Still haven’t jumped on board the streaming services bandwagon? Here’s what you need to know to find the right one for you.

There’s no getting away from it – streaming services have revolutionised the way we watch TV shows and movies at home. You no longer have to orchestrate your life around when shows are scheduled to air. What’s made all these changes suddenly possible? It’s simple: streaming services.

A little more than a year ago, major international streaming service Netflix arrived on our shores. It joined other newly launched local streaming services Stan and Foxtel Anytime to offer Australians a home entertainment experience unlike what had gone before. The rest, as they say, is history.

With three major streaming service players firmly established in the market offering more choice than ever before, it’s the perfect time to reflect on this brave new world of TV. Still not sure it’s right for you, or thinking of making a switch – or an addition – to your current set-up? Here’s everything you need to know about them all.

1. What exactly is it?

In a nutshell, streaming services provide subscribers with entertainment content, such as movies and TV shows, on demand. Unlike downloading, content is streamed over the internet, meaning it can be played immediately (and doesn’t have to be saved to a hard drive).

2. What services are there to choose from?

At present, there are three major streaming providers in Australia: Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Anytime. You access their services by signing up and paying a monthly fee that starts from as low as $8.99.

3. What do I need to get it?

You need two things: a decent internet connection and a device to stream it on, such as a PC/Mac, Smart TV (an internet-enabled TV), tablet, mobile phone or game console. If you have a TV, but not a Smart TV, you can purchase a console to act as a link between your TV and the streaming service, such as Apple TV.

 

Australian comedy series No Activity is available to stream on Stan.

4. What do they have on them?

Once you’re signed up and logged into a streaming service, you click on their app to open their content library. As you scroll through, you’ll find the titles of thousands of TV shows and movies – all available to view at the touch of a button. Just remember, some TV shows and movies are exclusive to particular services (while some appear on multiple services). So, if you want to watch something in particular, check which service it’s available on.

5.What’s on offer?

With hundreds of hours of entertainment ready to watch, the viewing possibilities are endless. To help you navigate through the titles, the library within each streaming service is divided into sub-categories. There are categories such as kids’ TV shows or drama shows or even most-watched movies. Oh, and there’s absolutely no limit on the amount of content you can watch – the sky’s the limit! Sleep might become optional.

Veep staring Julia Louis-Dreyfus can be viewed on Foxtel Anytime.

6. Who can watch the content?

With TV shows and movies to suit young and old, there’s something for everyone on most streaming services. And, just because one person is watching something via a streaming service, doesn’t mean no-one else can! Depending on the service and level of package, the streaming service can be simultaneously accessed on several devices.

7. How do I actually watch it?

Once you’ve decided what show or movie you want to watch, simply press “Play” and enjoy! If at any time you need to stop, pause or rewind, you can do so instantly at the touch of a button. Then, if you were to stop viewing your chosen show or movie at a particular point, when you return to it later, it would resume at exactly the place you left off.