It was revealed recently that Australia has the highest rate of illegal downloads of Game Of Thrones. The overwhelming response is, well, what do you expect? In today’s digital world, the individual does not want to wait, nor see any reason why we should wait to see what the USA can see today. This isn’t 1986. Everyone is posting spoilers in our Twitter stream. We need to see it now, too!
Quickflix.com.au are coming close to helping solve our streaming problems. What’s more, they have come out of the dark ages with their pricing. It now costs just $10 a month for their subscription streaming service, where you can stream as many movies and tv episodes as you like from their subscription library. Or, if your local video library closed down and you don’t have anywhere to rent DVD/Blu-Ray discs from, you can use their disc mailout service for $13 per month for 1 disc out at a time, $23 for 2 discs out or $30 for 3 discs out at a time. Or, if you want it all, pay between $20-$30 per month for streaming AND discs mailout. All in all, it’s great value for money.
In my opinion, Quickflix’s best thing on offer is their DVD/Blu-Ray mailout system. You add things into your queue of what you’d like to watch. Quickflix systematically mails them to you so that you always have your maximum number of discs, according to what you signed up for (1, 2 or 3 discs at a time). The envelope they mail it in is reusable for you to post it back, free of charge. When they receive the returned disc(s), they automatically mail you the next disc(s) in your queue. It couldn’t be easier to rent discs. It’s a great system with many great viewing choices, including TV show box sets. The discs that I have had mailed to me so far (American Hustle and Her) have both been in great condition, no scratches, unlike discs from my local video store (which closed a few months ago anyway). Occasionally, a disc or box set may be in heavy demand, (e.g. currently there is a long wait for the new Orphan Black season 2 box set) but they let you know in your queue.
So that pricing is pretty good, and is comparable to America’s Netflix, which costs $9 a month for unlimited streaming. The only thing about Quickflix is that some things available to stream are part of their “premium” service. You can only watch by paying extra, the prices being basically the same as on iTunes. For heaven’s sake, Jonah From Tonga is available only by paying $17 to stream the whole season (or $3 per episode). The thing was on ABC iView for free a couple of months ago! On iTunes, it also costs $17 for standard definition or $20 for HD. Without me comparing ALL of Quickflix’s premium prices, I think we will find they are neck and neck with iTunes Australia. So it’s a bit annoying that despite paying $10 a month for unlimited streaming, some titles are not included (bascially, all new releases). Having said that, you can access Quickflix’s premium content without being a subscriber.
So, on to using the website (though Quickflix is available on many different devices). When you hover over a title, a ‘hovercard’ shows up with lots of handy bits of info on it. You can add a title to your DVD queue (assuming you have signed up for that service), or stream it immediately. If it is part of premium streaming, it will show you the price right there. It took me a little while to realise I had to look for the little picture of the disc to mean that I was putting a DVD or Bluray delivery in my cue, as opposed to bookmarking what I’d like to stream. Which leads me to a major criticism of Quickflix: It doesn’t seem to have a way to queue things I want to stream, which is THE WORST THING EVER. Definitely a major flaw in their service. I don’t know how they’ve managed this long without offering this.
[EDIT 9.7.14: Quickflix will soon be releasing a new version of their website with many issues addressed in this review being fixed. Looking forward to it!]
A major plus for Quickflix is that they have a deal with HBO. The HBO selection is really good, lots to watch just there, but a lot you have to pay extra for. Some things available as part of subscription streaming are:
If you’re happy paying premium prices (which you can access without a subscription), you can watch titles like Veep, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, True Detective and Girls, plus heaps more.
I originally thought there was no easy way to see only titles available for streaming as part of my subscription. After emailing Quickflix with this feedback, I got an email reply the next day. Turns out that if you click on the Streaming tab, then scroll down the page, finally you get to the bottom section which says Browse. This section shows only subscription streaming videos. You can either browse all videos, or select a genre, and sort by title, year and rating. The ratings are just user ratings; they are not ratings supplied by the likes of Netflix which learn your taste and provide their best guess on how much you will like shows and films.
So what are some things available for subscription streaming? Here are some of the top rated films:
And some of the top rated tv shows:
Some top rated titles on offer on disc are:
TV shows are listed by their season. So if I’m just browsing, and I find Sherlock season 1 listed, but I want season 3, I have to go and type it into the search box to find it. Clicking on the icon I have located will not help me find other seasons in the series. No links are provided to take me to other seasons, or related TV shows. I would say a weakness of Quickflix is they don’t show me related titles to stream, other shows or movies I might be interested in. I’m left to browse titles randomly to find something I want to watch. They only show you related titles if you add something to your disc mailout queue.
So what’s the quality of picture when streaming from Quickflix? Personally, I found it satisfactory with no problems streaming. From their FAQ:
On most devices under normal conditions, the picture quality on Quickflix content is as good as free to air TV (in Standard Definition or High Definition). On many of our supported devices, the picture quality will subtly vary to accommodate changes in the performance of your internet service – so that you can have an uninterrupted viewing experience.
To get the most out of Quickflix Streaming you will need a minimum Internet connection speed of 1.5Mbps. To view high definition movies on Sony Bravia devices you will need a service that operates at a speed of at least 3.5Mbps.
Quickflix is now streaming to Chromecast, and heaps of other devices. You can find the full list of devices here: http://www.quickflix.com.au/devices . It’s quite a long list!
Quickflix currently have a special offer for people who stream on Chromecast. Details here: http://www.quickflix.com.au/chromecastoffer?promocode=Social_PPC_Chromecast&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=FB_Post
Quickflix seem to be spending much of their layout on trying to get you to spend more money streaming premium content, which annoys me. In my opinion, their disc mailout system is the best thing they have to offer. Good range of titles on offer for a great subscription price. Until they make their streaming subscription library a bit more massive, I’m not going to sign up for it (though $10 a month means it costs merely pennies per day). But I might just keep using their disc delivery service, as it’s the cheapest legal way currently available to watch new releases. But do you have the patience to wait for the discs to be mailed to you? 😉
Quickflix offers free trials, so give it a go. Just be aware they take your credit card details upon sign up, and it’s up to you to cancel your subscription when your trial is up. You don’t need a Quickflix account to browse their library.
You can find Hanna and her music in these places: