Streaming Movies And TV On Stan, Easier Than Netflix

A streaming video on demand service can have a massive library of movies and TV online, but just as important is actually guiding you to easily find and watch that video. For my $10 per month, the experience of actually using the just-launched Stan is every bit as good as, and in some cases even better than, Netflix.

Disclosure: Stan is co-funded by Fairfax Media, which owns Allure Media, publisher of Gizmodo Australia.

Meet Stan: Australia's Most Ambitious Streaming Service Yet

The big thing for me is that everything is organised properly — there's definitely more curation going on, with the Stan team clearly putting a lot of effort into showing off big-name titles like the Golden Globe-winning Transparent and Fargo in the main carousel on the iPad app and showcasing drawcard collections like the entire James Bond catalogue.

I've mostly been using Stan on my iPad for the last week, when I and a few other users got a sneak peek at a beta build of the iOS app and service before its public launch. When you open Stan, you're presented with that big blue splash screen while everything loads, and then a front page split in half to show the premiere carousel, the last item you watched, and a curated list of high-profile launch titles.

That's a big improvement on the Netflix app for me, which gives you a home page populated with several last-watched titles and your hand-picked list, of TV shows or movies you've seen and marked to watch later. That's great if you know exactly what you want to watch, but for grazing through content, Stan is definitely better.

The interface more generally is really polished, too. Movie metadata is comprehensive, TV show series are easy to navigate through, and just like Netflix there's a favourites area — called My List — where you can save content to watch later, remove it when you're done, or keep it for good.

Video quality is more than good enough for iPad-size screen viewing, although I haven't tried it out on a larger display — the app supports both Chromecast and Apple's AirPlay. If you're on a good network connection, including 4G (three or more bars should get you stutter-free HD), then Stan is easily the equal of all the other video streaming services out there like Dendy Direct or Animelab or ABC iView.

Here's a few screenshots (compressed, obviously) of the kind of video quality you can expect from Stan. You're also able to choose from low, medium and high quality modes, or use the automatic setting that tests your connection and chooses the best stream And, crucially, videos aren't cropped to suit the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, so you don't miss out on the edges of your favourite blockbuster movies or older TV shows.

A bunch of content deals means that Stan isn't exactly short of movies or TV for you to watch, too. Today the company inked a big deal with Roadshow for The LEGO Movie, The Hunger Games and plenty of other big titles, there's an existing partnership with Sony Pictures, as well as a much more diverse catalog of older titles too.

Stan also has some big exclusives in its favour, and the biggest one has to be Better Call Saul\. I saw the first couple of episodes of the new Vince Gilligan-created Breaking Bad spin-off in a preview screening thanks to Stan, and I can tell you that it's well worth watching whether you're a longtime fan of the series or a complete newcomer. It's funny, dark, well filmed and has a pretty interesting plot, at least at first viewing.

Stan Streaming Service: Australian Hands On

For the record, I watched the first four seasons of Breaking Bad, so I know the series, but wasn't captivated by it. Better Call Saul, though, was easier to get into, there's more than one familiar face, and it has all the gorgeous cinematography of the original. I'll be watching Better Call Saul when it's out on Stan come February 9th. It's titles like that that will probably see me continue my subscription past the trial period.

When you sign up to Stan, you'll even get a free 30-day trial, so there's not even any obligation to actually pay unless you like what you're seeing. [Stan]

Disclosure: Stan is co-funded by Fairfax Media, which owns Allure Media, publisher of Gizmodo Australia.


Comments

    A bunch of content deals means that Stan isn’t exactly short of movies or TV for you to watch, too.

    well, that is kind of true. Their range is nowhere near NetFlix in terms of quantity but they definitely rival them in quality. I intend to subscribe but I hope they add more stuff at a decent rate if they expect me to subscribe for a long time.

      Not for Netflix in the US, that's 100 per cent true. Netflix when it comes to Australia? That's a different story.

