Foxtel's Presto Movie Streaming Is Now Cheaper Than Netflix

Foxtel's all-you-can-eat movie streaming service has just slashed its monthly fee in half. As of this Sunday, Presto will only cost you $9.99 per month, making it cheaper than paying for Netflix. Already pay for Presto? Great — you get a month for free, just because.

Foxtel Presto Review: Like Netflix, But Actually Meant For Australia

Presto is a great movie streaming service, but up until now it was a little expensive. At $19.99 per month for access to an admittedly large back catalogue of archive movies and a fair few new releases, it was a bit pricey but justifiable; at the new $9.99 monthly cost it is totally worth it — it's half the price of a single movie ticket, for God's sake.

Here's the meat of this morning's announcement:

Presto, Australia’s premier entertainment streaming service, is set to become more accessible than ever as it unveils a new ‘all-you-can-eat’ flat rate movie subscription price of $9.99 per month on a no lock-in contract. The new pricing, effective as of Sunday 17 August, puts Presto at the forefront of internet movie streaming services offering the most blockbuster hits at the best available value. Today’s news comes on the heels of Presto’s arrival on Chromecast, bringing it to household big screens. As a thanks for the ongoing loyalty, Presto is also offering one month free to current paying Presto customers.

Foxtel has been kicking a lot of goals with Presto recently — for example, you can cast movies from the iOS or Android app to your big-screen TV, courtesy of support for Google Chromecast. You get a lot for your flat $10 per month, but if you want to, you can also stream almost-brand-new movies on a pay-per-view basis. Best of all, it's entirely legal, and your money goes to Australian content owners and rights-holders.

As for that outrageous "cheaper than Netflix" claim? Stand by for a bit of slightly creative accounting. Netflix costs US$8.99 per month, right? — at today's exchange rate that's $9.67 per month; a VPN like UnoTelly or GetFlix will cost you around $50 a year, very roughly $4.17 per month. Add those together and you have a monthly fee of around $13.74, far and away more expensive than the $9.99 that Presto is asking.

Of course, if you're already paying for a VPN anyway, or if you're using a free service like Hola, this argument is moot. That doesn't change the fact that if you're still in violation of Netflix's terms of service (not that they'd probably care very much), though.

Gizmodo's own review of Presto in March this year was positive, but did note that the pricing wasn't perfect:

All in all, Foxtel Presto is a great first attempt at getting a movie streaming service for Aussies off the ground. We’ve badly needed something like Presto for the last two years, and it’s great to see that Foxtel recognises the challenge that new media platforms present and decided to build something rather than bitch endlessly. We’re big fans of Presto, and we can’t wait to see what else Foxtel has planned for it.

With that sorted, there's really not too many legitimate reasons not to choose Presto if you're looking for cheap and legal movie streaming. [Presto]

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    I have a reason not to.....none of the content is available in HD.

      Oh really? I was even considering it at that price, but that's pathetic. I'll continue to watch Netflix in HD for less money (grandfathered pricing).

        How are you getting HD..?
        I've been using it with an NBN connection and it refuses to run in HD even though it says it's enabled..! Seriously miffed about that... :)

          Yeah something must be wrong because I get HD on a 15Mb connection. What are you running netflix on ?

          if you have 25mbps+ you should be getting hd, i would say you have a slow vpn.

          Are you using a VPN or a service like Getflix or Unblock US?

          Also, make sure your profile is set to stream in HD. You can find the option in your "account" > "playback settings" > tick "high" under "data usage per screen".

          What area bro? Optus cable here in melbs, consistent 30 megs plus

          100% HD, even scores in the top .1% of Netflix speed tests

          @tricache @abzkebabs @coolhandluke @thebatman Troy Smith

          Yeah, using a VPN (PIA) Noprobs with speed at all, my settings are set to HD, I'm connected to the NBN and getting around 23Mps, and about half that or more via PIA too..! Very strange, I'm using Firefox because Silverlight doesn't work well in Chrome for me, but I'm wondering if there's a problem there..? :)

            So if you do a speedtest to servers in America what speeds do you see ?

              Average is around 12Mbs or higher, although ping is usually quite high... more than adequate I think.. :)

              Last edited 15/08/14 11:18 am

                I just ran a test at work with a 6.5Mb connection speed to San Fran... Ran a test and got HD fine.

