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What is Foxtel Play?

Foxtel Play is a subscription video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch video entertainment online. Key information about this provider includes:

  • The service is operated by Foxtel, Australia’s largest pay television provider

  • The content is largely a selection of videos aired on Foxtel’s pay television service.

How can I join and play videos using Foxtel Play?

To join Foxtel Play, you will need a credit or debit card.

  1. Go to the Foxtel Play website

  2. Select the ‘Get your 2 week free trial now’ button

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts

Note: If you do not want to be charged for using the Foxtel service, you will need to cancel before the end of your 2-week free trial.

To watch Foxtel Play, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Foxtel Play app

Devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Game console

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Foxtel Play home page.

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Foxtel Play?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are currently not available on this Foxtel service.

  • Audio described content is currently not available on this Foxtel service.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Foxtel Play?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Foxtel Play to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features

  • Watch Foxtel pay television instead: the broadcast channels of Foxtel provide closed caption content, and as such this may be a better alternative than the streaming service if there are specific shows you enjoy that are only available on Foxtel.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Stan, Presto, Quickflix and Netflix Australia.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Foxtel Play, you can go to Foxtel Play Support. There are also opportunities for consumers to discuss service issues.

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

 

What is Presto?

Presto is a subscription video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch video entertainment online. Subscription options consist of just TV shows, just movies or both TV shows and movies. Key information about this provider includes:

  • Presto is operated as a joint venture between Foxtel and Seven West Media.

  • Presto features some streaming content from Foxtel as well as content from other sources.

  • Subscriptions are monthly and can be cancelled at any time.

  • Movie-only and TV show-only subscriptions are available for a cheaper price than a subscription to both movies and TV shows.

How can I join and play videos using Presto?

To join Presto, you will need a credit or debit card.

  1. Go to the Presto website

  2. Select the ‘Start the one month free trial now’ button

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts

Note: If you do not want to be charged for using Presto, you will need to cancel before the end of your one-month free trial.

To watch Presto, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Presto app

Devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Game console

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Presto Devices page

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Presto?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are currently not available on Presto.

  • Audio described content is currently not available on Presto.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Presto?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Presto to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features

  • Participate in Presto discussion forums to request closed captions: there are some discussions taking place by consumers requesting closed captions.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Netflix Australia, Stan, Quickflix and Foxtel Play.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Presto, you can go to the Presto Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and contact information page.
The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

 

What is Quickflix?

Quickflix is a video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch subscription or premium streaming video entertainment online. Key information about this provider includes:

  • Quickflix is one of Australia’s longest established video streaming companies.

  • The video streaming service can consist of either subscription service or a premium pay-as-you-go service.

  • Physical discs, such as Blu-ray and DVD titles, are also available for rent.

How can I join and play videos using Quickflix?

To join Quickflix, you will need a credit or debit card.

  1. Go to the Quickflix website

  2. Select the plan you wish to purchase.

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts.

In addition, searches for Quickflix in Google can reveal bonus offers. There are also offers on the Quickflix site.

To watch Quickflix, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Quickflix app

Devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Game console

  • Streaming media player

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Quickflix Device page.

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Quickflix?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are available on some videos if the distributor provides it.

  • Audio description is not available.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Quickflix?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Quickflix to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features

  • Use physical discs instead: due to Quickflix having limited captioned content and its difficulty in identifying accessible titles, it may be worth exploring Quickflix’s Blu-ray and DVD titles to locate the captioned or audio described movie you are seeking on a physical disc.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Netflix Australia, Stan, Presto and Foxtel Play.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Quickflix, you can go to:

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

 

What is Stan?

Stan is a subscription video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch video entertainment online. Key information about this provider includes:

  • Stan is owned by StreamCo, a joint venture of Nine Entertainment Co. and Fairfax Media.

  • Stan produces some limited original content but most of its content is sourced from others.

  • Subscriptions are based on a 30-day cycle and can be cancelled at any time.

  • Stan allows you to play up to three videos on different devices at the same time.

How can I join and play videos using Stan?

To join Stan, you will need a credit or debit card:

  1. Go to the Stan website

  2. In the ‘30 day free trial’ section, enter your e-mail address in the box provided.

  3. Select the ‘Start your free trial’ button.

  4. Follow the on-screen prompts.

Note: If you do not want to be charged for using Stan, you will need to cancel before the end of your 30-day free trial.

