Streaming TV online comparison: Your IPTV options in New Zealand

If you don't know your Netflix from Neon or Prime Video from Disney+, let us give you the low-down on streaming and downloading TV shows and movies in New Zealand.

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Stranger Things characters on bikes staring at sunset

The arrival of Netflix on Kiwi shores has inspired competition from local competitors like Neon and Lightbox, which is great news for Kiwi consumers as competition breeds better value and stronger offerings. As they say, variety is the spice of life.

However, the sudden torrent of on-demand streaming services means you’re flooded with choices. With the likes of Disney+ launching last year, and Warner Bros. likely heading to New Zealand in the near future, you’ll be up to your knees in streaming services before you know it.

streaming

What do I need to compare?

  • The price of the service
  • The content on offer
  • The streaming quality supplied
  • The devices that are supported

Then there’s also probably some you haven’t heard of like CuriosityStream, Acorn TV or iwonder.

There are many things you need to consider before signing up with a streaming provider but it essentially boils down a few comparable factors: price, content, quality and compatible devices.

That’s just the start. Which services offer a free trial? Which services have a lock-in contract?

We’ve done the hard yards for you and answered all those questions and more in the table below.

Compare streaming services

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Service Simultaneous streams Max. video quality Monthly fee Free Trial Period
Disney+
Disney+
On-demand streaming
4
4K/UHD
$9.99/month
N/A
Get Disney+. Watch new and classic TV and Movies from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and 21st Century Fox from one streaming service.
Acorn TV
Acorn TV
On-demand streaming
1
HD
$7.99/month
7 days
Acorn TV offers British TV shows on-demand.
CuriosityStream
CuriosityStream
On-demand streaming
Multiple
4K/UHD
US $2.99/month
N/A
Access to thousand of documentaries, from nature, to lifestyle and technology. Note: Price given in US dollars.
iwonder
iwonder
On-demand streaming
1
HD
$6.99/month
30 days
Prime Video
Prime Video
On-demand streaming
3
SD
$5.99/month
7 days
Prime Video is currently available to New Zealanders at $2.99 per month for the first six months. Price reverts to $5.99 per month after the first 6 months.
Neon TV and Movies
Neon TV and Movies
On-demand streaming
2
SD
$13.95/month
14 days
Lightbox Standard
Lightbox Standard
On-demand streaming,Digital Movie Store
2
HD
$12.99/month
30 days
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Compare up to 4 providers

What is Internet TV and streaming exactly?

Internet Television is televised content that is delivered to all sorts of connected devices, from personal computers to smartphones and mobile devices to video game consoles.

Also referred to as “IPTV’ or “streaming”, this technology enables viewers to watch television shows, movies, news and sport in real time over the Internet.

The streamed content is viewed through a website or native application that gives the viewer access to a live stream or library of television shows and movies.

With a steady Internet connection and compatible device, there is little difference from what traditional broadcast options offer.

I’m sold but I don’t know if I have the right equipment. Which devices can I use to stream?

This is a common deterrent for people looking to make the switch to streaming but don’t worry, there are plenty devices you can use to stream Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and more. In fact, you’ve probably got one or two in your home already.



Computer

If you’ve got a PC or Mac desktop or laptop computer, you’re already halfway to accessing most major streaming services. Every streaming service in New Zealand can be accessed by the web browser you use every single day.



  • Smartphone and tablet

    One of the more popular devices to stream live video on, smartphones and tablets allow you to binge TV shows, movies and news on the go. Most major streaming services are compatible with iOS, Android and Windows phones and even offer offline viewing options so you don’t chew through your data.


  • Game consoles

    Why fork out for a new television when you probably own a streaming-enabled device already? Game consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have native apps for Netflix, Stan and more. The 4K-ready PS4 Pro and Xbox One X also allow you to stream 4K content (when connected to a 4K TV).


