Binge is a real contender

To state it bluntly – I hate Foxtel.  I have used satellite, Foxtel’s various streaming services and they have all been of poor value and very disrespectful to me as a customer.  Before dumping Foxtel Now (I think that’s the name but they have changed it so many times who knows) I had been watching a couple of shows where Foxtel moved them from one package to another cutting my viewing off.

So when Telstra said I had 6 months of Binge for free I thought why not but suspected this would be another Presto.  Remember Presto charging heaps more because they offered “Premium Content” but in reality being underwhelming compared to the other streamers at a much cheaper price.  Oh and Presto charged extra for movies.  Anyway, offering less and charging more seemed to surprise Foxtel and they shut it down at a considerable loss.

So my expectations for Binge were very low.  I expected some good shows but with no recent episodes as they did on Presto and perhaps a few OK movies.  Boy, was I wrong.  Binge has many late release movies and a very impressive list of TV shows with the latest episodes.  In fact there was so much on offer 6 months later I am still finding plenty too watch.  I consider this streamer up there with Netflix and Prime TV.  It really is that good and is the first Foxtel product I can say is very good value.  In fact I would recommend it.

Two bugbears.  Closed caption is pathetic and is a disgrace for those with hearing problems and some movies had a bug where they would freeze up and return to the last scene or you would have to go back to the beginning.  But even with that this is a very good value streaming service with a lot to offer.  Let’s hope they keep up the good work.

Image by FrankundFrei from Pixabay

Is Britbox worth a spin?

It hasn’t been in Australia for that long so I expect most people have not given Britbox a try. What is Britbox? It is a streaming service that combines shows from Britain’s ITV and BBC television services. I tried the free week and then paid for a month but by the end of the month I lost interest in what they had to offer.
The problem was very few new shows. If you want to catch up on old favorites or finish a series you never got to complete it may be for you but it lacked current seasons for many shows. If you are paying to watch the BBC you would expect to see current seasons as they are released but everything was one, two or more seasons behind. At the time the only top new release that I couldn’t watch was All Creatures Great and Small which was worth a month’s subscription on its own but after that the service fell flat for me.
So should you give it a try? Definitely. I am sure as they prioritise the service more and stop selling their shows to rival streamers they will become a must use streaming service. Also hopefully they will open up their archives and release a lot more shows from the past that were missing. For now, try a free week, pay for a month or two and move on.
If you want to catch really good british shows for now head over to Binge.

Why I am ditching Foxtel Now

I am at the end of my contract with Telstra for my NBN plan that included Foxtel Now Pop and Lifestyle. Instead of costing $25 it was $10 per month. Unfortunately, even at $10 I found Foxtel Now poor value. Compared to the other streaming services Foxtel Now is behind on nearly everything. To make it worse they charge the most and throw in advertisements.
So why are they not worth the expense?
Foxtel always claim they charge higher because of their premium content. I don’t believe they have better content than their competitors. In fact I believe Prime TV and Netflix leave them for dead at a much lower price.
Every streaming service gives you the lot for the one price. Not Foxtel where it is broken into separate packages. Twice I had a show I was watching moved to another package where I no longer had access. If you want to watch a lot of new release movies try Prime TV at a fraction of the cost.
You can’t watch on 4K. In fact I have to watch on the lowest setting. I am getting a consistent 60 mbps on Ethernet to my smart TV. I am watching in Super high definition on other streaming services but even in high definition Foxtel Now constantly buffers. Frequently on the low setting it doesn’t work. This has only been since the pandemic with a lot of internet authors accusing Foxtel of not providing enough bandwidth. That’s my best guess as well.
Finally is the technology. I can’t skip the recaps at the start of the show or the credits at the end. I also cannot download shows to watch off line which I can do on Stan, Netflix and Prime TV. Whenever someone mentions this to Foxtel on their community site Foxtel states they are looking into it. Two years on they really need a bigger magnifying glass to find improvements before they become obsolete.
I did try Foxtel Now before my Telstra contract. On cancelling they had changed their service to cancel on the day. Rather than run out the prepaid month they kept the money and cancelled your service. Now they have returned to cancelling at the end of the month. If there is a show I really want to see I will wait for the whole season to drop then binge watch for a month and get out again. Suggest you do the same.