Best Guide to Streaming With Foxtel iQ3
Last updated December 9th, 2019
The workhorse behind millions of hours of Foxtel viewing in every corner of Australia, Foxtel’s iQ3 set top box was a revolutionary device when it arrived, and it’s still in widespread use today. Replacing the traditional text menus that had been used to that point with something far more visually appealing and user-friendly, the iQ3 redefined the basic look of Foxtel itself. Its core innovations have become staple parts of the Foxtel experience, including many based on its extensive support for broadband internet.
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What Makes Foxtel iQ3 Unique?
A complete redesign of the platform which Foxtel operates on, the iQ3 managed to be smaller than its predecessors but far more feature-packed, from its spacious 1TB hard drive for recordings to its graphically enhanced user interface. As time has gone on, Foxtel has added more and more features to the iQ3 – because unlike most set top boxes, the iQ3 was built to be expanded with new features for years to come.
What Features Does the iQ3 Have?
They may have become a part of everyday use by now, but when the iQ3 arrived it boasted some revolutionary features that no other device could offer – heavily integrated with your home broadband connection. Some of the key innovations at launch included:
Wi-Fi: The iQ3 makes it possible to easily connect to your home Wi-Fi, instead of requiring an Ethernet cable to a router or an Ethernet-over-powerline solution. All you need to do is plug it in and sign on to your home’s network. No wires needed! Of course, Ethernet is still supported if you prefer the reliability of a wired connection.
Start Over: One of the those handy features you’ll never realise you couldn’t live without until you try it, Start Over lets you jump back to the start of a show that has already begun and watch the whole thing from the beginning in full HD quality.
Look Back: Also relying on a broadband connection is the Look Back feature, which gives you the ability to browse through the Foxtel on-screen program guide and instantly play shows you’ve missed, streamed on demand. With the Look Back feature, you can watch any show that aired in the past 24 hours – even when you didn’t record it.
Expanded Recording Space: The large 1TB hard disk in the IQ3 makes it possible to record and store up to 345 hours of standard-definition or up to 172 hours of high-definition shows.
Redesigned User Interface: The completely new user interface – recently given a complete makeover to emphasise the on demand streaming features of the device – highlights trending shows, makes suggestions based on your viewing behaviour and favourite channels, and provides access to On Demand content including movies and premium drama. It also acts as a visually rich interface for browsing and playing your recordings, with the ability to choose between playing your recording or opting to stream the show instead. This is more handy than you’d think – it means you can stream many shows in HD even though they’re only broadcast in SD.
Foxtel iQ3 Plans and Pricing
Existing cable Foxtel customers can upgrade to the iQ3 for $125, with the option of installing it themselves – which will cost $25 for a “self-install kit” that depends on you having a working cable connection – or having it installed by a Foxtel technician for $100. Satellite customers now get the even newer iQ4 – a faster and more refined version of the iQ3 – at the same cost. The fees for the iQ box and installation are often waived as part of promotional deals for new customers. You can compare Foxtel packages here.
Last audited 14 September 2020
What About the iQ4 – Foxtel’s Advanced Set Top Box?
More recently, Foxtel made a significant upgrade to the iQ3 with the release of the smarter and faster iQ4 set-top box, which arrived alongside the launch of Foxtel’s 4K channels, an Australian first. Most satellite Foxtel customers now receive the iQ4, which is a faster and even more advanced set top box that’s capable of receiving and recording Foxtel’s new 4K broadcasts. The iQ4 is supplied at the same cost as the iQ3, and while it has a lot of improvements behind the scenes, its user interface is exactly the same as the one you get on the iQ3.
Foxtel Customer Service
If you need to get in touch with Foxtel customer service with any questions about your iQ4, you can ring 131 999 for the price of a local call. Technical support is available from 7.30am to midnight, seven days a week, while for pack changes, call between 9am and 9pm weekdays or 10am-8pm on weekends. If you’ve got any questions about your account or billing, call 1300 760 579 any time between 9am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.
Foxtel iQ3 Review: Is it right for me?
Whether you should upgrade always depends on your circumstances, but given how top-class the iQ3 is, there are few reasons not to upgrade. If you have a reasonably fast broadband internet connection at home and only have the iQ2 at the moment, it is definitely worth it to upgrade to the new iQ3 (or iQ4). The additional features like Start Over, Look Back and the hefty upgrade in recording space make the upgrade very much worth the small one-off price. As an added bonus, the iQ3 now has a Netflix app built in as well, which you can use with your existing Netflix account or by adding a Netflix subscription to your Foxtel plan.