                You can hold Alt+Shift then left click in the window and force HD streaming if your on a PC

                  I love the fact that an editorial for the Murdoch media delivering system evolves into a discussion about improving Netflix

                  Don't change Australia!

            There is also an option under playback settings called "Prefer HTML 5 player instead of Silverlight"

            You could try that?

              Thanks I'll give it a go.. :)

                <3 the Gizmodo Netflix troubleshooting in the article about Presto.

                Hold down shift+alt+lelt mouse click (windows) once stream has started to bring up a diagnostic type menu pop-up. Select stream manager, then tick manual buffer box. You can then force netflix to play HD to SD and anything in between. The higher the number you select i.e 3000 seems to be the max, the higher the resolution of the stream will be*.

                *Your shitty century old copper might have the final say though.

                  Thanks already doe this, using NBN not copper. I forced it to use 3000, but the picture looks the same when it's finished buffering..?

                My bad on presuming you're on copper. It can take a while to kick in, at least it does with mine, sometimes up to a minuet or longer. Maybe try keeping the stream manager open while you wait, that way you can see what it's buffering at in real time.

                Other than that, I'm not sure what you can do. Best of luck though. Not getting HD streams on NBN sucks big hairy ones.

                Oh, one more thing.. If you manage to get it going, you will have to do this process every time you start a new stream, there appears to be option to save the settings.

          My friend had this issue after moving from Brisbane to Perth. He had sufficient bandwidth at both houses for HD. After moving to Perth Netflix would not play in HD. He fixed it by going to the netflix settings page and toggling SD and HD repeatedly over 2 hours and attempting to play a HD movie after each toggle. It finally fixed itself.

      Murdoch is a good reason too.

        Sure, many of us despise Murdoch and much of what he represents. However, if the Foxtel offering is actually a good one then people need to pony up and use it or quit bitching about Foxtel not providing the product people want.

        Edit: by good one, I mean actually satisfies people's needs in a technical sense: e.g. does it have HD if the user wants it, has the shows they want, etc.

        Last edited 15/08/14 11:38 am

          If supporting the Liberal Party is a part of the deal then it isn't the product that many people want. I think Oreo's taste fkn fantastic but I won't buy them because of Nabisco, same deal here.

            People are absolutely free to choose to boycott Presto because of Foxtel's association with Murdoch (just as you are free to not buy Oreos). However, it would be pretty tenuous to say "no-one offers a biscuit I like" because you choose not buy Oreos, the biscuit you do like. In that case, the trust would be "no-one I'm willing to buy from offers a biscuit I like".
            The same goes here. People can say "No-one I'm willing to buy from is offering a product I am happy with", but that isn't the same as "No-one is offering a product I'm willing to buy".

            Edit: also, my bigger complaint is people saying (paraphrased) "I'm not going to buy from Foxtel because they are too expensive compared to Netflix, etc" and then when Foxtel offers something more attractive they switch to "I'm not going to buy it because Murdoch". That certainly isn't everyone, but it is some.

            Last edited 15/08/14 10:15 am

              "Edit: also, my bigger complaint is people saying (paraphrased) "I'm not going to buy from Foxtel because they are too expensive compared to Netflix, etc" and then when Foxtel offers something more attractive they switch to "I'm not going to buy it because Murdoch". That certainly isn't everyone, but it is some."

              I understand what you're trying to say, but I think people typically have more than one reason for not supporting Fox to begin with. You can be most vocal about the price and still be wary of the difference in content (Movies vs TV + Movies), quality (SD vs HD) and all of the other gripes raised.

                I think people typically have more than one reason for not supporting Fox to begin with. You can be most vocal about the price and still be wary of the difference in content (Movies vs TV + Movies), quality (SD vs HD) and all of the other gripes raised.
                I absolutely agree, and there are many gripes to be had about the product (many of which you mentioned). Basically what I'm bitching about is when people complain about there not being a product they want out there and then when a product appears they say it is not a good product because it is from Foxtel. Being from Foxtel doesn't make it not a good product (although not having HD, Movies vs TV+Movies and so on all might, depending on your needs), it just makes it a product those are not willing to buy. Their decision not to buy the product is totally fine, and I'm all for not fostering Murdoch's empire (despite the almost impossibility of it) but it's not because it isn't a good product, it is because it is a Foxtel product.

