Planhacker: Pay Per View Video On Demand Services

Planhacker: Pay Per View Video On Demand Services

Foxtel’s announcement today of Internet-driven video-on-demand (VOD) is the newest addition to an increasingly crowded marketplace. Planhacker rounds up what you’ll pay for movie and TV rental downloads.

Downloading rental movies and TV shows to your PC or media player has obvious benefits: there’s no physical discs wasting space in your house, you’ll never find that the local video store has run out of copies, and you won’t have to worry about returning them. The movies aren’t free, but unlike downloading movies and shows via BitTorrent, the process is entirely legal.

In the table below, we’ve outlined the main VOD options for pay-per-view systems via the Internet on offer in Australia. FetchTV is already available through iiNet, and both Internode and Adam Internet are running trials. Foxtel’s service requires you to have an iQ2 box, and Tivo’s requires its namesake equipment. Anyone can download movies through iTunes or BigPond Movies.

The range of titles you’ll get offered will vary hugely depending on which service you’ve picked, though the pricing is pretty consistent. We’ve concentrated here on rental options, though some of these providers also offer “to keep” options. Rental files will automatically become unwatchable after a set period of time (usually 48 hours).

We’ve also only listed the direct prices for accessing movies or shows (not the standard charges that apply to getting an ISP account or a pay TV service, since these vary depending on which bundle you choose). For each provider, we’ve included how long you can access the downloaded content for once you’ve started watching it.

Bear in mind that movies and TV shows can consume a significant amount of your monthly download allowance. Some providers make allowance for this: the FetchTV providers don’t count downloads against your total, Telstra doesn’t include BigPond Movies or Foxtel in its calculations, iiNet doesn’t count iTunes store downloads, and TiVo has partnerships with some ISPs (listed here). Outside those deals, make sure your plan includes sufficient data or you’ll face shaping slowdowns or a potentially large bill.

Here’s the table — click on the image for a larger version:

For full details of the VOD schemes available in Australia, here’s some quick links to the provider sites:

Know of a VOD option we’ve missed? Had a good or bad experience with one of these options? Tell us in the comments.

Lifehacker’s weekly Planhacker column rounds up the best communication deals.


Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!