Where to go for online movies in Australia

Also, the benefit of watching flicks on your Android device is that you can download the content to watch when it suits you, whereas YouTube Movies is a stream-only affair and requires a constant internet connection.

YouTube only offers 480p SD content, while Android devices can elect to download in HD for many titles on Google Play.

If you're determined to do it the Google way, we'd suggest sticking with Play.

Fetch TV

Website: fetchtv.com.au

Fetch TV is an interesting hybrid TV service delivered over your broadband connection, bundling together free-to-air TV, subscription channels, TV on demand programs, on-demand movie rentals, apps and more.

The drawback is it's only available from select ISPs — the current operators are iiNet, Westnet, Internode, Netspace, Adam Internet, Optus and TransACT.

If your internet is provided by one of these guys, you'll be able to access unmetred content downloads on the service for as little as $10 per month, with tiered packages varying across ISPs.

New-release movie rentals cost extra, but some providers offer an all-in-one 'Movie Box', which gives you free access to up to seven on-demand movies per week from a pre-selection of 30 titles.

The set-top box incorporates PVR-style functionality plus there's support for a range of interactive apps like YouTube and Facebook, and companion apps for iOS and Android. It's rolling out to more ISPs in the future.

Sony Video Unlimited

Website: www.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com

As part of the Sony Entertainment Network range, Video Unlimited lets you stream purchased or rented movies and TV shows.

SD, HD and even 3D titles are available, and the standard 48 hours/30 days rental arrangement is in place.

One factor to bear in mind is that Sony's service is heavily geared towards the company's products; you can watch via Windows using Sony's Media Go software, but otherwise you're limited to the company's Bravia TVs, Blu-ray systems, PS3/Vita/PSP gaming consoles and mobile devices.


Website: www.crackle.com

If all you want to do is watch some free content on demand and you're not particularly fussy, give Crackle a try.

Another Sony venture, the service provides free ad-sponsored streaming of movies and TV shows. While you won't catch any new-release movies here, you'll find exclusive Crackle content like the new Jerry Seinfeld web series on offer.

In Australia, Crackle is largely optimised for the PC and mobile devices (Apple, Android, Windows Phone), but you can also access it on Xbox 360. Support for Sony smart TVs, players and consoles seems to be a bit scatty, but it's certainly worth a look if you can get it.


Website: www.mytivo.com.au

While the state of the TiVo hardware business in Australia is currently unclear, current TiVo users can still access CASPA, TiVo's on-demand movies, TV and music service.

New-release movies at $5.95 per rental are about on par with what other on-demand providers are offering, although CASPA's range doesn't seem very comprehensive.

Still, if you've invested in the TiVo system, this is an easy way of getting movies up and running on your home theatre.

CASPA downloads are unmetred with a select bunch of ISPs.


Website: www.foxtel.com.au

If you're a current Foxtel subscriber, connecting your iQ set-top box to your internet connection gives you Foxtel On Demand, letting you rent TV shows and movies from $2 to $7 across SD, HD and 3D formats.

If you're not a Foxtel customer, you can access the Foxtel on Internet TV app (for select Samsung smart TVs) and Foxtel on Xbox 360.

Both are still subscription services, which won't suit everybody, but they do make accessing Foxtel's wide range of content a comparatively hassle-free experience (just watch your download quota).

Xbox video

Website: www.xbox.com

Given its household penetration after nearly seven years of having been on sale, it's a fair bet that the Xbox 360 would be one of the simplest ways for many to access on-demand content in their living room.

Xbox Video, Microsoft's third take on a video store service for the console, enables you to rent or purchase a huge range of HD movies and TV episodes for streaming or download playback on your Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Windows 8 PC or Windows RT tablet (Windows 7 or prior PC isn't supported).

Prices (which are listed in Microsoft Points denominations) vary.

Hoyts Stream

Website: www.hoytsstream.com.au

Set to launch sometime this year, Hoyts Stream will represent the cinema chain's debut into the on-demand media market in Australia — which is, as you can see, getting crowded.

Details on the service are scarce, although Hoyts is promising multi-device access (tablets, smart TVs and likely PC support) and a pay-as-you-go model in addition to an 'all-you-can eat' subscription package to arrive later in 2013.

TV shows and movies will be on offer, and releases will be in sync with current DVD windows.

Will be interesting to see what the pricing's like, so watch this space.