                So basically, it pisses me off when people say "Foxtel has no right to complain about us using Netflix if they're not offering a decent product" and then when Foxtel moves towards a more decent product they switch to "I won't use it because it's Foxtel". Which is certainly not to say Foxtel's product, at this point, is as good as Netflix anyway.

          Completely agree. Maybe we should all sign up and request (as we are all now paying customers) HD content. Seeing as there are no lock in contracts, if the don't listen after a few months we can all leave and everyone will have the data backing up the fact that we want to pay for content.

          Last edited 15/08/14 11:40 am

            Or contact them and find out when they intend to have HD content before we sign up. If they start to see a trend in the number of callers that are not converting to sales because of lack of HD, they may start to go down that path (if they're smart enough).

          I want HD.

            Yeah, I don't mean that people should take up a product that doesn't satisfy their technical needs (e.g. HD, for you). Rather what I mean is that where the product does meet a person's needs on a technical and content level, but they just don't want to buy it because it is from Foxtel, then they need to stop complaining that there is no good product out there (although they can complain that Foxtel is the only one providing the product they want, but that they refuse to buy from Foxtel).

          no House of cards or any ethics so im out

            Yeah, given that NetFlix is both TV shows and movies, Presto does still fall a bit short (if you want both).

        Let it go with the Murdoch hate already. While it's disappointing there's no HD support for content, $10 per month is bloody cheap for the smorgasbord you get to watch.

          That's great that you can look past Murdoch for cheap content, but I can't. Same reason as I go to the more expensive State Cinema than Village.

      And not a single tv show in sight, I'd rather keep Netflix until, the service is actually comparable...

        Not really a fair comparison.
        Netflix is HD and has both TV and Movies.
        Presto is SD and only has movies.

        Id rather pay the extra $4 a month and get HD and TV shows in addition to movies.

        A move in the right direction, but not having HD is inexcusable in this day and age

      Does the subscription allow you all access, or is it pay $10 a month and an extra pay per view for new releases?

    So, what is the quality and how big are the movies to stream?

    ...and if price was my only concern then yes I would sign up, however in my opinion the actions of Murdoch and his cronies at the last federal election kinda convinces me to keep my money soundly in my wallet.

    Is it still only available in 480p? Pass. If it gets to 1080p or at least 720p for most of the content, then we'll talk.

    No Presto app in the play store that I can find. Wth?

    Last edited 15/08/14 12:30 am

    No Xbox one app, no 1080hd, no care.

    Also can we stop implying that paying for Netflix is theft just because foxtel and Telstra pay for overbearing adverts on this site?

      Hey, don't be a dick. I never implied that Netflix is theft. Go and read the article, dude!

      You're allowed to not like Presto, no-one's forcing to you.

        I did read the article. Best of all, it’s entirely legal, and your money goes to Australian content owners and rights-holders.

          You may have read it, but you didn't comprehend it......

            Do you understand the word imply?

              So you assume Campbell is implying that using Netflix is theft?
              A much better assumption would be that downloading movies is theft and that a streaming service such as Presto or Netflix is the legal way to access content via the internet.

              I could be wrong but I think he's referring to Piracy, not Netflix. Paragraphs usually separate points. Looking at that paragraph I don't see the word Netflix. There is no implication of Netflix and Piracy, so your point is moo.

                There is actually no mention of piracy in this article except the comments section. You might be thinking of Luke Hopewell's article. This is an article specifically about Presto and Netflix.

                Last edited 15/08/14 10:12 am

                Piracy wasn't even mentioned in this article, not to mention the opening paragraph of Netflix vs Presto, the "Like Netflix, But Actually Meant For Australia" link, and the title of the article. I believe he was indeed referring to Netflix.

                Last edited 15/08/14 10:18 am

        Campbell, how come you can call someone a Dick, but when we do it, the comment get's removed..?

        Not sure if it's a good business strategy calling your reader a dick.

    Strange how Gizmodo would neglect to mention something as fundamentally basic as picture quality when comparing Presto to Netflix pricing. 480p in 2014 is a joke. As is stereo sound (I haven't even checked Presto, but I'm presuming like every other Aussie provider that they don't care about Dolby/DTS surround). So can we please stop pretending that Presto's low bit rate SD/2.0 content in any way compares to HD/5.1 via Netflix?

      Except we did.

        um, after this article was written and after the all the comments about the PQ.

