Quickflix to Stream HD Movies in NZ

Panasonic's 2012 range of TVs will be able to stream HD Quickflix movies

HD movies will be part of the streaming service Australian-based Quickflix offers Kiwis when it launches today.

At this stage it’s not known how many movies will be in HD, or if there will be HD TV shows, too, and whether they’ll cost a premium over SD content.

Ironically, the service’s launch already has hit a snag, with the site yet to go live because of a “technical issue”. (It’s online now, at http://quickflix.co.nz, but it’s not clear which content is HD.)

Otherwise, the introduction of the service couldn’t be better timed for the roll-out of NZ TVs from the likes of Samsung, Sony and Panasonic that will include Quickflix as part of their smart TV features.

As I wrote for The Press’ The Box section on Tuesday, “An announcement expected this week that Quickflix will launch a movie and television streaming service in New Zealand could make buying a smart TV a no-brainer.

“Even before the Australian entertainment giant started to stake out this side of the Tasman, televisions manufacturers were rushing to exploit smart TV’s potential as the next must-have technology after their last big hope, 3D, confused more consumers than it converted …

“They were in their infancy last year, but over the next few months will be rolled out in force, with faster processing and more sophisticated functionality.

“Samsung and Panasonic, for instance, will have high-end plasma and LED TVs with dual-core chips to make Internet streaming smoother and browsing quicker.

“Sony will offer smart TV features on every model except its entry-level BX series, while 13 of Panasonic’s 16 new plasma models will be internet capable, as will half its 2012 LCD/LED range.”

The NZ Herald’s John Drinnan has this take on how Quickflix might impact on Sky while below is the official Quickflix press release:

Quickflix launches New Zealand’s first unlimited movie and TV streaming service

· Unlimited movies and television series at an introductory price of $9.99 per month

· Content provided by major feature film and television studios

· View on internet‐connected devices from leading consumer electronics brands

· Zero‐rated broadband access via partnership with Orcon

· Announcements awaited from other ISPs, starting with Slingshot

Other countries have been enjoying the advantages of unlimited streamed movies and TV programmes for years. Now, at long last, it’s New Zealand’s turn.

From [today], ASX‐listed company Quickflix Limited (QFX) will launch its streaming service in New Zealand – and it will be available to anyone with a broadband connection.

The Quickflix subscription streaming service offering unlimited viewing will retail at NZ$16.99 per month, however for a limited period it will be available at an introductory price of just $9.99 a month. Subscribers will be able to watch unlimited movies and television series digitally streamed to PCs, Apple Macs and Sony’s range of Internet-connected Bravia TVs, Blu‐ray players and PlayStation 3.

Over the coming months, both Panasonic and Samsung will stream Quickflix through their range of connected TVs, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy Tablets and smartphones. The service will also be made available to users of Apple iPhones and iPads in May. Quickflix will continue to roll out its service on further connected devices throughout the course of the year.

“The advent of smart devices in the home is transforming the choices available to consumers all over the world,” says Quickflix chief executive officer Chris Taylor. “The Quickflix streaming ‘smart channel’ will change the way Kiwis experience movies and entertainment services. No boxes, no contracts, just great content on demand, at an affordable price.”

Major Hollywood studios Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, NBC Universal and MGM, along with Lakeshore Entertainment and Pinnacle Films, will provide blockbusters from their tremendous catalogue of feature films and BBC will deliver the best of British drama and comedy television on demand.

Quickflix expects to announce more participating film and television studios over the coming weeks.

To complement the unlimited subscription service, selected devices will offer the latestrelease films on a pay‐per‐view basis for as little as NZ$6.99. Also streaming free on Quickflix will be exclusive A‐list interviews, red carpet coverage and film reviews from Hollywood and around the world hosted by celebrity TV presenter, DJ Ruby Rose. This content will be available free, whether New Zealanders are subscribed to Quickflix or not.

Taylor expects Quickflix’s launch to provide a real alternative to the existing entertainment options in New Zealand.

“New Zealanders’ entertainment choices have been far too limited for far too long. 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. Quickflix will do its part to drive a new era in on‐demand entertainment in New Zealand.”

Quickflix sees exceptional opportunities in the New Zealand market, which will only be further enhanced with the future rollout of the Ultra Fast Broadband.

For the time being, however, Quickflix is seeking to work with broadband providers to make its streaming service unmetered and not count towards customers’ broadband data usage. “Compared with other countries in the developed world broadband data caps in New Zealand are restrictively low but we see this changing,” declares Taylor.

“We’re delighted to announce that broadband provider Orcon will be zero‐rating our service from 1 May. We expect other ISPs to follow suit.”

Orcon CEO Scott Bartlett said: “New Zealanders have been hanging out for a service like this. It’s an old adage, but content is king, and to be able to legally stream unlimited movies under an affordable monthly subscription service is a massive leap forward for Kiwis.

“We are really proud that we can zero‐rate Quickflix for Orcon customers who will also be able to take advantage of their special introductory offer and enjoy this great service first hand.”

Other ISPs are likely to go public with their zero‐rating plans soon, starting with Slingshot, who are expected to make an announcement about zero‐rating the Quickflix service [today].

Quickflix (ASX:QFX) recently announced that Time Warner‐owned HBO has taken a 15.7% stake in the company.

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2 Responses to “Quickflix to Stream HD Movies in NZ”

  1. Don’t be too keen to cancel your Sky movie account going by what’s offering for NZ customers on Quickflix ….

  2. Good luck trying to get Telecom to follow Orcon’s suit…

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