Winter is upon us and while the weather outside may not be so conducive to fun these school holidays TV CAN MORE THAN COMPENSATE.

Ahh TV – is there nothing you can’t do?!

ABC iview, Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Play & Presto all offer something special for young kids, teens and even parents to enjoy on myriad devices while keeping warm inside (or even braving the cold outside!). Animation, documentary, drama, movies – there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone, just pick your platform and cost. Having so much choice thanks to the rise of the Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) providers means now there is *always* something on TV (or your tablet, or your phone, or whatever)!

Please remember that each of these services are internet-based and as such will use up your precious monthly download allowance (unless your telco has an unmetered agreement with the service – and lots do). Almost all have no unmetered agreement for mobile data so watching away from wifi could cost LOTS over and above any month-to-month subscription cost… but when it’s raining and you’re sitting in the car at your kid’s footy, using one of these services over mobile data may be the only thing that delivers sanity to you and your three year old screaming in the back seat.

As for usage, it’s pretty easy to remember: 1 hour of standard definition (SD) TV uses about 1GB of data; 1 hour of high definition (HD) TV uses about 3GB of data.

There are HOURS of fun at your fingertips these holidays. Things to watch together or things you can trust are safe for your kids to enjoy alone. Dive in – and let me know your recommendations of shows you/your kids love and how you watch them!


ABC iview
AVAILABLE PLATFORMS: PC, Mac, Linux, Smart TV, Xbox 360/PS3/PS4 consoles, iOS/Android Tablets & Smartphones.

These winter holidays iview are offering up another serve of their popular ABC3 Best Fest, with *full seasons* of excellent animated content for your pre-teens to dive into, and there’s still recent episode from all their favourites from ABC3 as well. If you can’t come at a subscription service then this is a great (and given the content – very funny) way to ease the pain of “Mu-um, I’m BORED…”. As an ongoing offering there’s now a dedicated iview service for pre-schoolers and preps with its own app that guarantees feminist activity will rise sharply in your household thanks in no small part to Peppa Pig.

TV Content includes:

  • Slugterra – season 1
  • The Day My Butt Went Psycho – season 1
  • The Flamin’ Thongs – season 1
  • Dennis and Gnasher – season 3 & 4
  • Dr Dimension Pants – season 1
  • Endangered Species – season 1

2015 School Holiday Survival -  Netflix

AVAILABLE PLATFORMS: PC, Mac, Linux, Smart TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox 360/Xbox One/PS3/PS4/Wii U/Wii/2DS/3DS consoles, iOS/Android Tablets & Smartphones.
COST: $8.99/mth – 1 screen in standard definition;
$11.99/mth – 2 screens simultaneously in high definition;
$14.99/mth – 4 screens simultaneously in 4K definition;
No contract; 30 day free trial available.

The big daddy of the SVOD game has come to Australia in a big way in 2015 and these holidays they’re lining up the movie and TV content as far as the eye can see. Remembering that SVOD means full seasons of shows – not episode to episode – Netflix’s library is bursting at the seams with shows every kid (and kid at heart) will love. Just in time for holidays Netflix have delivered a new season in the How To Train Your Dragon series Dragons: Race To The Edge, set between the first and second films (my Mr10 gives it three thumbs up), and if you’re a Star Wars fan you’re covered too with all SIX seasons of the excellent Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series (including the Netflix-only final season), set between the Episode 2 and Episode 3 movies.

(Parents: If you’ve not checked out the excellent House of Cards (3 seasons), Bloodline (1 season), Orange Is The New Black (3 seasons), Daredevil (1 season), or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (1 season) then you’ve got some holiday homework too!)

There’s seriously too much to list, so here’s the highlights…

TV Content includes:

  • Dragons: Race to the Edge – season 1
  • Total Drama series – seasons 1 & 2
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots – season 1
  • Bindi’s Boot Camp – season 1
  • Power Rangers everything
  • Walking With Dinosaurs
  • Phineas & Ferb – season 3
  • Mythbusters – seasons 7 & 8

Movie content includes:

  • Cars
  • Frozen
  • Tangled
  • Maleficent
  • Rango

2015 School Holiday Survival -  Stan

AVAILABLE PLATFORMS: PC, Mac, Linux, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS/Android Tablets & Smartphones.
COST: $10/mth – up to 3 screens simultaneously (6 registered per account) in standard/high definition (based on content);
No contract; 30 day free trial available.

A joint venture between Nine Entertainment Co and Fairfax, Stan has already made it’s mark this year by delivering two of the best series out of the US in Better Call Saul and Transparent and it has already declared its intentions by commissioning a bunch of new Australian content to come to the service in 2016. As for the school holidays there is again a plethora of content that will engage with a broad range of age groups. If you’re not subscribing to Stan you will be by the end of the holidays.

