because for a streaming service, Presto just doesn’t cut it. See, Presto only comes in standard definition and features less content than most other streaming services. So, for an extra $6 a month, you actually get less than if you decide to go with Netflix.
For the exact same price of Presto’s Entertainment package ($14.99) you can get the Netflix premium package, which not only gives you the option for Ultra HD (4K) streaming, but you’ll also be able to concurrently stream four different programs on four different devices whereas Presto only allows you to stream two titles simultaneously. Presto does state that you can stream on up to four devices at once, but if those four people want to watch four different programs, they’re out of luck.
If you’re part of a large family, or if you’ve got a number of children in your household, Netflix is by far the better option. But, even if it’s just you and a friend, Netflix offers cheaper options for smaller households. Netflix pricing starts out at $8.99 for single streaming and standard definition (SD). After that you can pay $11.99 for double streaming and high definition (HD) or opt for the previously mentioned $14.99 package, which gives you a four-way stream and 4K definition.Back to top
What's the difference in data?
Another bill to consider when streaming any service is your broadband bill.
Presto uses approximately 1. 3GB per hour and Netflix, whereas Netflix uses around 1GB per hour for SD, 3GB per hour for HD and 7GB per hour for 4K. This won’t be a problem for any household with unlimited broadband, but if you’re with a more expensive provider with limited data, like Telstra, it may be worth keeping in mind.
Telstra’s lowest home broadband deal is priced at $73 a month for 50GB. 50GB sounds like more than enough data to the average user, but if you’ve got three people streaming HD Netflix, that would give each user about 5 hours each month and that’s not taking into consideration other pressures on your monthly data allowance.
Luckily, some Internet service providers (ISP) are offering unmetered data for streaming services (data usage during streaming that doesn’t come out of your monthly allowance). Currently, iiNet and Optus offer unmetered data for Netflix, and Telstra an Bigpond offer unmetered data for Presto.Back to top
What's the difference in selection?
Presto prides itself on its Australian content. If you’re a fan of Wentworth, Winners and Losers, Love My Way, or Spirited then Presto might be of interest to you. Foxtel have also secured a deal to air a range of HBO content, like The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and Entourage. This deal did not, unfortunately, include the insanely popular Game of Thrones (because then you’d have no reason to buy Foxtel, which is still the only service in Australia with exclusive airing rights to Game of Thrones).
In terms of overall content, Presto weighs in at roughly 4,500 hours, whereas Netflix has around 5,000 hours. That’s understandable, as Presto has had a pretty huge head start as it launched as a movie streaming service and could call upon Foxtel’s established catalogue to fill its library.
There’s plenty to keep you entertained on both services, but what really matters is how each company plans to grow and continue servicing customers over the coming years. Presto’s recent merger with Seven West Media means we’ll begin to see more Aussie material on their service (for better or for worse), but Netflix also boasts a considerable roster of Australian classics, like Danger 5, Redfern Now, and Chris Lilley’s controversial comedies, We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High and Jonah From Tonga.
Netflix has also dropped a few hint that they would be keen to produce some exclusive local content. An exciting prospect when you consider the quality of Netflix productions like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, House of Cards and Daredevil (an Aussie superhero series anybody?).
What's our verdict?
In Foxtel’s desperate bid to maintain their tyranny over Australian entertainment, you would think they would at least try to match the offerings made by overseas giants like Netflix. Unfortunately, Presto just doesn’t hit the mark and unless you’re an avid fan of Australian serials like Home and Away, there’s just not all that much on offer that you can’t get from Netflix– certainly not enough to justify an extra $6 for an inferior product.
Sorry Presto, but your theatrics fail to impress. Netflix is the clear winner here…
Frequently asked questions
How do I sign up to Netflix and Presto?
You can sign up for your free trial through the official Netflix website, just click the big 'start your free month button' or grab a 30 day free trial of Presto through their official site.
Can I watch Netflix or Presto on a TV if I use Google Chromecast?
Yes, both Netflix Australia and Presto support Chromecast! Check out our guide to setting up Netflix with Google Chromecast.
My broadband connection is quite slow with downloads at about 1.5mbps. Will I be able to stream Netflix or Presto? And what if I move to a rural area with slower Internet?
The minimum speed requirement for Netflix is 0.5Mbps. So you’ll definitely be able to connect. However, the recommended connection speed for standard definition streaming is about 3.0Mbps for Netflix and 1.5 Mbps for Presto, so you might experience lag times while viewing. Remember, both Netflix and Presto have free trials, so it’s worth trying out for yourself.
Why is Netflix so limited in Australia? And how would I access the US Netflix library?
Netflix have yet to acquire the rights to distribute a number of shows locally in Australia. This is why we won’t see the exact same lineup. Netflix are working on that though, and we’ll begin to see more and more programs added each month. If you’re looking for a larger selection here and now, Quickflix might be for you. Just remember that premium shows will incur an additional fee. But if you are desperate to check out the US library, you could always sign up for a VPN. Check out our comparison list here.