        There is no Netflix in Australia (therefore no story), so the assumption is you're referring to the US service.

          It doesn't take a genius to look at the current state-of-play for streaming rights and know Netflix Australia's catalogue, when it launches in March, will compare poorly to the US (and even other localised) versions.

          It's really a question of "how poorly" at this point in time.

        Isn't that largely to be seen? To the best of my knowledge we don't know what'll be on Netflix AU so it's too early to assume Stan will compete for quantity of content.

        All I've seen is speculation as to what won't be on the service as opposed to what will be. Take the following as my best guess, but while HBO titles absence are a bit of a given, I can't even buy much into the rumours that they won't have back runs of House of Cards since I find it pretty hard to imagine they'd sign a contract that prevented them distributing their in-house produced shows when an AU launch was likely in the planning for some time. Foxtel may have had an exclusive agreement, but I doubt they can legally divulge the specifics of it and how it'd relate to Netflix beginning operation down in AU, but needless to say there was probably some conditions there. Netflix has been quiet on the matter which could be seen as a concern, but really it doesn't look like they've had all that much to say at all on the AU launch other than providing a launch date back in November.

        Last edited 28/01/15 2:07 pm

          I'm going off the best of my knowledge :) We know a tiny bit about what Netflix won't have, and that's what I'm working with. Giz AU's own Luke Hopewell is actually over there right now learning a bit more about the local launch, FYI...

            Would be interesting to hear his follow up.

        I can't wait to watch Game of Thrones on this - Australia's most pirated TV show and the only one that matter when you talk about streaming services that are trying to entice illegal downloaders turn legit.

          On the topic of Game of Thrones, I'm quite keen to see what HBO does with HBO Go this year and whether people overseas will have an easier time jumping on board, given they plan to allow subscriptions from people who don't also have a cable service tied to their account.

          Er... I don't think the AU Netflix is gonna have Game of Thrones. Unless someone can correct me, I believe Foxtel holds the exclusive rights to it in this country.

            Of course it isn't. He is just trying to justify his piracy by demanding something that he knows isn't going to happen.

          You mean the one you can watch on Netflix in the US?

          wait, nm.

        I'll take quality over quantity any day, but if Stan don't increase the number of options I'm going to run out of quality to watch in a few months. That being said, I assume they do plan to add more.

      The range of kids movies is really lacking, we're still using Netflix for that.

    Is it possible to get a list of movies & TV shows that stan will have?

      Agreed - every article I've read sounds more like an advertising piece than a true black and white summary of what it will and will not have. Pursuant to the disclaimer at the end of the article, I wouldn't expect to get it here, but I'm sure there is one somewhere out there on the int0rw3bz

        Like I said, we're working on one for Lifehacker, comparing all three major streaming VOD services -- Presto, Stan, Netflix.

          Awesome - I'm looking forward to reading that article too!

          BTW - well done keeping things cool and calm here despite all the flaming about the links between Allure and Fairfax. It helps when the author can help the story evolve properly, rather than to leave it to everyone's speculation in the comments.

    Pro:
    - It's Local (Speed)

    Con:
    - It's Local (Content Availability)
    - Native App support for Media Players
    - Silverlight
    - Silverlight
    - Silverlight
    - Silverlight (like seriously, html5 please...)

      Agreed 100%. No Chrome support thanks to that and no rooted or jailbroken device support. I'll just keep using USA services for now.

        What do you mean no Chrome support? It's been running fine in Chrome for me, even casting it to Chromecast from Chrome.

          Wait until September when Google completely remove NPAPI support out of Chrome, and Silverlight ceases to work at all.

            That'll be good, StreamCo will be forced to upgrade to the html5 standard. Silverlight is my biggest problem with Stan right now...

          so i wasn't aware it wouldn't work on a jailbroken device (not having read much about the service). I signed up to the trial and got blocked. I then went and installed xcon from Cydia (its in beta for iOS 8). Xcon will hide the fact your jailbroken. Stan now works perfectly fine on my device :)

        I actually just cancelled my STAN subscription.

