Beamafilm review

Beamafilm isn’t a service you should seriously consider paying for, but it’s worth using if you can get it for free.

Beamafilm logo
Beamafilm
3 out of 5 stars
3
Price
$7.99 per month (or free)
Max. video quality
1080p
Ads
No ads
Nathan Lawrence
Mar 22, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

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Quick verdict: Beamafilm
Beamafilm is at its best when you don’t have to think about a monthly fee. As part of a library or school membership, you get ad-free content at up to 1080p resolution with a decent selection of movies. That said, you’re relegated to viewing in web browsers or on mobile devices (unless you cast). There is enough interesting content to warrant an installation, but the value drops if you’re not interested in a whole lot of mostly unknown content in the TV and documentary sections.
pro
Pros
pro Free with a library membership
pro Decent selection of movies
pro No ads
con
Cons
con More supported devices, please
con TV series selection ain’t so flash
con Value drops if you have to pay

What is Beamafilm?

At first glance, Beamafilm is another streaming service to add alongside the long list of other options like Netflix, Stan and Prime Video. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll likely find value in its unique approach to monetisation. While you can pay for a subscription as a consumer, Beamafilm is more targeted at libraries, schools and other related institutions. If you’re a member of a participating institution—and Beamafilm claims there are 20 million people who are—you can access Beamafilm for free.

Beamafilm’s pitch is that it “champions local, diverse and independent voices”. In practical terms, the selection of movies, TV series and documentaries is likely to have more options that aren’t as familiar as the other streamers mentioned above that compete over bringing in popular titles.

beamafilm streaming movies
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Where can I watch Beamafilm?

Beamafilm has a few viewing options. Stream via Android and iOS apps or compatible browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera and Safari. By default, this makes Beamafilm more built for streaming on smaller screens, but if you have cast-capable devices like a Google Chromecast, you can push content from a smaller screen to a TV.

There are parental controls for those with kids, and movies content with M, MA15+ or R ratings can be filtered out using a profile password. There’s also a dedicated Kids Zone tab for kid-friendly content.

In terms of data usage, Beamafilm says it uses 1GB per hour for SD video (typically, 480p) and up to 3GB each hour for HD video. Supported titles stream at up to 1080p quality, but older content like Skippy and the Intruders (released in 1969) may max out at lower resolutions like 540p, which should put data usage between 1GB and 3GB for resolutions between 480p and 1080p.

How much does Beamafilm cost?

Beamafilm has two main subscription tiers. Like other streaming services, you can pay $7.99 per month after a 30-day trial. That fee nets you access to a library including hundreds of movies, TV series and documentaries, all of which are ad-free.

The better way to access Beamafilm, though, is not to pay at all. Beamafilm primarily uses a business-to-business income model, which translates to asking libraries, schools and unis to pay subscription fees on behalf of their members. If you have a membership with an eligible institution, you can access Beamafilm for free. I used my local library membership to write this review.

Service
Details
Monthly price
More info
Binge Standard plan
4K streaming
2 streams
Deal: 7-day free trial
$18/mth
Apple TV+Apple TV+ plan
4K streaming
6 streams (Family Sharing)
Deal: 7-day free trial
$12.99/mth
Disney PlusDisney+ Standard plan
HD streaming
2 streams
Deal: $139.99 for 12mths
$13.99/mth
Disney PlusDisney+ Premium plan
4K streaming
4 streams
Deal: $179.99 for 12mths
$17.99/mth
NetflixNetflix Standard + Ads
HD streaming
2 streams
$6.99/mth
StanStan Basic plan
SD streaming
1 stream
$12/mth
Kayo SportsKayo One Plan
HD streaming
1 stream
Deal: 7-day free trial
$25/mth
Foxtel Now | 2022 logo | Reviews.org AustraliaFoxtel Now Essentials
HD streaming
2 streams
Access to over 30 channels
Deal: 10-day free trial
$25/mth
ShudderShudder plan
HD streaming
1 stream
Deal: 7-day free trial
$6.99/mth
Hayu | Provider logoHayu Plan
HD streaming
1 stream
Deal: 7-day free trial
$6.99/mth
Paramount+Paramount+ plan
HD streaming
2 streams
Deal: 7-day free trial
$9.99/mth

What is the Beamafilm interface like?

