As the looming threat of Covid-19 intensifies, many Australians have rightfully taken the government's advice onboard by practising self-isolation and social distancing in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Whether you're staying home under self-imposed lockdown or under a doctor-ordered state of quarantine, self-isolation can be quite boring – particularly if you're usually a very outgoing person.
Thankfully, technology has made it easier than ever to keep yourself entertained while stuck inside your home. With that in mind, we've taken the liberty of putting together a helpful guide on how to keep yourself entertained during self-isolation.
Read on to learn more about how you can stave off boredom via Australia's available streaming services during this especially trying time in our history.
Australian movie & TV streaming services
For most people, being stuck at home will be a less-than-ideal situation. That said, it does present the perfect opportunity to catch up on all the TV shows and movies you haven't gotten around to. In fact, you could even choose to re-watch the ones you loved.
Thankfully, Australia has a number of excellent streaming services on offer which will allow you to watch (almost) anything your heart desires without having to leave your couch.
The most popular option is Netflix, which offers a never-ending supply of original shows and movies from around the world, along with constantly-changing licensed content. Pricing starts at AU$9.99 per month for the entry-level tier (one screen in standard definition), all the way up to $19.99 for the full Ultra HD package with four simultaneous streams. Unfortunately, Netflix no longer offers a free-trial period. That said, we can't imagine you'll have difficulty finding something to watch on the service. Here here to sign up to Netflix. Here's how to watch Netflix with friends while self isolating.
Similar to Netflix in its pricing tiers, Australia's first major streaming service Stan starts at AU$10 per month for its one SD stream, followed by AU$14 per month for two HD streams and AU$17 per month for four 4K streams. It too offers original content, along with a large selection of first-run international shows that aren't available to stream elsewhere – though not quite as many as Netflix. That said, it does have a vast back catalogue of classic shows like Friends, Seinfeld and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If that sounds good, you can sign up for Stan's free 30-day trial from its website.
The newest streaming service to hit the Australian scene, Disney Plus offers an incredible back catalogue of the Mouse House's TV shows and movies – we're talking everything from the Mickey Mouse's original appearance in Steamboat Willy, all the way to modern Marvel blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame. Disney Plus has already started showing original content, such as the much-loved Star Wars series The Mandalorian, and you can expect plenty more in the near future. For a flat fee of only AU$8.99 per month for everything it has to offer, we highly recommend you sign up to Disney Plus for a free 7-day trial.
Amazon Prime Video
Included with every subscription to Amazon Prime, this streaming service offers a growing library of Amazon Original shows and movies, along with access to a countless number classic shows and movies. Of course, an Amazon Prime subscription much more than just another streaming service – for a flat fee of AU$6.99 per month, you'll get a number of additional bonuses for shopping on Amazon Australia. These include access to Prime Reading, Prime Music and Twitch Prime, free two-day delivery on domestic purchases, early access to discounts and deals, huge savings on Amazon Prime Day and more – all things that will come in handy during your home quarantine period. Here's where you can sign up for Amazon Prime in Australia.
While it's far more expensive than competing streaming services, particularly if you want to opt for every package on offer, Foxtel Now does offer many shows and movies that aren't available to stream anywhere else. For instance, the only place to stream HBO's extensive catalogue, including the likes of Game of Thrones and Westworld, is via Foxtel Now. Luckily, you can get started from only AU$25 per month (following a 10-day free trial) for mandatory Pop and Lifestyle packages, and if you're willing to spend more additional packages you can also access a huge selection of movies, sports and much more.
Apple TV Plus
While Apple's new subscription-based video streaming service is unable to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus when it comes to the size of its content library, it makes up for it by offering a very high quality shows from big-name talent across the board. At only AU$7.99 per month after 7-day trial, it's also fairly inexpensive, and if you happen to have bought a major Apple product recently, such as an iPhone or iPad, you will receive 12-months of Apple TV Plus for the fantastic price of 'free'.
Are you a sports nut? Well, you're going to love Kayo Sports – a streaming service dedicated to all things running, kicking, throwing, racing, jumping and... you get the idea. With Kayo, you get almost everything sports-related that's available on Foxtel for less than half the price. The Kayo Sports Basic Package provides two simultaneous streams for only AU$25 per month, while for AU$35 per month, you can sign up to the Kayo Sports Premium Package, which provides three simultaneous streams. Best of all, there are no lock-in contracts and you can try before you buy with a free 14-day trial.
10 All Access
The local Australian version of America's CBS All Access streaming service, 10 All Access offers a growing number of premium television shows (including originals) as soon as they're released. We're talking complete and up-to-date shows like The Bachelor, NCIS, Hawaii Five-0, Masterchef Australia, Survivor and Neighbours, along with exclusive originals like The Twilight Zone. You can even watch some before they've premiered on Network 10, and with the added bonus of absolutely no ads. Additionally, the services a live streaming 24/7 news service in the world-renowned CBSN, all for AU$9.99 per month. Join now and get your first month free.
Trying to save money during these uncertain times? Tubi just might be the service for you. Relatively new to the Australian streaming landscape, the ad-supported Tubi is 100% free and offers an enormous number of C-grade movies and shows, cult classics and trashy gems, along with a selection of honest-to-goodness mainstream films from years gone by. All you need is a Facebook or Gmail account to login with and you're good-to-go. Of course, you will have to suffer the occasional pre-film 30-second advertisement, but you won't see any more ads for the remainder of the film or show you're watching. Check out Tubi for free right now.
Of course, there are also a large number of free streaming and catch-up services which offer ad-supported content. These include apps from all the major Australian networks, such as 7Plus, 9Now, SBS On Demand, ABC iview and 10play.
As for the rest of the paid streaming services we've covered, you'll find several comprehensive guides to the best shows and films they offer below.
Early digital release
Given that the country's cinemas are all closed for the foreseeable future, many of Australia's distributors have given their most recent theatrical films an early digital release, allowing Aussie households to rent or buy the latest movies and watch them from the comfort (and safety) of their living rooms.
Depending on the film, you are now able to watch the latest blockbuster films on a wide range of services, including the Apple TV app, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video Store, Fetch, Google Play, Microsoft Store, PlayStation Store and Telstra TV Box Office. New titles include the likes of Bloodshot, Sonic the Hedgehog, Bad Boys for Life, The Invisible Man, Birds of Prey and more.
- Netflix Australia’s best TV shows
- The best TV shows to stream on Stan
- The best TV shows on Foxtel Now
- Apple TV Plus shows: a complete guide
- Disney Plus: our guide to exclusive shows, 2020 movies
- Best movies on Amazon Prime Video
- The best movies on Netflix Australia
- The best movies on Stan
- Star Wars on Disney Plus
- Disney Plus Marvel TV shows and movies
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Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible.
He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.