        Trying to watch on my <12 month old i7 macbook air is a painful experience.
        Runs the fan at full speed and causes the system to be pretty non-usable. (and i have to resort to safari)

        My media PC (that will happily play 1080p content) stutters, glitches and buffers.

        If they get html5 I might look back.
        But, until then they have lost me.

      Con:

      -I currently have a Roku 3 and a Samsung Smart TV set to American region. So I have no easy way to access it.
      -Apparently most TV shows only have the first season available.

        I don't think I'll bother starting a trial until either the Xbox One and/or Apple TV are supported. Would like to give it a go, but Netflix fits in with my existing home theatre setup and Hulu's an option if I want to diversify a bit.

        Hopefully third part device support isn't too far around the corner.

          AppleTV is supported through airplay (at HD resolutions). I doubt they have enough strength to get Apple to include a dedicated ATV app.

            I'm in Brisbane and TenPlay just showed up on my Apple TV in the last few days. Surely if that can make the AppleTv App list, Stan also can.

            I have the trial version of Stan and very impressed, however having an issue,I am streaming from iphone 6 ios8 to apple TV, but can't get rid of the progress bar,I have contacted stan support, they said if I update both ATV and the Stan app the that fixes the issue, but it didn't for me,support told me it would be fixed in the next stan update,is anyone else having this issue and have solved it as I am not confident the update will fix it,any ideas would be greatly appreciated

        Doesn't matter if they're set to AU region, it's web and tablet apps only. Seriously who doesn't want native access on their TV or connected device? Stuff that.

          I've never bothered to boot the AppleTV to find something to watch, i just airplay it from what ever device is in my hand or pocket at the time. Too many button pushes.

          Airplay and Stan or whatever is easier than putting the 'ole DVD in the slot.

      When you or someone implements a standard for securing video in html5 they will be all over it, till then stop whining.

      No content owner (of content most people want to watch) will be ok with people downloading a non DRM video to their browser that people can just right click and save it then put it on torrents.

      Not to mention last time i checked streaming over html is just shit from a technical POV anyway as it downloads the whole video so there is often wasted transfer of data
      and cant switch quality of stream to fit available bandwidth to name two.

      What they should do is have flash fallback for when silverlight is not available.

        Like the W3C Encrypted Media Extensions that Netflix's HTML5 video player relies on?

        http://www.w3.org/TR/encrypted-media/

          Wow they even have dash now for adaptive streaming, i guess its been longer than i thought since i last looked into it although it does only seem to be supported on

          Chrome (desktop)
          Chrome (Android 4.4+)
          Internet Explorer 11 (on Windows 8.1)

          Which would be what around 38% coverage at most, I'm sure that they will do it in the future, but they probably went for a higher/ease to implement at first to get it underway and then integrate other methods later on.

            Apparently Netflix is also supporting Safari too. Mozilla is working on adding encrypted media support to Firefox, seeing it as a necessary evil. They'll apparently be using an Adobe DRM plugin, similar to the way they use a plugin from Cisco for the patented H.264 codec. Presumably the DRM plugin won't have source code available though.

    Is there a list of the shows and movies on Stan?

      You can always sign up for the trial. Just remember to cancel before the month is up.

        Just did after not finding much. It's a good selection for a start although a lot of the shows don't have every season in it. Movie collection is okay but they put the same movie in 10 different genres or completely wrong genres.

        I'm just going to watch Blackadder and some James Bond movies then cancel before the trial ends.

      Our cousins at Lifehacker are working on a huge unified Stan/Netflix/Presto (et al) list -- check back soon!

    I've been using it for a week.
    For starter they have a good selection of TV series.
    Their movies library is very small.

    Their streaming service is lagging.
    Not sure if it's because of Silverlight or just their throttling settings.
    I ended up turning the HD off, which somehow turned it into SD but still HD-ish quality but less choppy.

