How to: get started with Quickflix in NZ
- — 01 April, 2012 22:00
Thinking about trying out Quickflix? Here's how to get a free trial, plus we'll tell you, the difference between a standard subscription and pay-per-view, why you won't get HD video yet, how much data you’ll use, and what devices you can use Quickflix on.
Wondering what Quickflix is? Check out our introduction to the service, which launched last week.
First things first - you need a PC or Mac to sign up. While you can use your PlayStation 3 or Sony Bravia TV to access Quickflix through an app, you’ll have to use a computer first. Once you’ve signed up on your PC, you can log in on other devices.
If you’ve had a look at the content on Quickflix and you’re a bit dubious, that’s fair - but you don’t have to pay right away. There are a couple of different ways you can get a free trial, either for 21 days or a month.
You might as well sign up for a month-long trial, but just in case that one doesn’t work, we’ve included instructions for both.
To sign up for the 21-day trial:
1. Go to quickflix.co.nz.
2. Click the ‘join now’ button underneath the banner image.
3. Fill in your details and enter the promotional code ‘qfxlaunch’ in the bottom field.
4. You will then have to fill in your credit card details - if you don’t cancel your subscription by the end of your trial, you’ll be charged an administration fee of $8.50.
To sign up for the 30-day trial (you don’t have to be an Orcon customer):
1. Go to quickflix.co.nz/orcon.
2. Fill in your details.
3. Plug in your credit card details - same rules apply. If you don’t cancel your subscription by the end of your trial, you’ll be charged $8.50.
To cancel the service, you have to call them: 0800 002 098
What do I get with a standard subscription?
Right now, a standard subscription gets you unlimited access to a collection of relatively old movies and TV shows. While new release movie Drive is an exception to the rule, many of the movies currently available under a subscription have aged at least a few years. There are currently more than 350 movies available on Quickflix, but there might only be a couple of handfuls that you want to see.
Fortunately, there are some classics and cult movies available - Casablanca, Ghostbusters, and way too many Schwarzenegger movies - so there’s probably a fair bit to entertain yourself with.
As for TV shows, the selection is looking pretty lacklustre right now. The collection is all owned by the BBC, and while it’s good TV, it’s definitely aging. There are only eight titles, but we’re told there’s a lot more coming.
Holding out hope that you’ll see your favourite HBO shows on Quickflix? Don’t. Sky TV has a bit of a lockdown on HBO content, despite the American TV giant being an investor in Quickflix. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing new episodes of Game of Thrones on the service anytime soon.
What’s the deal with pay-per-view?
The pay-per-view movies are the new releases, and aren’t included in your Quickflix subscription. Quickflix tells us that what goes into pay-per-view is determined by the studios who license out their movies. Those movies will eventually be available under the standard subscription service, but how long they take to get there will vary depending on what the studio wants.
A pay-per-view movie can be rented for 48 hours, and costs $7. They can only be accessed on a PC or Mac currently, although there’s no reason you can’t connect your PC to your TV with an HDMI cable and watch the movie on a bigger screen.
Can I watch in HD?
No, not yet, at least for most people. You can currently get 720p on an internet-connected Sony Bravia TV, however, which will stream automatically if your internet connection is fast enough. If it's not, you can still manually select 720p and let the video buffer.
A representative for the company said that it was trying to keep file sizes down, because we New Zealanders are still restricted by data caps in a way our Australian compatriots - who also have Quickflix - aren’t.
There’s no word on whether Quickflix’s content will soon be available in 1080p, but we doubt it - full, 1080p HD streaming uses a huge amount of data.
How much data will I use?
It depends, but in the synopsis for movies, it’ll tell you how much each movie or TV show is going to eat into your data cap. Currently, an average movie uses about 800MB of data, so if you have a 20GB cap, you can watch 25 movies, assuming you never use your internet connection for anything else (which we doubt).
If you’re with Slingshot or Orcon, however, you’ll soon find that you can use Quickflix without hacking off chunks of your data cap at all. As we understand it, Slingshot has already zero-rated Quickflix, as it announced last week that it was the first company to do so.
Orcon will be unmetering Quickflix content from 1 May, so if you’re not willing to pay twice - once for the service and once for data - you may want to hold off on signing up until then. There’s no guarantee the free trials will still be available to you, however.
What devices can I use? Any others coming soon?
Right now, you can use your Windows PC or Mac to access Quickflix, as well as a Sony Bravia internet-connected TV or a PlayStation 3. If you don’t have those Sony products, never fear - the company aims to roll out its streaming video service to iPhones, iPads, Samsung Galaxy devices, and Panasonic and Samsung internet TVs. By the end of the year, Quickflix says, it wants its service to be available on 80% of smart devices.