To watch Stan, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Stan app

Such devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Blu-ray player

  • Game console

  • Streaming media player

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Stan Devices page.

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Stan?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are available on some videos, first introduced in January 2016.

  • Audio description is not available.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Stan?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Stan to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features.

  • Searching and ‘CC’: to find a video with closed captions, perform a video search and look for the ‘CC’ icon in the search results. If the ‘CC’ icon is present, the video has closed captions.

  • Enabling captions: captions can be turned on by selecting the ‘CC’ button on the video. This button will only display closed captions if they are available.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Netflix Australia, Presto, Quickflix and Foxtel Play.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Stan, you can go to:

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

 

What is Netflix Australia?

Netflix Australia is a subscription video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch video entertainment online. Key information about this provider includes:

  • Netflix, the parent company of Netflix Australia, operates in over 190 countries around the world, making it one of the largest global online video services.

  • Netflix produces original content in addition to streaming the content of others.

  • Netflix Australia’s content offers a smaller and different variety of content to Netflix in the United States, but still contains thousands of movies and TV shows available to watch instantly on any device that streams Netflix.

  • Subscriptions are monthly and can be cancelled at any time.

How can I join and play videos using Netflix Australia?

To join Netflix Australia, you will need a credit or debit card.

  1. Go to the Netflix Australia website

  2. Select the ‘Join free for a month’ button

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts

Note: If you do not want to be charged for using Netflix Australia, you will need to cancel before the end of your 1-month free trial.

To watch Netflix, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Netflix app

Devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Game console

  • Streaming media player

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Netflix Australia Device page

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Netflix Australia?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are available on most videos.

  • Audio description can be found on some videos.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Netflix Australia?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Netflix Australia to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features.

  • Audio description-only link: the web portal has a link that allows you to just view content with audio description. Just log into Netflix Australia, scroll down to the bottom of the webpage and select ‘audio description’.

  • Language icon: to select captions and audio description if available in the web portal, search for the video you would like to play, then select the Language icon in the bottom right corner of the video player. You will then find all the available accessibility features.

  • More audio description on the way: a settlement between Netflix and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and Netflix in April 2016 has led to Netflix committing to make changes to its USA service which is likely to improve Netflix Australia. Improvements discussed in the settlement consist of better searching options and a significant improvement in available titles, particularly new titles.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Stan, Presto, Quickflix and Foxtel Play.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Netflix Australia, you can go to:

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

 

What is a video on demand subscription service?

A video on demand subscription service provides consumers with the ability to watch videos online for a regular subscription fee, usually monthly. The term ‘videos’ can include TV shows and movies.

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How do different subscription services compare?

According to research conducted by Curtin University in Perth, the following table highlights the five most popular subscription services in Australia and their accessibility as of mid-2016. More detail on these services are highlighted in other Tip Sheets.

 Provider  Captions?  Audio description?  WCAG 2.0 compliant?
Netflix Australia Yes (most titles) Yes (limited titles) No
Stan Yes (some titles) No No
Quickflix Yes (few titles, difficult to identify) No No
Presto No No No
Foxtel Play No No No

The video I want to play is not accessible. What are my consumer rights?

Currently there is no specific law in Australia that applies to the accessibility of subscription video on demand services. There are, however, some important facts to be aware of which may help support your viewing choices and can potentially provide an opportunity to raise concerns about this issue.

  • Policies and legislation in the United States require high levels of accessibility in video on demand services. As such, USA-based services such as Netflix feature more accessibility and are likely to continue increasing their accessible content.

  • Broadcast (‘free-to-air’) television in Australia is required to provide captioning under specific circumstances. As such, several cases have been lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission arguing that online video should also be made accessible. This may result in improvements in the future for Australian-based services.

  • While there is no specific Australian law that relates to the inclusion of accessibility in content delivered online, Section 24 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 does require that information should be provided to people with disabilities, and this is what has formed the basis for legal challenges.

  • Some video on demand subscription providers such as Presto and Foxtel Play have community boards which can provide a mechanism to complain directly to the provider if there is a lack of access.

  • Audio described content has been trialled in Australia on the ABC broadcast service and ABC iview free streaming service, suggesting that there is some progress being made in increasing the awareness of online audio described content in Australia.

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.