    Another annoying thing is that they have their volume setting on the Silverlight player defaulted to 50% and had to be readjusted for every movie you watch, such a waste of time.

    Not sure if it's worth the subscription until they have a bigger library.

      I found that it was lagging when I didn't have it on fullscreen, but as soon as I did, it ran flawlessly on a cable connection. Also never lags on my iPhone, which I find remarkable considering how many times Quickflix used to crash on me.

    I have subscribed to the 30 day trial to see what it is like and have to say the streaming seems a bit stuttery and jerky, esepecially in HD content. This is running on a desktop PC with core i7 and a dedicated AMD graphics. I am also on NBN FTTH with the 100MB speed pack. Anyone else noticed the streaming not as smooth as it should be? Netflix worked perfectly BTW.

      Yep, I'm on a solid machine with NBN as well and having the same issue. I hope it gets better. I haven't tried Netflix.

    One for the Con list, limited android device support.

      doesnt support any HTC phone..... WTF?!

        or the latest Xperia Z3/Z3c. I contacted support and they said they are fully unsupported at the moment and no mention of when they would be ready. I may install market helper on my old rooted phone just so I can get some use out of the 30 day trial.

          dont think it works on rooted phones .... :(
          hopefully theres a workaround!

            Haha I was going to try something to get the apk which i would then side load onto the z3c. I haven't had time to try it though.

    I'll look at it when I see an app on my PS4. In the meantime, I'm quite content with Netflix.

    I've tried Stan on my PC. The image quality is brilliant and doesn't look streamed at all. I have a massive issue with frame rate though. It's only slight, but there is some definite stuttering in the image, especially on sweeping camera pans. Once noticed it can't be unseen.

    I've tried different browsers, monitors, HD and SD, a bunch of settings on different devices with no luck. I put it down to Silverlight being Silverlight and it's probably going to stop me from subbing.

      Great, stuttering, the same issue that has blighted other Aussie attempts at streaming. Why do we suck so much at this stuff?

    Shouldnt this be at the top and in a larger font?

    "Disclosure: Stan is co-funded by Fairfax Media, which owns Allure Media, publisher of Gizmodo Australia."

    Also, having to stream from an iPad and not a native app? Thats some BS right there already.

      If it makes you happy, I'll put the disclosure up top as well. Not that it changes anything about the article.

      Not sure what you mean about the "native app" comment -- Stan is on iOS, Android, Mac (Safari), PC (Chrome, IE, Firefox)...

        Let's make one thing clear, Campbell.

        You don't have to make such disclaimers. Anyone who is anybody can find out the ownership of this site easily and part of journalism is having editors independent from their owners.

        Those who command the disclaimers are only looking for links/string pulling where none exists and, for want of a better term, can go urinate in a cyclone.

        They are just attention seekers that are wasting everyone's time, including your own to add something that (as you pointed out) change nothing about the article.

        Last edited 28/01/15 1:00 pm

          Not sure where you're getting that hostility from. This kind of disclosure is part of standard journalism ethical codes and you'll see it in newspaper and magazine articles all the time. Business-level links like that are disclosed as a matter of course.

          You're wrong. It is necessary and it's a well accepted journalistic principal.

        I think maybe cmack is referring to the fact that there's currently no native Apple TV app?

          That's correct. I also have an android media box, won't work on that either

            Right. I'm in the same boat with Android. Chromecast seems to be the only option at the moment.

        So it works in web browsers - that doesn't mean Stan is "on" any of those platforms.

        Most people will want a properly written native app for their platform of choice.

        Campbell,

        I should also say that i am a long Netflix user and i am excited about Stan. I think that compared to Presto, Quickflix etc, they appear to have their $h!t together. Price seems right and with 5.1 and 1080p, they had me hooked.

        To not have a native app for an Android media box seems crazy as most media boxes think they are phone/tablets anyway. i know my Minix does.

