Get the Best Premium Pay TV with Austar
Last updated December 28th, 2020
Founded all the way back in 1995, Austar was an Australian communications company that was best known for its satellite-based pay TV service. At its peak, Austar had nearly a million customers, mostly in regional and rural Australia. Austar was acquired by Foxtel in 2012, and in the following two years all Austar accounts were migrated over to Foxtel’s system.
Austar customers were then able to replace their ageing MyStar set top boxes with the more advanced satellite iQ box, and can now obtain the state of the art iQ4 with its support for Australia’s only 4K broadcast channels. Well known for its subscription TV business, Austar also offered ISP and mobile phone services, but stopped offering both in 2011.
What’s in this Guide?
What Was Austar?
A pioneer of satellite pay TV in Australia, Austar created the MyStar box for its customers to receive the service’s channels. Developed by Philips, the MyStar set top box and personal video recorder was one of the most advanced devices of its time, letting Austar subscribers watch and record digital satellite TV on a device that was groundbreaking in 2008 when it was launched. With all Austar subscribers and the various former MyStar online services migrated to Foxtel by 2014, and the Austar branding retired, MyStar boxes are no longer available – but there are many still in operation, and today they work perfectly with Foxtel’s ever-expanding satellite service.
There are many advantages for MyStar users in upgrading to the latest Foxtel satellite box, the iQ4 – including hundreds of hours of recording, a modern, fast and friendly user interface, high definition on-demand content and access to Foxtel’s 4K channel, which brings sport, movies and more to you via satellite in the highest possible quality. The latest addition to the iQ4’s feature set is the new voice-enabled remote control, which lets users search for actors, directors, titles, and even famous movie quotes and get sent straight to the matching movies or shows, ready to watch without hassle. The MyStar box may have been a reliable workhorse, but the iQ4 is on another level in terms of features and reliability, and is well worth the upgrade.
How Much Does Austar Cost?
While those who were on legacy Austar plans will have been placed onto a special Foxtel package when accounts were migrated over, you’re able to take advantage of Foxtel’s current channel packages and pricing at any time if you want to. The basic Foxtel package these days, Foxtel Plus, costs $49 per month and includes a huge range of channels, including premium drama from Fox Showcase and Fox One.
Foxtel offers channel pack bundles that can add HD sports or movies, and combined with the iQ4 set top box you can greatly expand your TV entertainment while potentially getting even better value than the legacy plan you’ve been migrated to – as you can see with the bundles listed below. You can even bundle Netflix with your Foxtel!
Enjoy the ultimate viewing experience with Foxtel
The world’s best dramas, live sport, latest entertainment, and Netflix shows, all in one place. Enjoy up to $45/mth off when you get a 12-month plan. Offer ends 18 May!
Last audited 10 May 2021
What Content Does Foxtel Offer?
There’s so much to watch on Foxtel it’s impossible to keep track of it all, especially if you’re a fan of all kinds of TV from drama to comedy, docos to lifestyle, movies to sports. Foxtel’s slogan is “I want it all” – but how do you decide what to watch when you do have it all? That’s where our team of TV experts come in, with our monthly recommendations for the very best TV shows that Foxtel has to offer. It’s a great place to get started, and because Foxtel’s available on demand on the iQ4 you can set these shows to record, or stream them straight away. We know it won’t be long before you find your new favourite show!
How does Foxtel compare to Austar?
Austar will forever be remembered for the crucial role they played in the expansion – and the popularisation – of pay TV in Australia. For many, the network was their first experience outside of free-to-air television, helping us move into the 21st century.
The transition from Austar to Foxtel should have been a seamless one, but now that Austar customers have moved to Foxtel, there are many enhancements to their original satellite service. Some of those new features require you to have a reasonably fast broadband connection with a decent data allowance, but they can hugely enhance your TV experience. So, for Austar fans who are lamenting the loss of an Aussie TV pioneer, just know that a better and more improved version exists in Foxtel, with everything you loved about Austar and more.
Overall, you’ll find Foxtel to have a wider range of programs and channels, with better value for money even with just the basic Foxtel Plus channel package – so it’s very much worth taking the time to check out the current Foxtel offers and comparing the channels and price with what you have now.
What is Foxtel Go?
Foxtel Go is Foxtel’s streaming platform – free for all Foxtel customers – which allows you to access your subscribed channels when out and about or away from the TV. With the Foxtel Go app, you can watch your favourite show on your iPhone, iPad, Apple or Android device, or on your computer via a web browser – and if you upgrade to an iQ4 box, you can even set recordings when you’re away from home!
What is Foxtel on Demand?
With Foxtel On Demand – available directly on Foxtel’s iQ set top boxes as well as the Foxtel Go app and the web site – you never have to miss any of your shows. You can access thousands of episodes of your favourite TV shows, or thousands of popular movies, to watch whenever you want. Access to On Demand content is included in your subscription at no extra cost, as long as you have access to the channels that offer the content you want to stream. And with the new voice search feature, finding something to watch from the huge range of shows and movies available on demand has never been easier.
What is the Foxtel Store?
Foxtel’s store, available on the iQ4 set top box, lets you rent movies from a large selection of recent films, so you have full control of what you want to watch and when. You can enjoy even the latest releases fresh out of the cinema, all from the comfort of your home. You can choose any movie from a vast library and stream it directly to your iQ box without leaving the comfort of your couch!
What is Foxtel Now?
