Monday, 31 October 2011

Zune Pass vs Quickflix streaming

I was very excited to hear that the Zune Pass unlimited subscription option was coming to Australia, until I heard it would be for music only. The Zune Store already has movies and TV along with music, so Microsoft could have easily included that in the Zune Pass too, and it would have been available on my XBox, which would have been perfect for me. At $12 per month (or $120 per year) we could have cut out our Quickflix subscription and saved money into the bargain.

Which brings me to the other option. Quickflix is launching a new streaming service the day before the music-only Zune Pass goes live. It will be free until December for existing subscribers, but it seems to be heavily tied to Sony hardware - you need a Bravia TV or Blu-Ray player, or a Playstation, though that option won't be live until the end of the year. Or you could use any PC or internet-enabled phone. I assume I won't be able to download movies in advance to my phone to enjoy on the train, though. Also, since their announcement mentioned "hundreds" of movies, but they have tens of thousands in their library, I'm dubious about the available titles.

On the balance, for me, it's kind of a wait-and-see situation. I need to see whether Zune starts offering movies and TV, and for Quickflix I do need to be able to use my XBox. Both services will require a fair bit of bandwidth, so might require a step up in our internet plan to go with them. And the uncertainty of the available library is a concern too. I don't want to start paying for a service only to discover that most of what I would watch is not on there. I look forward to seeing how they both play out.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Technically, they are probably both competing with BigPond Movies too.
PPS - But as far as I know, BigPond doesn't have an unlimited streaming option.


Anonymous said...

Telstra has announced their intention to stream movies in early 2012

that makes it more interesting...

John said...

That will make it interesting, and more options for consumers means (theoretically) better pricing and a wider selection of titles.

I've wondered for a long time what was holding up the introduction of a service like this in Australia. The quote in that linked Lifehacker article makes it sound like it was the studios putting on the brakes.

I wonder if Telstra see this unlimited streaming model as an alternative to Foxtel or not.