    Has Stan sponsored this article?
    I've had the Stan trial for...2 days. Then continued to use Netlix US.
    But good on Stan for launching and bringing 'local' competition to Aus, might have a look again after a few months if they have improved their library.

      Read the disclaimer at the end of the story. Stan is own by fairfax media, who own Allure media that run Gizmodo Australia.

        There's a disclaimer, yes, but that has nothing insidious to do with the article I've written. It's standard boilerplate that we've put at the bottom of every Stan article on the site, purely because we want to make it clear that there is a commercial relationship, but if money was changing hands you'd see that clearly disclosed. We remain independent -- there's no-one at Stan, or even at Fairfax, pulling the strings here at Giz.

        I have no skin in the game, if that's what you're suggesting. In the interests of transparency, you might be interested to know that I also subscribe to Foxtel Play, Netflix, and Spotify. I've tried just about every SVOD and streaming music service in Australia in the past few years.

      Stan has not sponsored this article. If it did, it would be clearly marked as advertorial, and I would not be the person writing it.

        Fair enough, but why not mention the obvious handicap of requiring Silverlight?

        Silverlight might be fine if you spent $2000 on your computer, but many of us who have spent $500 or less just don't have (or need) the power to run such a relic from the past.

        By the way a PC that cost $500 (or even $300) can play the 1080p pirated copies of any Stan's content just fine. That's a problem that Stan has going forward.

        There is a reason why Microsoft ceased development of Silverlight, and why Google will drop support for it from Chrome later this year. It is a relic that is longer superseded by the vastly superior and far more efficient HTML5 standard.

        I didn't buy a $350 laptop because I am poor, I bought it because it uses less than 10 watts of electricity to run (that's 8 cents per day if left on 24/7 which I never do). Everything I buy now is with power efficiency in mind.

        Why does Stan want to destroy the planet?

        Last edited 28/01/15 1:04 pm

          Don't worry man, I'm no fan of Silverlight. But Stan isn't unique in this. Foxtel Go, Netflix (at least previously) -- it's unfortunately ubiquitous. At least for now. Eventually, HTML5 will take over, and everyone will switch to it because they have to.

          It is a relic that is longer superseded by the vastly superior and far more efficient HTML5 standard.

          Three letters: D R M. That's why it's still there.

            That needs to come to an end and it's also the number 1 reason for piracy.

            The music industry got that message loud and clear about 10 years ago.

              DRM isn't the number 1 reason for piracy. Not wanting to pay for shit is.

              No matter how many times people want to lie about it on the internet.

                All DRM can be circumvented and doesn't prevent piracy, it only makes it difficult for legitimate users to consume content. Don't have a compatible device - too bad, want to watch it on the go rather than stream - too bad, want to let someone in your house watch it on their account/device - too bad it's locked to yours, paid for the product and don't want to sit through 5 minutes of ads telling you piracy is bad even though you've done the right things - too bad. People pirate because it is just so much easier to consume content compared to acquiring it legitimately and having to go through so many hoops just to watch it.

                This pretty much sums it up: http://kr.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451720369e20120a8bd73ab970b-800wi

                At some point in the chain the content has to be decrypted to play it, so some smart cookie will find a way to rip it. DRM is a waste of time.

                Last edited 31/01/15 7:32 pm

    I'm not quite sure what version of Stan you've been using, but I'd love to try it!

    The version I've got is slow and tedious to use. The only playback option is using Silverlight, which is stuttery and gives NO feedback whatsoever as to what's going on (is it playing in HD, is HD available, how much is buffered?).

    I'd love to actually give this a good try, but as the only available ways to view it are either on a PC with Silverlight installed (interesting to know what they're going to do about this when Chrome removed all support for Silverlight later this year), or a non-rooted/jailbroken iPhone or Android phone (why no Android tablets?), it's difficult to justify.

    I need apps to allow me to use this on my main screen. I can't even use the in-built web browser on the PS3 to watch this. It's so far behind the times, it's ridiculous.

