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Australia's Best (Legal) Online Movie Services

Yesterday, we looked at the best streaming and catch-up services for TV shows. Today, we take a look at the movie equivalents, from Apple TV to BigPond Movies.

TV Movie picture from Shutterstock

Some of these services provide online streaming to movies while others achieve similar results via downloadable rentals. All of them are viable options if you’re looking for affordable, legal access to thousands of movies.

BigPond Movies

BigPond Movies is a movie rental service available via Telstra’s T-Box DVR or a compatible IPTV and broadband connection. The service provides access to over 4,000 movies with new releases starting at $5.99 per rental. Telstra customers also receive unmetered movie downloads, which means it won’t count towards your monthly internet data allowance.

Mubi

Mubi is a movie streaming service for the Sony PlayStation Network that focuses on cult movies and world cinema. If your tastes lean towards the off-beat and weird, this is a service unlike any other (it even has Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers). A monthly subscription through your PlayStation 3 costs $4.99 a month.

Fetch TV

Fetch TV is a movie streaming service available from internet service providers iiNet, Optus, Adam Internet and Internode and others. The entry-level service provides 30 free movies on demand at any time, with seven new titles added each week. Pricing varies from ISP to ISP, but tends to start at around $10 per month.

Quickflix

Quickflix started out life as a DVD rental service but has since branched into online movie streaming. Its WatchNow service has amassed more than 120,000 subscribers. Quickflix WatchNow is available on computers, TVs, Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Unlimited streaming costs $14.95 per month.

iTunes

iTunes is the go-to streaming service for Apple users looking to rent or buy movie downloads. One of the best enhancements introduced in iOS 5 and higher also allows you to download purchased movies through Apple to any compatible device through iTunes In The Cloud. Prices vary depending on the release date and popularity of the title, with new films typically commanding a rental price $5.99. You can also opt to buy movie downloads outright for around $25.

Google Play

The Google Play store allows you to rent movies or buy them outright with new releases going for $24.99 and $29.99 (for standard-definition and Full HD, respectively). You can watch your movies on most Android devices and compatible IPTVs.

Free and legal?

If you’re looking for a legal way to get free online movies, you could try one of the advertising models offered in Australia, which provide on-demand movies interspersed with revenue-generating adverts. Two of the most popular services are Viewster, which offers a selection of Warner Bros. films and the Sony-backed Crackle. As you’d probably expect, the movie selection on offer isn’t typically the cream of the crop, but hey, it’s free. You can read more about how Viewster works here.

Coming attractions…

If you’re willing to bide your time a bit longer, there are some rather tempting looking services just around the corner.

Cinema chain Hoyts is preparing to launch its own streaming service later in the year, imaginatively titled Hoyts Stream. The service will offer new movie releases on a pay-per-view basis, although there will also be an all-you-can-watch option for serious cinephiles. Technology partner Viocorp will handle ICT duties. Details on pricing, availability and compatible devices currently remain a mystery, however.

Foxtel is also preparing to launch a new internet delivered TV service dubbed Foxtel Play. The new service — which will offer “premium” movie channels — will be available for a range of TVs, consoles and mobile devices with no lock-in contracts. Foxtel Play will be available in June across 3G/4G networks and WiFi connections.


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