Presto adds HD, and unlike Netflix you don’t have to pay extra

Angus Kidman 1 September 2015

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Foxtel's streaming video service has gone high-definition.

From today (September 1), Presto will offer HD content, with 1080p pictures and 5.1 surround sound on movies. If you're streaming Presto from a tablet or phone, you'll need to update the Android or iOS apps first. The iOS app is also being updated with AirPlay support, which is good news for Apple TV owners.

You don't have to pay extra for HD, which is in stark contrast with Netflix. The basic $8.99 a month Netflix package is SD only; you'll have to pay $11.99 for HD, and $14.99 for Ultra HD (aka 4K).

That said, to get both Presto's TV and movie content costs $14.99 a month (movies only is $9.99 a month, TV only is $9.99 a month). So while you'll pay extra on Netflix for HD, you'll pay extra on Presto for more content. Right now it looks like a tie.

More than 2500 hours of HD content is already available on Presto, Foxtel says. However, content which is originally only shot in SD won't be upscaled. (The same limitations apply on most streaming video on demand services).

What kind of impact will HD have on your monthly download limit? Watching a show in HD will consume 2.93GB per hour, while SD only requires 1.3GB, reports Gizmodo.

The minimum connection speed you'll need to effectively view an HD stream is around 7.5Mbps. That puts virtually all basic ADSL services out of contention. ADSL2+, NBN or cable should be OK, but as with any broadband connection, only experience will tell if you'll actually be able to view at that speed. But since you're not paying extra for it anyway, it's not such a major consideration.

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