Netflix will launch March 24 in Australia and NZ, House of Cards on the menu


WhistleOut
03 March 2015

Will launch on the same day in Australia and New Zealand: March 24. In preparation for this, iiNet has signed an unmetered deal with the streaming giant, marking the first deal of this kind with Netflix from an Australian ISP.

All other major Aussie ISPs will of course be able to stream Netflix, but currently any data used will count towards your download cap.

What do I need?

From a hardware perspective, Netflix will be available to users with a large number of devices. Some smart TVs will be able to stream Netflix directly. These include TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and HiSense.

You will also have access through a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, Apple TV, Chromecast and the second-generation Fetch TV set top box.

Obviously phones, tablets and PCs will also be on the menu. Netflix is yet to comment about the availability of an Australian app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, but these already exist for overseas users so the wait should hopefully be short, if non-existent. PCs will work on day one.

This large range of devices at launch will be a strength for the service. Currently the similar (and surprisingly good, if a little buggy) product from Channel 9 and Fairfax – Stan – is not available directly throu0h any Smart TVs or gaming consoles.

Content

After comments by Netflix’s Vice President of Production Innovation, Todd Yellin, suggested that the content library at launch would be underwhelming, we’re happy to see some familiar faces popping up already.

Netflix originals House of Cards, Bloodline and Marco Polo have popped up on the Netflix Australia & New Zealand Facebook page. We can also expect Disney content, including the smash-hit Frozen, to be available early on.

As for what else to expect, it’s still up in the air. Netflix is known for its massive library of not-so-timely content. Unlike Stan, which uses exclusive and brand-new shows to bolster its library’s appeal, Netflix has always concentrated on quantity, over quick release. Don’t expect any new shows to rear their heads, unless they’re Netflix Originals. Then again, we could see Netflix adopt a new stance in order to compete with Stan, but the streaming giant may decide to rely on its name alone to carry it Down Under.

iiNet unmetered access

iiNet users will be able to stream Netflix content without it affecting their monthly download cap. While Australians are used to hearing this kind of news about things like Facebook, or more-expensive services like Foxtel, this is actually a huge deal.

Netflix is affordable enough for many households to afford, but in many cases would also require an upgrade in broadband plan. The joint cost of Netflix + a more expensive plan can be a significant boost in your monthly spend. The fact that iiNet will not be counting any data used for Netflix means that iiNet users will only have to fork out the cost of a Netflix subscription, and not worry about bigger caps or download limits.

Right now iiNet is the first, and only, Aussie ISP to forge this kind of deal with Netflix. Expect more to come in future, but not everyone is going to open their bandwidth gates with open arms.

If you’d like to read more about Netflix data usage, we discuss it in detail in another article with a focus on estimated monthly usage, based on Netflix data usage and numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


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