Stan, the new streaming television and movie service with a friendly name from StreamCo – itself a partnership between Fairfax and Nine Entertainment Co – is nearing launch. Trial subscription offers have made their way out to Fairfax subscribers and some members of the public who signed up to receive launch information from the company over the last few days.
The trial offer email indicates that Stan will support Google’s Chromecast and Apple’s AirPlay at launch, making it easy to get content to play on your TV. A number of Australian broadcasters and media streaming companies still don’t properly support both of these options.
Stan is offering a number of interesting TV series at this early stage including broadcast series like Breaking Bad, Doctor Who, Hannibal, South Park, Sherlock, Fargo, Ray Donovan, Justified, Teen Wolf, The Fall, Luther and Masters of Sex. Interestingly, they’re also offering the Amazon-produced series Alpha House and Transparent. They’re also heavily pushing the upcoming Better Call Saul, a spinoff from Breaking Bad spinoff – fair enough, given the company’s obtained exclusive Australian rights to the series.
On the movies front, the big push at the moment is for the James Bond collection, thoughtfully separated by lead actor in the Stan catalog. There’s also 21 Jump Street, The Matrix movies, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Twilight, Robocop and Terminator films alongside Australian product like Wolf Creek (though no Wolf Creek 2) and Chopper.
Stan’s also quite proud of its kids selection, and you can set up multiple profiles on the same account to ensure your kids only get to see age-appropriate TV and movies. There’s a decent number of old-school and new-school kids shows ranging from preschool to tweens including Dora the Explorer, Octonauts, Inspector Gadget, iCarly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Penguins of Madagascar (the series, not the new movie).
A monthly subscription to Stan will set you back a fairly wallet-friendly $9.99. The service is expected to launch fully next month. There’s an impressive launch catalog, although there’s a few notable omissions – franchises like Planet of the Apes, Transformers, Shrek, Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon are nowhere to be found and output from some studios like Disney seems to be missing entirely. Some shows like Doctor Who also seem to have a limited number of seasons available. It’s early days yet though, and we’ll have to see how frequently Stan adds content to their catalog – or removes it.
You can get ready for launch by downloading the app from Google Play now, although device compatibility seems a little off – Sony’s recent Z3 series devices aren’t supported, along with Motorola, HTC and Huawei devices. There’s a reasonable amount of support for Samsung phones and tablets though, and while the app could be installed on the Nexus 9, no videos would play (though the Chromecast worked just fine). A couple of users with rooted devices have also complained that the app won’t work for them.
If you’re lucky enough to hold a trial subscription and have a supported device, you can get a head start on the available content. Otherwise, head over to stan.com.au and sign up for updates.
Have you checked out Stan? Tell us your thoughts on the new video streaming service in the comments.