5 best Windows 10 video streaming apps for Australians

Living in Australia, it’s easy to feel left out when it comes to media services. While some of the bigger North American companies such as Amazon Video and Hulu have yet to come down under, there are still some pretty good options available for viewing TV shows and movies on a Windows 8 or Windows 10 device and most of them are either completely free or simply require an affordable monthly subscription. Here are five of the best media streaming apps for Australians available on Windows 10 (and 8), Windows Phone, and the Xbox One.

Netflix

Windows 10 Netflix App

Windows 10 Netflix App

Finally launching in Australia in mid-2015, Netflix has quickly found itself a large audience. Those who have used the American version often complain that it lacks the number of titles available in that region but its selection is still very impressive with a good variety of films and shows to choose from in addition to the Netflix exclusive titles such as House of Cards, Marco Polo, Narcos, and the new Marvel series, Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Users do have to pay a monthly fee to view Netflix’s content but with plans starting as low as AU$8.99 a month, it’s very good value for money. A free one month trial is also available for those wishing to give Netflix a try before diving right in. Be careful though. Few have tried Netflix and not chosen to continue with the paid plan. It’s that addictive.

App available on Windows 10, Windows Phone, and Xbox One.

Netflix
Netflix
Developer: Netflix, Inc.
Price: Free

 

SBS on Demand

Windows 10 SBS on Demand App

Windows 10 SBS on Demand App

The official SBS app offers a surprising amount of content for a free app. SBS on Demand provides HD on demand versions of almost all TV shows and movies for around a week or so after they aired on TV and some even stick around in the app’s library for over a fortnight or so. Content ranges from fantastic local shows such as Go Back to Where You Came From, Insight, and Luke Nguyen’s numerous cooking shows to popular international hits such as Japan’s Attack on Titan, America’s Robot Chicken and South Park, as well as a good selection of U.K. dramas and comedies. The app also offers the occasional hit movie as well, which makes it a great cheaper alternative to renting or paying for a monthly subscription. Users can log in with their free SBS account to subscribe to series and the app will cloud-sync viewing progress on each media file watched.

App available on Windows 10, Windows Phone, and Xbox One.

SBS On Demand
SBS On Demand
Developer: Special Broadcasting Service Corp
Price: unknown

 

TEN Play

Windows 10 TEN Play App

Windows 10 TEN Play App

Another free domestic TV channel app, channel 10’s official app provides the last four or so episodes of a show for on demand viewing after the latest one airs on TV. Titles range from a combination of domestic and international productions and vary greatly in genre. TEN Play viewers can catch up on The Bachelor Australia and So You Think You Can Dance if they’re after some light fun though there are also some Sci-Fi options with Extant and Under the Dome on offer. Some kids shows are also included with Pokemon and Totally Wild likely to be the most viewed by Australian families. How much mileage users get out of this app will largely depend on their taste in shows. For a free app though, it’s hard to complain too much.

App available on Windows 10, Windows Phone, and Xbox One.

TENplay
TENplay
Developer: Network Ten
Price: unknown

 

Al Jazeera

Windows 10 Al Jazeera App

Windows 10 Al Jazeera App

Al Jazeera is a global 24 hour news channel that offers a truly international coverage of world events with a refreshingly unbiased presentation that avoids political agenda and gossip. Often bundled with paid cable packages, the free Al Jazeera app provides a complete live stream of the channel for free in addition to offering the latest news reports and special programs on demand. Everyone should be watching Al Jazeera and now everyone can (as long as they have internet or a mobile signal).

App available on Windows 10, Windows Phone, and Xbox One.

Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Developer: Aljazeera Media Network
Price: Free

 

Films & TV

Previously known as Xbox Video, the newly rebranded Films & TV app (also called, “Movies & TV” in some regions) is Microsoft’s equivalent to Apple’s iTunes. Within the app, users can view a variety of old and new shows and movies with many becoming available here before their public DVD and Blu-ray release.

Unlike the other apps on this list which provide streaming options only, the Windows 10 and Windows Phone versions of the Film & TV app allow for the full downloading of bought titles to a device for viewing when offline. This makes it a great option for viewing media while travelling without access to a phone’s network or Wi-Fi.

Windows 10 Films & TV App

Windows 10 Films & TV App

The Xbox One Films & TV app is stream-only and unfortunately this can result in some pretty less-than-HD image quality which can be frustrating when the user has, well, paid a higher price for the HD version. The app appears to either have a problem processing media over an internet connection or simply requires a higher connection speed and the result is a viewing experience that’s in desperate need of improvement, especially when compared to the crystal clear image quality shown on other apps on this list when used over the same internet connection. This is an issue that’s plagued the app since the Xbox One launched and it unfortunately doesn’t look like it’s going to be fixed anytime soon. It’s a shame it doesn’t allow for the full download of the movie on the Xbox One, much like Apple’s Apple TV does. This would allow for the viewing of a movie in full HD even on the slowest of internet connections.

Note: The purchase of media is performed through the separate Store app in Windows 10 which also sells apps and music. This can be rather confusing for users used to iTunes which allows for the purchase and rental of media from within the same program and can take some getting used to.

App comes pre-installed on Windows 10 devices, Windows Phones, and Xbox One consoles.

Movies & TV
Movies & TV
Developer: Microsoft Corporation
Price: Free

 

These are the five media apps that I use the most on my Windows devices for watching TV shows and movies. Do you use an app that isn’t on this list and you think needs to be shared with others? Let us know in the comments below. The media streaming market is really beginning to heat up in Australia and there’s bound to be newer apps released all the time that many users don’t know much about. What apps do you use?

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Which video apps do you use on your Windows device?