    There's no point in being first to launch if you're launching 1/4 of a service. When Netflix launches you can be sure they'll have all the apps and access set up.

    As a tech blog, I'm very disappointed these issues weren't raised here. Makes me wonder if we can trust this blog to report on any streaming sites, if they're already showing questionable behaviour to their sister-company streaming service.

      The mind boggles as to why anyone would launch a new streaming service in 2015 using Silverlight instead of HTML5.

      That's probably the reason why only a handful of android devices are supported too. At least they are the RIGHT devices (current gen models, sans HTC One M8).

      The fact remains that I can't watch Stan on my android media box (i use minix) or my android HDMI dongle (google mk903v) I use when travelling. Until the app is updated to support all android devices I can't support this service.

      I will look forward to sales of netflix subscriptions dwarfing these joke services using silverlight.

      Last edited 28/01/15 12:53 pm

        The fact remains that I can't watch Stan on my android media box

        Just for kicks, have you tried installing Moonlight (open source version from the Mono project) to see what happens?

          It's an android media box and it's not rooted either.

          Oh yeah and while we are on the subject stan doesn't work on a chromebook either.

          I have no desire to attempt custom modifications of perfectly good android gear (and chromebooks) and void my warranty, risk stuffing it up, etc all just to watch 1 catch up TV service.

          bittorrent clients are available to all android devices, no restrictions!

            OK, I'm mostly Windows and Apple but though Moonlight could be added as a plugin to other browsers.

            Sorry about that.

              ahh ok thanks for the clarification and sorry if i was a bit harsh on you.

              Standard browser plugins are not available for mobile phones - firefox supports a limited range of mobile only plugins, so does dolphin, but these ideas are from the past where phones had under 1Gb of RAM and one processor core.

              Now that flagships are much more powerful, Google should be taking the lead and allowing high end devices to use all the same extensions they enjoy on the desktop.

        I read somewhere (probably on here) that the theory is that silverlight was used as it was harder to rip the video off than other formats. So there you go, if that's true, another case of protectionist BS over providing good products.

          It won't matter in a few months anyway. They're not going to lose Chrome users just to keep using Silverlight, and if they do they'll be signing their own death warrant.

            Sure they will - they will make a standalone app will only run on windows or mac and that's it. In the background, instead of using chrome the app uses the libraries of internet explorer to get the job done and keep silverlight chugging along.

            If it's good enough for News Corp, its good enough for Fairfax (the old media world way of thinking).

            Watch as later this year Stan launches a "desktop app" with new features (that secretly requires silverlight and IE are up to date to run)

            Last edited 29/01/15 8:27 am

              There's no reason to. It costs more in development time to write desktop applications for Windows, Mac and Linux just to get around the Chrome issue than it does to convert to HTML5, which other services like Netflix have already done. I haven't pulled apart the mobile apps but generally speaking there's no Silverlight support on Android and iOS, so there's a good chance the mobile apps are using a different system.

            Given Stan's current attitude towards supporting popular clients, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they just dropped Chrome support when google removes NPAPI support.

        The mind boggles as to why anyone would launch a new streaming service in 2015 using Silverlight instead of HTML5.
        ^^^^^^THAT x 100000000000000.

    I'm loving Stan. Have not had any issues streaming any content to my Mac, iPhone or airplay to my Apple TV. I have no issue watching it via Airplay, but the sooner there are dedicated Apps for the ATV, Playstation, Xbox and smart TV's the better. Stan has informed me that the Apple TV App will be here soon. No ETA. As for other Apps they said they are working on them and it will take a few months.

      Its a bit slack really. Bloomberg said it took two developers 5 weeks to build their Apple TV app. I'll try it out when the app arrives.

      Yeah, I wont touch it until it has an Xbox 360, Xbox One or PS3 app. Until then I can't watch it on my TV so what's the point. Hopefully Netflix makes an Aussie app quickly for any of those or if the existing app will log in locally.

