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How to stream the content you love in New Zealand

Streaming is your one-stop entertainment shop. It’s how many Kiwis enjoy their favourite TV shows, live sports, games, music and other video content, any time they want. Thanks to a wide variety of streaming services, there’s never been more options to play, watch or listen.

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How does fibre improve the streaming experience?
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How to stop your streams from buffering?
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Is streaming legal?

How to stop your streams from buffering

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Over twiddling your thumbs?

We’ve all been there, halfway through the finale of a great TV series online when... the video stops and the spinning buffering icon appears on your screen. If your broadband connection isn’t up to scratch, it can take several minutes for the episode to continue – if at all – leaving you sitting in front of the TV or computer twiddling your thumbs. 

The cause of this problem is usually a slow or volatile internet connection and the easiest solution is to upgrade to a fibre broadband plan, which offers speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps).

While fibre is the simplest way to ensure a seamless streaming experience, there are some Kiwis who may not be able to access the new ultra-fast fibre broadband network yet. To see if fibre is available at your address, check out our Broadband Checker.
If you’re still on the fibre waitlist, all hope is not lost. You can still upgrade to VDSL, your modem, devices, WiFi, or software to give yourself a better experience.

Get set up to stream

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Internet connection

We always recommend fibre for a fast, reliable and consistently good internet connection. An unlimited data plan allow you to consume content to your heart’s content, so talk to your provider if you’re on a capped plan.
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An internet enabled device

To watch streaming content you'll need an internet enabled device like a casting stick, a streaming box or a smart TV. Your home WiFi set up is also important to consider, as well as the age of your devices and the number of devices you're using at the same time.
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Your favourite content

This is the show, movie, song, video clip or game you want to watch, listen to or play. There are a number of streaming services you can choose from such as Netflix, Spotify, Neon and Stream (games).

How does fibre improve the streaming experience?

Fibre is the best broadband connection type for a great viewing experience - here’s why:

We're proud of our congestion free network. The core benefit is that fibre broadband provides dedicated capacity for multiple devices to watch, listen, play, post and chat all at the same time, without any loss of quality. That means everyone in a home can do whatever they want online.

Learn more

Top streaming services in New Zealand

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Check out all your choices

Once you’ve got a broadband connection that can handle your streaming needs, the next choice you need to make is what content service (or services) to subscribe to.

If you’re new to streaming content, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. Some of the major players  are:

  • Lightbox (Video)
  • Netflix (Video)
  • Neon (Video)
  • YouTube (Video)
  • Spotify (Audio)
  • Apple Music (Audio)
  • Steam (Gaming)

Do your homework...

All of these platforms have the rights to a different selection of material, so make sure you do your homework and check that your preferred service has your favourite titles.

No matter what streaming services you choose, you’ll also need to decide how you want to access or view your online content. The options range from small casting sticks (USB-like devices that are plugged directly into your TV), to personal handheld devices (like smartphones or tablets), all the way through to smart TVs that already have streaming functionality built in.

For the best possible viewing experience, smart TVs plugged directly into the modem are the way to go, as they combine everything you need to enjoy great content with minimised disruption.

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Is streaming legal?

If you’re new to the world of streaming, you may also be wondering whether or not it’s legal to view content online.

The answer is yes, as long as you’re using a service like Netflix, which licenses material and provides it to subscribers for a monthly fee. Many sites, like YouTube, do the same for free, taking advertising revenue to cover their costs.

‘Illegal streaming’ only applies to websites that post content for viewing or downloading without having secured the relevant rights.

Data usage: Watching TV online

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It’s not always easy to work out how much data you’ll really be using; that’s where our Data Calculator can come in handy. Simply enter information like how many screens or smart devices you have, and what you use them for, and our calculator will give you a rough idea of how many gigabytes (GBs) of data you’ll need a month.

Chorus predicts the average monthly data usage per broadband connection in New Zealand will increase to 463GB by 2020, based on historical growth rates.

To give you a better idea of how streaming content factors into your overall data usage, Netflix uses roughly 1GB of data for an hour of standard video, or up to 3GBs if you’re watching in high definition (HD). Chorus data shows that the average monthly broadband use in New Zealand per connection is 215GB (September 2018).

Unsurprisingly, the best data plan is unlimited as it allows you to stream away without any additional charges. More data is being consumed in NZ households month on month, so you need a plan that provides enough data for today and for tomorrow. There’s nothing worse than running out of data in the first two weeks of your plan.

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Watch, listen, play

There’s no doubting that streaming opens up a whole new world of things to watch, listen to and play.

To take full advantage of the viewing options at your fingertips, the right broadband connection is critical. Remember fibre, unlimited data and a smart TV plugged in to your modem is the optimal setup for the best streaming experience.

For more information on all things broadband and streaming, subscribe to the Chorus blog, and don’t forget to use our Data Calculator and Broadband Checker to see if you are on the best connection available to you and have enough data to get through your “to view” list for the month.

Stream Big

Enter your address into our Broadband Checker to check what broadband options are available in your area.

Learn more