Should I leap into BigPond Movies?

If you want to watch some hot movies that you just missed at the cinema, and don’t want to wait until the DVD comes out, then BigPond Movies may be the service for you. BigPond Movies is Telstra’s answer to the on-demand streaming juggernaut, and offers films and TV shows to rent or buy. Telstra would ideally have you stream the service on a Telstra TV box, but there are many ways to watch BigPond Movies nevertheless. So let’s see what BigPond Movies actually offers and how it stacks up in the tightly-contested streaming market.

How much does BigPond Movies cost?

BigPond Movies is free to sign up to, and does not attract an ongoing monthly fee. Rather, you pay per view for every movie or TV show you want to watch.

  • For example, some of the latest movies to hit the service cost about $6 to rent, and around $19 to purchase.
  • You can buy a ‘season pass’ of the hottest TV shows for around $23 or an individual episode for about $3
  • Gift cards are available to purchase at a variety of locations – such as JB Hi-Fi – starting from $20

However, the caveat with BigPond Movies is that you must have a Telstra ID or an account that was used to activate your Telstra TV box if you have one. This may require the purchase of a Telstra product first. Theoretically you could buy a cheap prepaid Telstra mobile phone plan if you’re keen to use BigPond Movies.

What can I watch on BigPond Movies?

BigPond Movies aims to deliver all of the hottest films that have just left the cinema, as well as some popular blockbuster TV shows. Such recent movies include:

  • Passengers
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Rogue One
  • Logan
  • The Martian
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Apart from that, various TV shows are also available to rent, with most being around the $3 mark. Alternatively you can buy a ‘season pass’ to the series, which usually works out to be better value:

  • Power
  • American Gods
  • The Americans
  • Homeland
  • The Young Pope
  • House of Cards

As it stands, if you buy the film or series, you don’t actually own the file but have permanent access to streaming it for as long as BigPond Movies has the rights to it. In any case, if you’re a Telstra customer, BigPond Movies is a pretty convenient way to watch the latest movies and TV shows, and usually cheaper than renting or buying in DVD-form.

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How can I watch BigPond Movies?

BigPond Movies is available to be streamed on a range of devices, including:

  • Telstra TV
  • T-Box
  • Android or iOS devices
  • Selected Smart TV devices
  • Mac or PC

Notably it seems there is a lack of Google Chromecast integration, which is a popular omission from the list of supported devices. Nonetheless, the range of options ensures that most customers are not left in the dark. However, you do need to be a Telstra customer to engage in the service, and there is a bit of a bias towards Telstra-branded streaming products including Telstra TV and T-Box.

How does BigPond Movies compare to other streaming services?

BigPond Movies differs from streaming services such as Netflix and Stan due to its pay-per-view delivery system, and more closely resembles other services like Dendy Direct.

Dendy Direct has the same premise with hot movies and TV shows, with a similar pricing structure. However, shows are available from just 99c, while with BigPond Movies most of the time you pay around $3.

Furthermore, with Dendy Direct you can just sign up and not have to worry about being a Telstra customer or anything of the sort. In any case, while there’s no ongoing monthly subscription fee, the $6-odd cost to rent a movie can add up over time.

It may be cost-effective if you’re only using BigPond Movies occasionally, but Stan and Netflix cost around $10 a month for unlimited watching, with no obligation to keep subscribing. Where Netflix and Stan lose out, however, is the fact that they don’t often have the latest movies and TV shows. The exception to this in some circumstances is Stan, where shows like Power are often aired the same day as the US; Netflix also has its own range of hugely popular originals like Orange is the New Black.

Is BigPond Movies worth a big fuss?

BigPond Movies is a great way to watch popular and newly-released movies and TV shows. You can buy or rent for some pretty cheap prices and a range of Telstra devices are supported, as are most iOS or Android devices. There is no ongoing monthly subscription fee – you simply pay for what you use. However, therein may lie a problem; those shows and movies can add up! If you’re spending $23 for a season of a TV show, plus around $6 to rent – let alone to buy – a movie then evidently your credit card may get a work out.

In this regard, it may not be enough to replace a Netflix or Stan subscription, and in the streaming world BigPond Movies is a bit of a different kettle of fish compared to these two. Realistically you could keep all three, and use BigPond Movies as a supplement to get the latest offerings that Netflix or Stan may not provide. However, the very fact you need a Telstra ID may annoy a lot of people who would otherwise sign up to the service right away. In any case, BigPond Movies is a convenient way to catch up on movies that have just left the cinema, and some popular TV shows – just watch out for fees that can add up!

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