(Parents: Your holiday homework includes Plonk! (2 seasons), Frontline (3 seasons) & Fargo (1 season) – you can thank me later!)

Highlights include…

TV Content:

  • Adventure Time – seasons 1 & 2
  • BBC Nature Docos (Planet Earth, Human Planet, Great Barrier Reef, etc)
  • iCarly – seasons 1 & 5
  • Penguins Of Madagascar – season 1
  • Victorious – season 1
  • Regular Show – seasons 1 & 2
  • Spongebob Squarepants – season 1 & 2
  • How to Rock – season 1
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – season 1
  • MI High – season 1
  • The PowerPuff Girls – season 4
  • Round the Twist – seasons 1 to 4

Movie content includes:

  • The LEGO Movie
  • Kung Fu Panda (1 & 2)
  • Happy Feer (1 & 2)
  • Bee Movie
  • Spy Kids

2015 School Holiday Survival -  Foxtel Play

Foxtel Play/Foxtel Go
AVAILABLE PLATFORMS (Play): PC, Mac, Linux, Smart TVs, Xbox 360/Xbox One/PS3/PS4 consoles.
AVAILABLE PLATFORMS (Go): PC, Mac, Linux, iOS/Android Tablets & Smartphones.
COST: Varies based on subscription pack, starting at $25/mth – up to 2 screens simultaneously (3 registered per account) in standard definition;
No contract; 30 day free trial available.

Foxtel went early with their own SVOD style package but with a twist – when you sign up to Play/Go you’re signing up to Foxtel proper so you can see shows as they’re broadcast live, but you don’t have the ability to record them (you’ll become fast friends with the “anytime” portion of the service). It’s a lot more expensive than the other SVOD packages, which is why Presto exists, though it is the full depth and breadth of Foxtel’s service which can offer some amazing content to you via your internet connection. Having this service on consoles and smart TV’s helps it in part become the window into subscription TV in your home for the kids while parents consume the latest episode of something else (Game of Thrones?) on their tablet at the same time. While $35/mth for two packages is steep it does offer 19 channels (Entertainment + Kids) PLUS the 10 basic channels that come with every subscription.

TOP TIP: Sky News is available for free to anyone who downloads the Foxtel Play/Go apps and uses them without signing in. Particularly useful during an election or rumours of a leadership spill.

While there’s been no mention of full seasons of shows being made available for the holidays for kids there are a large number of episodes for shows currently airing on the various channels PLUS there’s the scheduled content to boot.

Highlights include…

TV Content:

  • Disney XD: Star Wars Rebels – season 2
  • Disney XD: Marvel’s Avengers
  • Cartoon Network: Teen Titans Go!
  • Cartoon Network: Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu
  • Nickelodeon: Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Nickelodeon: Camp Orange: Force 10
  • Nickelodeon:
  • Discovery Kids: Kids vs Film
  • Discovery Kids: Wild But True

Movie content includes:

  • Snow Dogs
  • 101/102 Dalmations
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • The Emperor’s New Groove
  • Lilo & Stich
  • The Goonies
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Mr Peabody & Sherman

2015 School Holiday Survival -  Presto

AVAILABLE PLATFORMS (Play): PC, Mac, Samsung Smart TVs, Chromecast, iOS/Android Tablets & Smartphones.
COST: TV ONLY – $9.99/mth; MOVIES ONLY – $9.99/mth; TV AND MOVIES – $14.99/mth;
Up to 2 screens simultaneously (4 registered per account) in standard definition;
No contract; 30 day free trial available.

Presto is Foxtel’s SVOD baby entirely when it comes to movies, and a joint venture between Foxtel and Seven West Media for the TV content. The service is in the same ballpark when it comes to SVOD costs and then has the benefit of having Foxtel feeding content into it once it has played out (or, in the case of Aquarius, before it plays out) on the subscription TV platform so you can expect some very recent second run/digital content as well as a deep library of shows and movies to wrap your entertainment eyes around.

(Parents: Your holiday homework includes Veep (2 seasons), Aquarius (1 season), The Sopranos (6 seasons) & The Wire (5 seasons)!)

Presto have delivered a range of content under the banners “All Ages Holiday Boredom Busters” and “School Holiday Animayhem” – let the viewing commence!

Highlights include…

TV Content:

  • Octonauts – season 1
  • Modern Family – seasons 1 to 4
  • Glee – seasons 1 to 4
  • Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation – season 1
  • Power Rangers Megaforce – season 20
  • Everybody Loves Raymond – seasons 1 to 9
  • Transformers Prime – season 1

Movie content includes:

  • Planet 51
  • The Incredibles
  • The Iron Giant
  • Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs 2
  • Planes
  • Rugrats in Paris
  • Frozen
  • TMNT