No, not that Data. But if you’re a serious Star Trek junkie, you can now stream every episode of the original series, Next Generation and Deep Space Nine on Stan. The costs of doing so however, could be massive.
As Gizmodo noted yesterday, Stan has just added Deep Space Nine to its array of tales of people boldly going where they haven’t before. That’s around 126 hours of Trek, along with 66 hours of The Original Series episodes and 130 hours of The Next Generation to contend with.
All up, if you were to go on the Trek binge to end all Trek binges, you’d be facing down the stiff side of 322 hours of Star Trek, or 13.41 continuous days of watching. Not that you could manage 13.41 days in a row — your bladder would explode at some point — but if you were determined enough to try, how much would it actually cost you?
Over at Gizmodo, Campbell’s contention was that it would cost you $5, because you could knock off that much Star Trek in just under a fortnight, and a monthly Stan subscription costs $10. Sorry, Campbell, but Stan doesn’t sell that way, so your minimum cost is in fact, still $10 no matter which way you slice it. But that’s not the whole story, depending on how you choose to watch — or more specifically the details of the ISP connection you use for watching.
Let’s do the sums, shall we? On a medium quality connection, Stan estimates it burns through 1.13GB of data for each viewing hour, which means that watching every single episode it offers will chew through 363.86GB of downloads.
Now comes the slightly trickier part, and that’s balancing it against the cost of ISP connection fees. If you are sitting on an “unlimited” style account, then congratulations; you’d pay $10 for your Star Trek binge. They’re still the exception rather than the rule, however.
What if you apply them to plans from the current top three ISPs by customer numbers?
On Telstra, you’d need the “L” plan, which comes with 500GB of usage, most of which you’ll chew through just watching Trek. That comes in at $113/month, so you’re looking at $123 for your month of Star Trek watching there.
iiNet’s Home 3 ADSL plan would supply enough data (600GB) for all that Trek at a slightly less wallet-busting $79.95 without phone bundling, meaning you’d be looking at $89.95 for your Trek binge.
On Optus, you’d actually have to go for an unlimited plan, as the next lowest plan down the tier only comes with 200GB of data allowance, meaning that you’d only just get started with the adventures of Benjamin Sisko and chums before you ran out of data. The entry level unlimited standalone plan is currently $90, making it a $100 Trek binge proposition.
By way of contrast, if you wanted to own all of those seasons of Star Trek, a complete run of Deep Space Nine would cost you around $190, as would a complete run of The Next Generation. There’s less of The Original Series, so it typically sells for around $100 or so, making a grand outlay total of around $480 for the set.
That sounds expensive, but if you are in fact allergic to money, there’s a way to make your Trek binge even more costly, all while still only streaming episodes rather than owning them.
All you’d need would be a mobile data connection streaming the episodes. Take, for example, one of Telstra’s XL Mobile Broadband plans, which run to $105/month for 15GB with excess usage charged at $10/GB. Running through every single episode that way would cost you $115 for the plan and the Stan connection, plus a wallet shredding $3490 for the additional data charges, because that extra .86 of a gigabyte would be charged at its full $10 price. That’s $3605 in total.
Which means, for the cost of watching all the Trek episodes that Stan has right now, you could buy a full seven copies of each show in full and still have $245 left in your wallet — enough to buy a single box set of every episode of Star Trek Voyager once as well. But not Enterprise, because why would you do that to yourself?
Lifehacker’s weekly Streaming column looks at how technology is keeping us entertained.
Disclosure: Stan is a 50/50 joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. Allure Media, the company which publishes Lifehacker Australia, is also owned by Fairfax.