How to Watch and Stream with Foxtel's iQ4 Box
Last updated December 28th, 2020
Foxtel’s iQ set top boxes have been delivering TV entertainment whenever you want to watch it for years. But the newest member of the iQ family takes things to a completely new level, expanding on the game-changing features first seen in the popular iQ3 and adding some eye-opening new ones. This is the iQ4 – the most advanced set-top box ever released in Australia. It’s more than just a device to tune into your Foxtel channels – it’s much, much more.
The iQ4 brings together powerful technology with some fantastic new Foxtel features built especially for it. It’s exclusive to Foxtel’s satellite users. If you’ve used a Foxtel set top box before, the familiar (yet slightly different) remote will make you feel right at home – but once you start exploring what the iQ4’s got to offer, you’ll realise this isn’t your typical Foxtel box.
What Features Does Foxtel’s iQ4 Have?
While on the outside it looks very similar to its predecessor, the iQ3 box, make no mistake – this is the most powerful device Foxtel has ever put into the hands of its customers. The upgrade will become apparent as soon as you start using it. Powered by a next-generation processor, the iQ4 brings the Foxtel interface – upgraded and enhanced for the iQ4 – to life. Whether you’re channel surfing or looking for something to binge via on-demand streaming, the iQ4 is fast and responsive. It’s also the first set-top box in Australia to support 4K broadcasts – perfect for Australia’s first and only 4K broadcast channels!
Taking full advantage of years of advances in technology, the iQ4 is a feature-packed beast hiding behind a modest exterior and its familiar-but-different remote control.
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4K Broadcast Support
If you’ve bought a new big screen TV in recent years, chances are it supports the 4K Ultra HD picture format. This format offers quality and detail eight times that of High Definition – and more than 20 times greater than standard Foxtel channels. Until now, the only way to watch actual 4K content was either to buy a 4K Blu-ray player and discs, or have a broadband connection fast enough to stream at that quality online from streaming services like Netflix. But with the arrival of the iQ4, Foxtel launched Australia’s first 4K broadcast channels – giving you guaranteed perfect 4K delivered via satellite, 24 hours a day. Fox Sports Ultra HD brings you live and replayed sports in 4K (including the cricket, AFL, NRL, Formula 1 Grand Prix and more) while Movies Ultra HD delivers 24-hour-a-day movies in crisp 4K without having to worry about buffering or data limits. Foxtel 4K is the perfect way to show off that new TV – and the iQ4 is the only Foxtel box that can receive it.
You only need to spend a little time with the iQ4 to realise that it’s one very powerful device. Custom-built from the ground up for performance and speed, the iQ4’s interface is fast and fluid, letting you browse smoothly through everything from the program guide to your recordings to thousands of hours of on-demand streaming content, all with Foxtel’s easy-to-use graphical interface, now supercharged by the iQ4’s fast processor.
The popular On Demand section of the iQ has been expanded and enhanced for the iQ4, with dedicated sections for fans of movies (with new movies added every day) and premium television (fully loaded with all things HBO). With thousands of hours of movies and TV to stream whenever you like or download to watch later, you never need to worry about catching up with a show again. Entire seasons are there ready to stream direct to your screen as part of your Movies HD, Foxtel Plus or Platinum channel package. If you’ve got access to the channels, you’ve got access to their content to stream whenever you like, whether it’s on your TV, your mobile devices or your computer.
The new sports menu brings together all of Foxtel’s premium sport content in the one place, letting you easily see at a glance which major events are coming up. But more than that, it’s your gateway to the Team Link feature, which is something that’s going to make a lot of sports fans very happy indeed. With Team Link, you can pick your team – or multiple teams – from eight major sporting codes including AFL, NRL, Big Bash League, A-League, Super Rugby, WBBL and AFLW. The iQ4 remembers the teams you’ve chosen, and from that point on, it’ll automatically record every single game your teams play in – and just the live games, not the replays. There’s no need to watch the guide or check the fixtures – the iQ4 takes care of it all automatically.
Smart Viewing Features
The iQ4 keeps track of the TV shows you’ve been watching and any shows or movies you might not have finished. It puts them all on one handy section right on the Home screen which lets you get right back to watching without having to remember where you were up to. If you’re in for a solid binge session – something made very possible by the huge amount of on-demand streaming content available on iQ4 – the Next Episode feature will instantly take you to the next in the series.
If you turn on the TV and find you’ve missed the start of a show or movie, you can just select Start Over from the on-screen menu to instantly begin playing the show from the beginning. Working in tandem with that is the popular Look Back, which lets you pull up the program guide and see what aired in the past 24 hours – and then watch any of it at the click of a remote control button, streamed via broadband.
New Foxtel Remote Control
Exclusive to the iQ4 is Foxtel’s latest remote control, which includes dedicated buttons for on demand streaming sections, a handy Netflix button (more on that in a moment) and best of all, voice control support. It’s also backlit so you can easily find it in the dark!
