Quickflix give Doctor Who fix
Sci-fi fans can have the latest Doctor Who episodes and blockbuster films streamed to their television through a subscription service launched today by pay-television company Quickflix that will provide fledgling competition to Sky Television.
The Australian firm, which is headed by former Prime Television boss Chris Taylor, is offering ''unlimited'' access to its catalogue of Hollywood movies and BBC drama and comedy programmes for $16.99 a month, with an introductory price of $9.99, and no minimum contract term.
Programmes can be viewed on computers, internet-connected Sony Bravia televisions and on other televisions that are connected to the internet through Blu-ray players and PlayStation 3 consoles.
Quickflix said iPhones and iPads would support the service from May and other internet-capable televisions, smartphones and tablets ''over the coming months''.
State-owned internet provider Orcon has agreed to ''zero rate'' the service from May, meaning that for its customers, downloads will not count towards their monthly broadband data caps.
Quickflix said it expected to enter into similar agreements with other internet providers, starting with Slingshot.
''Compared with other countries in the developed world broadband data caps in New Zealand are restrictively low but we see this changing,'' Taylor said.
Quickflix has a similar business model to United States' online streaming television service Netflix, whose non-arrival in New Zealand last year prompted hand-wringing over the state of the country's broadband and the dominance of Sky TV in the pay-television market.
Its online catalogue includes ''blockbusters'' from six major film studios, including Warner Bros and MGM, as well as BBC shows.
A spokeswoman would not say how many films and shows would be available yesterday, but the company said it expected to announce more film and television partners ''over the coming weeks''.
Customers will also be able to view newly-released films on a pay-per-view basis from $6.99 per film.
''The advent of smart devices in the home is transforming the choices available to consumers all over the world,'' Taylor said.
''In our view there is not enough competition in New Zealand and consumers deserve more choice of content, on-demand, without the exorbitant price tag''.
Orcon chief executive Scott Bartlett said New Zealanders had been hanging out for a service such as Quickflix.
''To be able to legally stream unlimited movies under an affordable monthly subscription service is a massive leap forward for Kiwis.''