    Never used the service, but going by what everyone else here is saying, seems like there's still a ways to go before it competes with the full Netflix experience offered overseas.

    However, its nice to see what a little competition can do to the market ^_^

    No HD and, more importantly, it's movies-only. Half the appeal of Netflix is TV series and documentaries. This is still nowhere near a good deal in comparison.

    Gizmodo, you need to declare your "native advertising" articles. Tell me with a straight face this wasn't written at the behest of Foxtel.

    Also, as others have said, there's nothing illegal about subscribing to Netflix from Australia don't promulgate FUD.

    You guys are a bunch of corporate schill hacks and I hope you don't call yourselves journalists. Shame on you.

      I approved your comment specifically so I could reply to it. I don't want anyone to think I'm censoring discussion.

      Not that I should ever have to justify myself to such an insulting suggestion, but no, this article wasn't written at the behest of Foxtel.

      I never said there was anything illegal about subscribing to Netflix - go back and actually read the article. I said it was against the terms of service, which it is - go and read them too.

      If you want some kind of financial disclosure, sure, here you go. I have never paid for Presto, I don't have an account. I do pay for Foxtel Play though, just the same as I pay for Netflix (yes, I know, shock!). Oh, and I used to own some Quickflix shares.

      How's that?

        So many righteous pricks on here, guys, ignore them.

          Feel free to ignore me - but it's not my intention to be a 'righteous prick'. It's legitimate to question the integrity of your news sources - even your tech news. Perhaps I came on too strong but I still feel this article smells.

        Spare me the righteous indignation. The insulting suggestions are the important ones.

      Like I've said over and over and over again, advertising articles are clearly marked. This isn't marked as such: it has a byline, and news in it, and all sorts of good stuff.

      We know there's nothing illegal about subscribing to Netflix in Australia, and we've said as much before.

        If you know there is nothing illegal about it, then why did you post that it is technically pirating today? Technically, they’re right: you are “pirating” content if you use a virtual private network (VPN) to access Netflix from Australia, as it’s outside of the licensing agreements that the streaming service has signed in order to offer the content to its users in particular territories.

          Illegal != pirating

            Oh really? Besides the current politicised ignorant bullcrap about the internet, name a point in history where pirating was used to refer to something that wasn't illegal? Pirates of the seas? Pirate radio?

            But then this article has the title Is illegally downloading a movie really theft and who should stop piracy.. That headline makes it sound (to me) like piracy is illegal, although the body of the article doesn't use the word 'illegal' once. If anything, the body makes it sound like 'piracy' isn't illegal, but that you can be the target of a civil suit (not a criminal one).

            Clarity would be good.

            Last edited 15/08/14 1:44 pm

      They don't mention the legality of subscribing to Netflix they compare pricing, what is the best value.

      With all the coverage on Netflix and piracy recently, I think it's a breath of fresh air to hear about something halfway decent a local provider is doing, and good on Gizmodo for giving them that coverage. Companies that we so often criticise have absolutely no incentive to improve if consumers react like you just have.
      I'll be keeping my Netflix subscription though.

    If they made smart tv apps and ps4/xb1 apps, make their content available in HD and throw in all the TV shows foxtel has rights to people would fucking flock to this so fast and we'd no longer have a problem with piracy in Australia.

      Just put GoT season 5 on there when it airs and Australia will implode

        If they provided GoT season 5 on there in HD then they might actually get really good take-up, but if it isn't HD then people can get a better product as a torrent.

    You guys seriously need to take a reality check. As much as we all hate Foxtel they are finally beginning to offer a service that resembles what we have all been asking for. Yes, I understand that the service has some features missing, in its current iteration (TV Shows, higher quality streaming) but this is a new product in development. For a second, maybe we all need to put down our pitchforks and commend Foxtel for listening to it's customers and creating an online streaming service and then lowering the price based on feedback from the market.

      Perhaps if they'd actually stepped up to the plate and offered a comparable service, people would be (slightly) more inclined to accept it as a step in the right direction.
      The fact that they're offering half the content and maxing out at less than half the resolution, then charging basically the same and saying, "Here. This is what you wanted. Why don't you love us?" is seen as a slap in the face.

      It's a thinly veiled attempt to give us "options" while actually not doing anything of the sort.