The voice control feature lets you search for stuff to watch just by asking – and while you can just do the obvious and search for a movie title or actor, it’s smart enough to know what you’re looking for no matter what you say. You can say “I’ll be back” and get a set of Terminator movies, or “show me the money” will bring up Jerry Maguire.
All new iQ4 customers get this advanced new remote by default, while existing customers can order one for a small fee.
The iQ4 also boasts full support for Netflix, with an app built in to the iQ4 and available at a touch of the dedicated Netflix button on the iQ4 remote. The integration of Netflix means recommendations for their shows and movies join Foxtel content on the new Home screen. You can use your existing Netflix account on the app, or you can add a Netflix subscription to your Foxtel plan so it’s all covered in the one bill. Platinum Plus bundle customers get their Netflix subscription included at no extra cost, too – a fantastic deal.
Free to Air Catch-Up Apps
You can now watch shows from ABC TV and SBS On Demand thanks to the addition of full ABC iView and SBS On Demand apps to the iQ4, making it even more of a comprehensive entertainment device. At the moment, catch-up apps for the three commercial free to air networks aren’t available – but we assume it’s at least possible that they could be in the future.
Foxtel iQ4 Plans and Pricing
Like with previous iQ boxes, the iQ4 isn’t available for outright sale – only in tandem with a Foxtel subscription. If you’re a brand-new Foxtel customer signing up for the first time, you can take advantage of one of the regular package offers that you’ll find both directly from Foxtel as well as Foxtel From Telstra. With many of these offers, the iQ4 is either heavily discounted or supplied at no cost, as part of your overall subscription package.
Last audited 22 February 2021
Can Existing Customers Get the iQ4?
Yes, absolutely – existing Foxtel customers can upgrade from the iQ2 or iQ3 simply by calling Foxtel. There’s a one-off equipment fee of $125 for the upgrade, which can be waived if you agree to a 12-month contract.
If you’re currently on a cable Foxtel connection, you’ll need to switch to satellite to get and use the iQ4. That’s actually a good thing, too – Foxtel’s cable network will start to be shut down in a couple of years to make way for faster NBN services, and switching to satellite now means you won’t have to worry about when that happens (and you can only get the 4K channels on satellite, too!) For a new satellite installation, you’ll need a Foxtel tech to come out and set up the dish and new connection cables.
You can order your iQ4 upgrade on the Foxtel website – just log in to your account and click on the Upgrade link under “Change my package”.
If you’re self-installing, your new iQ4 will be express-delivered, and you’ll be sent instructions on how to return your old box to Foxtel at no cost to you.
Does the iQ4 Need a 4K TV?
One of the key features of the iQ4 box is its full support for 4K video. But if your TV isn’t 4K-capable, there’s still plenty of benefit to upgrading. If you’ve been using an iQ2 up until now, you’ve been missing out on some of Foxtel’s most innovative and useful interactive features, which the ageing iQ2 simply doesn’t support.
And if you’ve had an iQ3, you’ll be blown away by just how fast and responsive the iQ4 is by comparison. It may look similar from the outside, and the menus may look familiar, but this is an entirely new design that’s vastly more powerful than any box Foxtel has ever released. It’s very much an upgrade for all Foxtel satellite customers – and if you upgrade your TV later on, the iQ4 will be ready and waiting with its two exclusive 4K channels.
What Connections Do You Need?
Like the iQ3 before it, it’s important to remember that the iQ4 only supports video and audio connection via HDMI – there are no other outputs on the box, so you’ll need a TV with HDMI support (which all modern TVs have). If you’re using a 4K television, you’ll need an HDMI 2.0 input that supports HDCP 2.2 – on some TVs, you will need to enable this in settings and/or use a specific input on the TV. You’ll also need a special high speed HDMI cable – but don’t worry, Foxtel provides one with the iQ4, so be sure to use it and not a cable you already have lying around!
Foxtel Customer Service
If you need to get in touch with Foxtel customer service with any questions about your iQ4, you can ring 1300 557 023 for the price of a local call. Technical support is available from 9am to 7pm, seven days a week, while for pack changes, call between 9am and 6pm weekdays. New customer? Try 1300 130 799 between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. If you’ve got any questions about your account or billing, call 1300 760 579 any time between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday.
Foxtel iQ4 Review: Is it Right for Me?
With its advanced features and incredible under-the-hood power that makes watching and recording Foxtel an absolute pleasure, the iQ4 is a must if you have a 4K TV, and well worth getting hold of even if you don’t. Combined with the new, content-packed on-demand streaming section, the new voice remote and great functionality like Team Link, it’s the best way to watch Foxtel.
“…a fast, feature-rich and hugely capable box which makes the experience of simply using Foxtel magnitudes better. The fact that it comes with access to 4K broadcasts via satellite, well, that’s just the icing on the cake. Highly recommended.”