To Netflix or Binge? That is the Question
Every month it seems that there is a new streaming video service to choose from. The latest offering comes from Foxtel, called Binge, adding to a growing list of places to get your weekly TV fix.
In the past, the two big players in the Australian space were Netflix and Foxtel, with the latter also offering a slimmed-down streaming service called 'Foxtel Now'. So why Binge – and what is wrong with Foxtel Now?
Nothing, but Binge is different as it has been built from the ground up and delivers much of the Foxtel content from their already extensive catalogue. The difference is it is delivered via a 'streaming video on demand' (SVOD) app. It is Foxtel's answer to compete with other established platforms such as Stan, AppleTV+, Amazon Prime Video, and the more recently released Disney Plus.
Binge content partners
The biggest question for viewers is if it is worth the $10 a month for the basic Binge pack? The good news is that most platforms offer a free trial period from 14 to 30 days, and that is a great way to determine its value to you. However, we will break it down here for you.
Both Netflix and Binge have a similar tiered pricing system that starts at $10 a month, a mid-level at $14, and an 'access all areas' top tier for $18-$20 a month.
The basic pack allows one person to watch at a time with up to five family members account on Netflix (no family sharing on Binge) and a standard-definition (SD) stream.
Step up to the mid-level pack, and you are allowed two simultaneous streams, five-member family sharing with Netflix (only two with Binge) and a significant upgrade to High Definition (HD) video streaming.
The top tier still includes HD streaming, and both platforms allow four simultaneous streams. Netflix still allows five-member family sharing, while Binge steps up to four family member accounts.
One point worthy of mentioning is that both platforms feature no lock-in contracts (unlike Foxtel), and you pay as you go with the ability to cancel any time.
At this point, both platforms appear very comparable, although if we dive deeper, there are some stark differences.
At the time of writing, Binge offers a catalogue of just over 1700 items to watch, while the longer-established Netflix has closer to 5000. Netflix allows you to download and watch later with a very smart 'keep me up to date with my latest show' function, while Binge is a true streaming service meaning you can only watch when you have internet access.
The most significant difference for a lot of people though, and particularly for AV enthusiasts is the addition of 4K resolution to Netflix. This is not offered on Binge at this stage - also missing is Dolby Atmos sound, and for movies buffs, this may be a deal-breaker.
For many, this makes the decision easy. However, content is also a massive consideration. If you like Westworld, Game of Thrones, True Detective, or some good local Australian content, then Binge is your go-to. Binge offers six of the top ten TV shows according to IMDB, so that makes the decision just a little harder.
Both platforms offer a substantial range of device compatibility. Still, Netflix has the edge here with native apps and integrations with major hardware manufacturers given it has been around five years longer than Binge (in Australia).
Should you get either or both?
If you previously had Foxtel and ditched it for Netflix, then I would suggest this is a way to have your cake and eat it too with a substantial saving over your regular Foxtel subscription. If you have already have Netflix, sign up for the free trial with Binge, and see what you think yourself.
If you have not embraced either platform yet, then you are in a for a real treat! Either way, you are guaranteed hours of enjoyment from either service. Happy viewing!
What SCOD platforms are you using, and why? Let us know in the comments below.
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Matt has worked in various aspects of the AV industry for over twenty-five years including sales, marketing and distribution, and offers interesting insight to the in and outs of the market in Australia.