The Australian version of Netflix has finally hit Aussie TVs - but how does it compare to the US version?
After months of anticipation, Netflix Australia was introduced on March 24th, but at first glance it seems to differ greatly from what Netflix USA is delivering to their subscribers. There are obvious omissions in the content offered, but is that the only feature Australians are missing out on?
Want all the TV shows and movies? You can get a free trial with each of the streaming internet tv providers below:
Netflix is a California based provider of internet television founded in 1997. In its early years it served as a movie rental service that allowed subscribers to choose from the library online and have the video mailed to their home. In 2011 the company began to re-shift their focus and offer video on demand over the internet.
Today, their video streaming service is available in over 40 countries with over 57 million subscribers around the world. Yet the Netflix that is viewed in the United States is markedly different than anywhere else on the planet.
In the US, the mail order DVD rental portion of Netflix is still in existence and can be purchased as a separate package for an additional cost. The content offered also varies from region to region, with those subscribers living in the United States having the most to choose from by far. This is partly due to certain broadcasting rights, and how those change when crossing international borders.
Since its launch, other similar companies have emerged in the US to compete in the internet TV market. Netflix US still maintains almost 39 million subscribers in the United States though, despite its lack of current television content. One main reason for its continued popularity is in its cutting edge original productions exclusive to their customers.
Can Australians sign up for Netflix US?
Technically Netflix US is only available for people inside of the United States, but an Australian can hide the physical location of their internet retrieving device by downloading a VPN. This type of program is able to disguise your IP address, making it impossible for a site to tell from where your signal is originating from. Using such a device, an Australian could set up an account and use a service like PayPal to pay the monthly subscription and further keep their location a secret.
With the introduction of Netflix in Australia, there is now a second way in which Netflix USA can be accessed without the added step of using PayPal and paying for money conversions to the US dollar. If an Australian were to set up an account with Netflix in Australia, they could then use the VPN to make it appear as if they are in the US. This allows you to pay the Australian price using your Australian issued credit card, but get the extensive content found on Netflix US.Back to top
Side by side comparison of Netflix Australia and Netflix USA:
|What service is available?||Streaming||Streaming, DVD rentals through postal service|
|What content is available?||Click here to see all Netflix Australia content||Click here to see all Netflix US content|
|How to buy||Click here for full details||Users will need to use a private network to be able to stream Netflix US content|
|Starting price per month|
|Contract type||No lock-in||No lock-in|
|Hardware||Smart TV, desktop, gaming console or mobile device||Smart TV, desktop, Roku, gaming consoles, mobile devices, Blu-ray Disc players, Chromecast|
|Compatibility on your mobile phone||Yes||Yes|
|Compatibility with consoles||Yes||Yes|
|Maximum streaming sessions||Depends on plan (up to four streams)||Four|
|Closed captions||Select programs||Select programming. You can also turn on subtitles when streaming video through Windows, Mac, Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, Google TV and Boxee Box|
|Quality||From SD to 4K Ultra||From SD to 4K Ultra|
|Content (approx)||220 TV shows, 900 movies||940 TV series and 6170 movies|
|Hours of content(approx)||5,000 hours||It is estimated at a petabyte which is the equivalent of five years of content.|
|Affiliates||Netflix USA, Disney, Warner Bros, BBC Worldwide, 20th Century Fox, NBC Universal, Village Roadshow, ABC Commercial||Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Relatively Media, Rogue Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Open Road Films, Film District, The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Animation, Disneynature, Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Animation Studios|
|How much data does it use?|
|Who's offering unlimited data on these providers?||Not applicable. Data usage is only an issue in the United States when using a phone plan to stream content from Netflix. The only way to avoid this is by using Wi-Fi for video streaming.|
|30 day free trial, great for kids||30 day free trial, immense amount of content that is updated regularly, exclusive programming like Orange is the New Black|
|Their cheapest option only offers single streaming||Current seasons of television series are typically not released for ten months after their initial broadcast.|
When compared side by side you can see that the amount of content offered is the major difference in what you get with Netflix USA. Netflix attributes this to time and broadcasting rights, and promises its new subscribers in Australia that the selection of television shows and movies will continually increase.
When choosing an internet TV provider, Australians should be looking at what is being offered in their respected area and make a decision based on what is valuable to them. Content will of course be a factor, but metering, price and streaming quality will also affect the experience.Back to top
Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to access Netflix in the US? And, if you wanted to access Netflix in the US how do you go about it?
The subscription rates for Netflix US are $7.99 for a single stream, $8.99 for double and $11.99 for streaming to four devices at the same time. But you would also need to consider the cost of converting your Australian dollar to the US dollar. You would also not be able to take advantage of the unmetered service that ISPs like Optus are offering.
If you did still want to watch Netflix US you would need to hide your internet address using a VPN. This would let you register on their US site and stream videos.
How do I watch movies? Foxtel has the latest releases, does Netflix? How is streaming in rural areas?
Watching movies on Netflix Australia is as easy as choosing which one you want and letting it stream to your selected device. Netflix does have access to recent releases, and has deals with many studios where they can offer new movies just months after their initial release. Streaming to rural areas is dependent on your internet service provider and the speed of your service.
Does Netflix Australia have all series of Parenthood?
At this time Parenthood is not available with Netflix Australia, but the content is still be updated so it may be in the future.
Can Australians sign up for Netflix in the US, and because a person pays then use a program to download the TV show being viewed, like they do with YouTube?
Netflix has technology in place that makes it extremely difficult to directly download any of its content. You would have to use a program on your computer to first record the video. Even then the quality will not be the same as the directly streamed version.
What about movie releases? How long after a movie has been released on DVD will it become available on Netflix Australia?
That depends on the individual movie. In some cases Netflix has rights to broadcast new movies a few months after their release, while with others it could up to a year or longer.
American Netflix has the Vicar of Dibley and the Australian Netflix doesn’t. I understand that channel 7 or 7mate has the broadcasting rights to the Vicar of Dibley so is that why it isn’t available on Australian Netflix?
That is a possible conclusion. There are exclusive rights given with some shows and movies where the channel or provider is guaranteed that no other secondary broadcaster will be allowed to show that content for a specified length of time in the same region.
Does Netflix Australia have DVD and Blu-ray delivery service?
No, that Netflix feature is exclusive to the United States.
How do I sign onto Netflix US?
Users can sign up for the Netflix USA streaming service by visiting the website and clicking the 'Start Your Free Month' button. Create an account using your email address and unique password, or through Facebook. Choose from one of three available plans and then enter your payment method which can be a major credit card or PayPal. Once complete you will be prompted to check off the compatible devices you plan to use and rate a number of different movies. This allows Netflix to make informed choices in the content it recommends to you.For users who plan on using the delivered DVD service the process is the same. The major difference being the addition of your physical address to ensure prompt delivery.