    I too got the early start, but I was disappointed that my trial period included the beta testing. Otherwise, the quality has been excellent even if the content lacked some of my favourite areas of interest.

    Its a decent effort, the speed is great, but no device apps for ATV or HTML leanback / couch mode is a little annoying. The airplay method works ok, but I find it's also temperamental and a few other annoying things like once you restart airplay you need to change the quality, you can't just save it as a preference.

    But for $10 its a solid effort and alternative to Netflix.

    Currently using Netflix and Hulu plus on my iPad and Sony Bravia. I'll give anything a go but I can't imagine changing long term. Nothing ever compares.

    I'm holding off checking it out until they have a native app for PS4. Netflix runs flawlessly on it.

    I have used Stan since the beta period and the only issue I have had with it is an episode of Community was stuffed. Other than that streaming to either of my chromecasts from both android and iOS has been flawless

    "That’s great if you know exactly what you want to watch, but for grazing through content, Stan is definitely better."
    Netflix gives you suggestions of what watch based on your history, which is displayed in the main carousel.

    I would also argue that having half of the screen taken up by a "premier" title isn't the best use of real estate.

    Disclosure: Stan is co-funded by Fairfax Media, which owns Allure Media, publisher of Gizmodo Australia.

    Of course Netflix isn't any good.

      DUDE. We love Netflix: http://gizmodo.com.au/tags/netflix

      Four out of the five people that work at Gizmodo Australia pay for a Netflix subscription.

      That should tell you everything you need to know.

        I dare you to write a negative article about the painful state of Australian tech ventures. With Stan as an example of how far behind we are in Australia in international standards when launching new products.

    It's a solid start. I found play back to be average quality and the interface seems to be quite slow. I even had buffering issues (on decent cable internet) which I've never had with netflix.
    I think they still have some work to do.

    Exclusivity in general still annoys me. I'm not sure yet if Stan is worth swapping over too... but it's pointless paying for both services.
    This is where exclusivity is shit.
    If I want to legally watch Better Call Saul I'd need Stan. However if Stan turns out to not fulfill my needs, then I'll continue using Netflix and get that particular show some other way....

    It's a tough gig, on one hand exclusive content can bring in customers... but on the other hand having to compete strictly on service can be too difficult for a new player to compete against the big boys. The name "Stan" doesn't really help the marketing either in my opinion.

    "experience of actually using the just-launched Stan is every bit as good as, and in some cases even better than, Netflix."

    While Stan isn't bad, having used it across a number of devices, I have yet to find a case where i would remotely call it "even better than Netflix". The UX is quite inconsistent across devices. The web streaming isnt too bad, but does look like they directly ripped of Netflix, while my device of choice, iOS with Airplay lacks auto-play next and it's quite clunky to move to the next TV episode.

    The choice to use Silverlight as the browser streaming client for the web was a little odd given Silverlight is a dead technology and is the reason why Chrome on Mac isn't supported. I can imagine this may have have been a case of "best of bad options" but given Netflix can stream to Chrome on Mac, I'm hoping this is only a short-term problem. Streaming quality on Firefox on the Mac isnt bad, but it's not great either, it uses quite a bit of CPU enough to make the fans spin at a level to be annoying. :(

    I'll be keeping my subscription for a little while, at least to watch Better Call Saul, but after that unless the content catalog greatly improves along with the UX i doubt i'll continue paying for it.

    Stan's actually a good attempt at the local market (light-years better than Quickflix) but I do hope they listen to their customers and improve things quickly, otherwise this time next year the only streaming subscription i'll be paying for is Netflix.

    Sadly this article sounds like it was written by the PR guys at Stan.

    That’s a big improvement on the Netflix app for me, which gives you a home page populated with several last-watched titles and your hand-picked list, of TV shows or movies you’ve seen and marked to watch later.
    Sorry, what now?