If you have fast internet, you can also choose to swap to Foxtel Now, which is a version of Foxtel delivered entirely via broadband that offers both live channels and on-demand content across a wide range of platforms including TVs and streaming devices. Check out the table below for the complete list of compatible Foxtel Now devices:
Devices supported on Foxtel Now
– Foxtel Now Box: Yes
– Sony Android TV: Yes – OS 7.0 and above
– iOS Mobiles/Tablets: Yes – Via Foxtel Go app (iOS 9.3.5 or above)
– Android Mobiles/Tablets: Yes – Via native app (Lollipop 5.0 or above)
– PC/Mac: Yes – Web browser only (Google Chrome and Safari)
– Google Chromecast: Yes – Via casting
– Google Nest: Yes – on Foxtel Go via a compatible Chromecast device connected or built-in to your TV
– Apple TV: Yes – Via AirPlay
– Telstra TV: Yes – All models
– PlayStation 4: Yes – All models (Foxtel Play on PlayStation 3)
– Samsung Smart TVs: Yes – Select 2017 models and above, running on Tizen 3.0 or above
– LG Smart TVs: Yes – Select 2017 models and above, running webOS 3.5 or above
– Hisense Smart TVs: Yes – Select 2019 – 2020 models
– Shield TV: Yes – on Shield TV and Shield TV Pro
Last audited 11 May 2021
Customer Service for Austar
Now that the full merge with Foxtel has been completed, Austar effectively no longer exists – all former Austar customers are now Foxtel customers, though existing Austar hardware like the MyStar boxes will continue to function as normal. If you have any questions about your channel subscriptions or your account now that you’re a Foxtel customer, you should get in touch with Foxtel’s friendly customer support team which is ready to help with everything from account questions to ordering one of the new iQ set top boxes or changing which channel packs you’re subscribed to.
You can call them at 1300 760 579. To ask about package changes, call between 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday to Friday, and 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Saturday & Sunday. If you need technical support, hours are from 7:30 am to midnight, 7 days a week. If you’re calling about the billing for your account, hours are from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
What people are asking about Foxtel
While Foxtel Now relies on streaming video via the internet to deliver Foxtel channels and content, the full Foxtel service remains the premium version of the service, offering more channels, more features, higher picture quality and reliable, hassle-free delivery via satellite. Foxtel subscribers get the advanced iQ4 set top box, which can record hundreds of hours of TV on its inbuilt hard disk (up to four recordings simultaneously), receive Foxtel’s channels including the new 4K Ultra HD channels, and stream all of Foxtel’s on-demand content.
Replacing the old Entertainment Pack which was the base entry-level channel pack that all Foxtel subscribers got, Foxtel Plus expands that base set of channels to include many that used to be found only in optional packs. For example, Fox Showcase – the home of HBO as well as Australian drama like Wentworth – is included in Foxtel Plus, as are FOX8, Fox One, Universal, BBC First and dozens more. All Foxtel subscribers now get Foxtel Plus as the base collection of channels.
While Foxtel’s channels are transmitted by satellite – and so don’t need internet access to be viewed – the iQ4 box uses broadband internet for a number of its key features, including streaming from a huge library of shows and movies that are available on demand at no extra cost, as well as movies you can rent from the Foxtel Store. In addition, Netflix on the iQ4 requires a broadband connection.
Every Foxtel customer gets free access to the handy Foxtel Go app, which gives access to the full range of channels currently subscribed – both for live streaming and on-demand viewing. Foxtel Go is available for phones and tablets, while access is also free of charge via any modern computer web browser.
While generally there’s a $100 installation charge for a technician to visit your home to install the satellite dish and cabling, Foxtel frequently waives this charge in return for agreeing to a 12-month contract – which, in turn, usually also comes with heavily discounted monthly rates for channel packs and bundles. There is also a $125 equipment fee for the iQ4 box – again, waived if you agree to a 12-month contract.
If you no longer want to keep your Foxtel service and have decided to cancel, just call Foxtel on 131 999 and when prompted by the voice menu, ask for “disconnections”. If you decide to go ahead and cancel, you will need to send your iQ4 box back to Foxtel, which you can do free of charge by bringing it to any post office with the return label Foxtel sends you.
Yes, you can use the Foxtel Go app on mobile devices to cast live Foxtel channels and on-demand content to any TV with a Chromecast attached or built in, as well as using the Foxtel app that’s available for recent-model (2017 onwards) smart TVs from LG and Samsung. To do so, you’ll need the Multiscreen pack added on to your account; it’s free with some bundles (such as Platinum Plus) or available for $15 per month.
Foxtel allows you to add, remove or swap channel packs once per month, with the condition that any pack added must be subscribed to for at least a month before being removed or changed. To add or swap packs, head to your Foxtel account page; to remove channel packs, you’ll need to call Foxtel on 1300 657 346 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
Yes, you can add another iQ box for another room of the house, but you will have to pay an installation charge for the Foxtel satellite connection to be installed in that room, as well as a monthly fee for the second iQ4 box. An alternative is to add the $15/month Multiscreen pack to your account and use Foxtels apps to stream your channels to your TV.
If you subscribe to the Sports HD and/or Movies HD channel packs, you’ll have access to the two new 4K Ultra HD channels free of charge – Fox Sports Ultra HD for the Sports HD pack, and Movies Ultra HD for the Movies HD pack. You’ll need an iQ4 box and a compatible 4K TV to view these channels.