    Add those together and you have a monthly fee of around $13.74, far and away more expensive than the $9.99 that Presto is asking.
    Extra $3.75 for TV shows and documentaries in HD? C'mon, that's not "far and away more expensive".
    Although $10 for a local streaming service is a great start, things like:
    Do you have plans to support HD in the future?
    We don't have immediate plans to offer HD. But we'll never say never!
    Doesn't really help. Hopefully they get their head together and have HD content available, then a lot more people will sign up.

    Last edited 15/08/14 9:09 am

      Not to disagree with you about the benefits of Netflix over Presto with respect to documentaries, HD, and so on but based on those numbers Netflix is >30% more expensive. That is a fair bit more expensive in relative terms, at least. (Again, I'm certainly not saying that Netflix isn't totally worth that extra 30% because of the advantages you mentioned).

        Not arguing with you, as 30% seems like a lot, but when McDonald's increased the price of their soft serve cones by 66%, was that deemed way more expensive (30c to 50c)?

          They increased that price? The cads!
          That difference can add up over time, though. If you were buying a soft-serve a day, that would be a $73 difference a year.
          (I jest: you're right, it is a small difference)

    1. No HD content available

    2. No TV shows available

    3. It's run by a man who wants to control all media globally

    4. The man that runs it has been deemed unfit to run a company by at least one court

    5. The man that runs it bought votes through the media he owns so that Tony Abbott could screw over the whole nation

    6. If I VPN to USA I can pay the same price as the SD movie-only service and get a HD TV show and movie service. It's not the cost alone, it's what you are getting for it!

    Android app is not available for all devices
    Content is not unmetered for telstra customers
    No app for Samsung/LG Blu Ray players.

    How hard is it to create an app that ALL android users can have? Every other pay tv company on the planet does it, even Sky TV in NZ which foxtel partly own FFS.

      One word. Fragmentation. I suggest you complain to google. Devs shouldn't have to code for multiple devices, and multiple versions of android. If it isn't addressed devs will walk away.

    Still not worth it. Their movie selection is pretty poor and if you already have Foxtel with the movie channels it's definitely definitely not worth it as it's basically those set movies but on demand. I'd rather pay a few dollars more, or even double, for Netflix as the service is far superior.

    Not even close in comparison. You have addressed the 'financials' of the problem in this country, you now need to address the content. $9.99 per month, no TV shows, no HD and many devices lacking an application so why should we bother ?
    Honestly SD in this day and age is poor, even pirated shows generally aren't in SD anymore, and if they are you can find a HD version... so again pirates are providing a better service.

    except with Netflix for $10 a month we get tv shows , cartoons, anime as well

    Netflix still the king keep using VPN's and boycotting the shit outta foxtel, no mercy...

    Supported devices!!!!

    Take a look at the very short list of supported devices and you'll realise that either someone is paying for only one brand of android phone, or that foxtel just doesn't care if you torrent it's shows/movies from your phone

    Everyone else in the world has their app available for all android devices. Then there is the question of why a app is required. HTML5 is a standard foxtel should be leading with to limit the number of reasons why people like me cancelled their service.

    It's not much good to me with a lg phone, a chromebook and an Asus tablet is it?

    Last edited 15/08/14 3:13 pm

    I'm happy that they're finally beginning to listen, but this only goes a short way to meet what subscribers actually desire. So its a no from me, I'll stick to netflix and hulu. I think people will think about it when HD, TV shows, and all platform support, are added. Back to the drawing boards lads, like the Japanese Toyota ex keeps saying, "more".

    ..."Best of all, it’s entirely legal, and your money goes to Australian content owners and rights-holders...."
    errr..the same 'rights holders" that have been gouging us for years, the same ones who have dropped their price because netflix is entering the market next year in Australia?
    With all due respect, I have no sympathy at all for the people who effectively have a monopoly in pay tv in the australian market, and have charged ridiculous prices for sub standard content.

    I have a reason not to buy it.

    It is foxtel.

    Don't buy anything related to Rupert Murdoch.


    It will give you bad Karma.


    Sign me up, if it's in HD (didn't buy a HD TV for nothing) and if I get all the new releases as soon as it gets to video (why should I wait any further). Yes, give me those two things for ten dollars a month and I will even delete my pirate bay app.

    I am happy to be corrected but the reason why they have cut the price is because they have removed the ability to stream movies playing on the 8 Foxtel Movie Channels. If this is the case this is one of the most misleading press releases I have seen.

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