Presto Gets Its Act Together: Adds HD, AirPlay Support And A Fun UI

If our reader comments are anything to go by, Presto is generally considered to be the worst of Australia's major streaming services. Part of this is doubtlessly fueled by hatred for Murdoch and Foxtel, although there also legitimate beefs with the product; including lack of content and the absence of HD. This week, Presto is looking to right some of these wrongs via a complete overhaul of the service. New features include a raft of 1080p content, 5.1 channel surround sound, AirPlay support and a new user interface that actually makes browsing fun.

This week, Presto's 1080p overhaul was rolled out to users via an app update on iOS and Android. The good news is that all existing titles that were originally shot in high-definition are now available in their native format. In other words, it's not just a case of adding a few HD titles here and there.

The update also brings AirPlay support, which means you can finally stream your Presto content to something other than Chromecast which many users have had issues with. There's also a new mobile and tablet app that comes with an inbuilt favourites tracker, a Play-Next-Episode function, advanced parental controls and quicker access to registered devices.

In addition to the above, Presto has also given the UI a spit and polish and the results are pretty interesting. We particularly like the way different titles are grouped together: In addition to the usual genre tags, there are content-specific groupings like "Notorious Ladies' Men" and "Kickass Heroines". If you're not sure what you want to watch, this is a great way to surf.

Naturally, the leap into HD means you're going to need a pretty decent internet connection to maintain a steady 1080p/5.1 stream. Presto recommends around 7.5Mbps down for a seamless viewing experience.

A Presto rep we spoke to said that they included a little headroom into their predictions to cover themselves: in realty, most users should be able to get by on 5Mbps down. (In any event, Presto's adaptive bitrate means you probably won't even notice when a video drops from 1080p to 720p.)

You might also want to look at boosting your data cap: according to Presto, a 90-minute high-def movie will consume roughly 4.5GB of data. Binge watchers beware.

There's still no official word on additional support for smart TVs and video game consoles, but Presto has promised to make fresh announcements in this area soon. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the updated service in the comments section below.

Further reading: Foxtel Presto: Everything You Need To Know

Lifehacker's weekly Streaming column looks at how technology is keeping us entertained.


    That's all well and good but it's now saying my ASUS tablet is "jailbroken" and won't let me watch anything. It's not even rooted, let alone a jailbroken iOS device.

    So for me, this update has massively reduced functionality (to zero) rather than any kind of increase...

    My biggest issue with presto was that they treat an iPad and the Chrome cast as 2 separate devices and only allow you to have 4 registered devices. Changing registered devices is not easy either. It involves deleting one device then waiting until the next calendar month to add another.

    I tried Presto last week. Standard def. aside, there's no Xbox One app, the app on my Samsung TV refuses to connect to the server and the Android app says my Asus Zenfone 5 isn't good enough to stream their crappy videos. This leaves me with two options, watch their tiny videos on my SP3 or ditch their service.

      Miracast from your SP3 to the Xbox One or TV? Yea, still a pita, but an option.

    Well I tried Presto on its intial release and did not love it. SD, no streaming to TV except for Chromecast. Bugs, having problems with too many device errors. Most expensive streaming service. Too many things keeping me from really evaluating the service. Well I got 6 months free recently and expected not to use it much. The content is now all HD except for things that aren't available in the format. Apple TV streaming works much better than Chromecast did and is functional until the full Apple TV app releases shortly (according to their twitter feed). Some exclusives worth noting including Mr Robot. Now I can have a look at the actual content, its not bad as well as your tastes are fairly mainstream. Easier to find a movie you'd actually watch all the way through than Netflix. Overall much improved, worth a look but more variety in content as well as more new shows would help even more. (Note: I have Netflix, Stan and Presto and find them still best recommended in that order by default.)

    HD isn't even available through the website, only through the app! I re-activated my subscription to check this out and it was deactivated within 10minutes - this company is a joke dont even bother.

    Presto is better, but it is still crap. Stopped working with my Acer tablet; can't remember what episodes have been watched; if you're streaming to chromecast and you get out of the app to do something else, it doesn't pick up where it left off.

    Just get a couple of guys from Netfllix and get them to design your god awful UIs

    Ok I have netflix and it works and is fine...

    I just went to the Presto website to subscribe and try it out.
    I can't see if I can use it on my xbox 360, ps3 or wiiu.
    But am I really limited to having 4 devices registered at the same time?!?!?
    Urgh...really? I want choice...

    I really want to try it, but if I can't use it properly, why should I bother...

    Edit: So stremaing on my chromecast counts as two devices?!
    Why this device restriciton @chrisjager and lack of device support??

    edit 2: So I have two mobiles, a chromecast, 3x pc/laptop, xbox 360, ps3 and wiiu. I can alternate between all of these with my netflix cause kids will pick up a phone or jump on the wiiu to watch power rangers etc. But this won't allow that, surely this can't be right?!

    Last edited 04/09/15 12:55 pm

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