    Netflix gives me:

    - a 'curated' feature item at the top, e.g. House of Cards or similar
    - a list of my picked shows in "my list"
    - a list of recently watched stuff
    - a list of general recommendations
    - a link to the Netflix "Max" suggestion service
    - a search option which allows searches by genre, actor, title, director, etc
    - a series of lists of shows in approximately 30 categories which are generated based on my viewing history (e.g. I have a list of "critically acclaimed sci-fi movies" which it has worked out I like)

    The above is on a PS3, but I get something similar on my (Windows) PC.

    So I'm not sure what version of Netflix you are using, but it sounds crippled. If you are going to compare the services, you should probably pick a fully functional/properly configured version of Netflix.

    I will be trying Stan... as soon as they release proper apps for common devices.

      Yeah, I've got to agree I read the description of the Stan interface and thought "that's pretty much exactly what I see on Roku 3 and Fire TV". Unsure what Netflix app the author has been using.

      Seriously though, the Netflix interface is crap. Fire TV's Amazon Video implementation is a bit better because at least I can search by voice - so long as I emphasise my r's.

      InstantWatcher for Android is a little better for finding Netflix content, but doesn't support profiles, which is irritating (it dumps anything you find into the default profile).

    I have had Stan for almost a week now, had the early access. Generally impressed. I have FTTB, and both 65 inch plasma and 120 inch home theatre set up.

    Chromecasting STAN from IOS devices works fine, HD quality is good, but not up to USA Netflix standards, but good. And 5.1 is appreciated on avail titles. But strangely, Chromecasting from Android devices is often glitchy...HD is affected, and 5.1 is not available. No subtitles yet - hope they come soon, as well as app support on Xbox One and PS4.

    BUT - accessing from a PC Media centre using friggin Silverlight is a DISASTER. Juddery playback all the way (NOT a buffering issue). This needs to be fixed as soon as possible as it is a complete joke.

    Honestly, USA Netfilx is definitely still king, but I think STAN so far in its early days is a great start, and certainly deserves support. Console Apps will go along way I think in making it more accessible to the masses.

      I have the exact same issue and contatced STan tech support. They completely ignored the issue at hand and simply pointed fingers at bandwidth. I have 100MB FTTH NBN. bandwidth is not an issue. Below is the email they sent me...............
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Buffering largely occurs because of a weak Internet connection, so we suggest that you find out what your internet speed is by visiting speeedtest.net. On Stan you require a minimum connection of 3.0 Mbps for standard definition video and 5.0 Mbps for high definition video.

      You should also stop all other devices streaming at the same time to see if the problem goes away.

      Outside of those solutions, below are a few other suggestions:

      Restart your Home Network

      Turn off the device you are attempting to stream on, unplug your router and leave it like that for at least 30 seconds
      After 30 seconds, plug your router back in
      Wait until all of the lights are solid
      Turn your device back on and reattempt to watch a video
      Connect your device directly to your Router
      If the device you’re using Stan on possesses Ethernet capabilities/an Ethernet port (like a laptop):

      Turn off the device you’re trying to stream
      Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into your device
      Plug the other end into your router
      Unplug your router and leave it like that for at least 30 seconds
      After 30 seconds, plug your router back in and turn it on
      Wait until all of the lights are solid
      Switch your device back on and reattempt to watch a video
      If the above wasn't able to help resolve the issue, please get back in touch with us and we'll let you know of any possible next steps.

        Their boilerplate support responses are a disgrace. If I get another one I'm going to pull the plug on the service, they really need to step up with that, support is a simple thing to get right, they don't need to build any new apps for it, get any new content, all they need to do is talk to their customers, instead of copy/pasting the same bullshit responses.

        Yes, I'm on 98 down and 38 up. Any fool knows this is not the issue, it is SILVERLIGHT. If they ignore this issue, it will be at their peril. This issue, along with no apps on XB1 and PS4 could kill this potentially good new service ....stone dead.

          How did you set your roku to an america region?

    Here’s a few screenshots (compressed, obviously) of the kind of video quality you can expect from Stan.
    For real?

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