  • Streaming media devices

    If you’re not looking to fork out for a Smart TV, there is a huge selection of affordable streaming hardware options, like Google Chromecast, Apple TV and Fetch TV that will essentially transform your standard television into a Smart TV.

There’s a whole suite of devices and gadgets you can stream on but device compatibility varies from service to service.

Why is streaming taking over? Convenience. While you can live stream TV shows and movies as they happen, the main draw of streaming television is the thousands and thousands of classic movies and recent blockbusters available with the press of a button.

Understanding your streaming options

The wide selection of compatible devices also means you don’t have to wait until you’re home on the couch to catch up on the latest news and premium TV series. Streaming and Internet TV can be accessed from your office computer, from your smartphone on the commute home and when you get home, you can continue what you were watching on your Smart TV without missing a beat.

For a long time, Kiwis had to rely on Sky for their television and entertainment needs, but services like Netflix are shaking up the entertainment landscape. Services like Netflix and Prime Video peddle convenience and flexible streaming plans (a language not spoken by traditional cable providers).

These services also produce their own high-quality content (Stranger Things, House of Cards and Jack Ryan just to name a few), meaning you don’t have to fork out full-price for high-quality entertainment. Thankfully, services like New Zealand’s own Lightbox are playing catch-up and fast (Lightbox released its first original productions in 2018), so the on-demand loungeroom invasion has inspired local content providers to do better.

There are many reasons to compare on-demand streaming services. For instance, Neon offers primo television like Game of Thrones and Westworld but comes at a pretty penny, Disney+ gives you the Marvel and Star Wars Universes and a bunch more, whereas catch-up services like ThreeNow and TVNZ OnDemand offer smaller on-demand libraries but won’t cost you a cent.

Streaming is also relatively cheap. For years, entertainment in New Zealand has been dictated by cable and satellite providers who charge upwards of $100 per month for the privilege of their services. Netflix, on the other hand, charges just $11.99 per month at its lowest tier and offers quality original content and options for HD and 4K (Ultra High Definition) streaming at its higher tiers.

How much data does streaming use?

Because there is no content stored on your device, it means that you can take your entertainment on the go and perform abilities like pausing a movie on your TV and continuing to watch it on your phone or tablet during your commute to work. However, there is a small price for convenience as some streaming services can use up to 7GB per hour. Thankfully, some Kiwi mobile and broadband providers offer unmetered streaming for select services, so you don’t risk going over your allotted data.

In 2016, Netflix began offering “Offline Viewing” which allows you to download select titles from its library to view without an Internet connection. You can also watch offline on Disney+ and Prime Video.

Should you fork out for 4K?

Well, that really depends on what kind of devices you intend to stream on. Powerhouse video game consoles like PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, while other streaming hardware like Chromecast Ultra or Apple TV also allow for 4K streaming provided you have a 4K television/monitor to stream it through.

Slapping 4K on the box used to mean you’d be paying an arm and a leg for the latest and greatest television but over the last few years, 4K displays have become more affordable.

Netflix and Prime Video offers 4K/UHD streaming on a huge selection of 4K televisions. Though to watch 4K on Netflix you’ll pay a premium price of $21.99 for the finest viewing experience. While Prime Video has only the one-plan tier at $5.99 per month it’s much cheaper for 4K viewing.

Though it’s worth mentioning that paying extra for 4K with Netflix also allows you to stream on up to four devices simultaneously. So if you’re in a large household or run some side-hustle streaming group, you’ll reap the benefits of 4K, regardless.

What are my other options for streaming?

There are various ways you can view content over the Internet. Some are convenient but take a toll on your data while others take longer but allow offline viewing. Let us break down the differences.

What can I stream?

Well, just about anything your heart desires. finder keep complete and up-to-date lists of what each provider is streaming and we’re always adding more.

Frequently asked questions

How is the content delivered to my device?

This is all well and good but how exactly did Daenerys and her dragons end up on my smartphone? While it’s not breathing fire or raising the dead, it’s still quite magical. Let us show you how it’s done.

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