Beamafilm has clearly taken interface cues from Netflix and other popular streaming services. In basic terms, there’s promoted content in a top banner, then a lengthy vertical scroll to see the top items from a range of categories. In a supported web browser, hover over an item of interest to see more info—including rating and resolution—then click on the love heart to add to favourites (your watch-later list) or ‘Watch Now’ to get viewing.

On mobile devices, tap on the content you want to know more about, then it’s much the same deal as web browsers. The top promoted banner is stuffed with dozens of items, so you’re better off dipping into the various subcategories to find content of interest. Playback controls are limited but logical: play and pause, volume, skip forward or back by 10 seconds, cast, full-screen viewing, and activate closed captions.

Admittedly, the Beamafilm Android app was better optimised for my Google Pixel 7 Pro than it was for my Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, the latter of which didn’t properly go into full-screen mode and, frustratingly, had no visible playback controls. Note that Beamafilm is a streaming-only service, so you won’t be able to download anything for offline viewing. The other main challenge is the inconsistency of simultaneous streams.

In my browser, Beamafilm told me it supported two simultaneous streams as part of an error message when I was playing different content on an Android device. On Android, a differently phrased error message told me Beamafilm only supported one stream per account. Later in my tests, I was able to get two simultaneous streams working when I started content in a browser first, then on mobile afterwards. Go figure.

What movies and TV shows are on Beamafilm?

Beamafilm’s content is separated into movies, TV series and documentaries. I counted 700+ entries under the documentary tab, just shy of 800 in the movie category, and just over 100 options in the TV section. The trick is there’s some crossover between categories. Certain docuseries were listed in documentary and TV sections, while some of the TV series entries were film collections (at least two for Nicole Kidman).

Overall, Beamafilm doesn’t have the kind of killer catalogue to tempt you away from Netflix, Stan or Prime Video. But it does have an eclectic mix of newer and older content to at least get mainstream tastes started.

The documentary section included The Act of Killing, Blackfish, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Searching for Sugar Man. I made note of dozens of recognisable entries under movies, including The Last Emperor, The Professor and the Madman, Shame, and Calvary. There were also iconic foreign-language options, including Oldboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. While those two films were available in their original languages, The Pilot: A Battle for Survival only had the English dub instead of a choice to stream in the original Russian.

TV had fewer notable entries, though it did have one season of Rake, both seasons of Top of the Lake, and the classic BBC thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Overall, not a massive amount of content, but a decent selection that’s worth watching, especially if you’re not paying a monthly subscription.

Is Beamafilm worth using?

While cheaper than other streaming services, $7.99 a month isn’t exactly chicken feed when it comes to a subscription that may not have a catalogue of recognisable content for most homes. That said, if you can get Beamafilm for free and don’t mind casting—or watching on a tablet, smartphone or computer screen—there’s enough good ad-free stuff here to have another option for streaming content.

How we review streaming services

Our evaluation of streaming services starts with cost. It’s okay if a streaming service is comparatively pricey, but it has to have a library of quality content and a cadence of new stuff to justify the price. Bonus points if there’s a free trial, and we like it when there are no ads.

The next level of appraisal is about content. We can appreciate that most homes will be familiar with popular TV series, documentaries and movies, whether they’re classics or part of the zeitgeist. Streaming services should be easy to use, intuitive and offer streaming on multiple devices. We also favour extra features like the option to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing.

Fidelity matters, too, especially given the rise of 4K TVs. It’s not essential for streaming services to offer 4K content but we like the ones that do, and we prefer it when users don’t have to pay more for the pleasure of viewing in higher fidelity. Finally, we like streaming services that offer more than just video content, like Netflix with its mobile game selection and Prime Video with the bundled Amazon Prime perks.

Beamafilm frequently asked questions

Yes, Beamafilm is a streaming service that’s available in Australia. Stream Beamafilm movies and TV shows from a web browser, Google Play app or iOS app.
As long as your TV supports casting—or you have a casting device, like Chromecast, connected—you can cast Beamafilm content from a supported web browser, Android app or iOS app.
Beamafilm has a 30-day trial for new sign-ups, but it normally costs $7.99 per month. Alternatively, use an eligible library or school subscription to stream Beamafilm for free.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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