Everyone knows technology moves fast, but the way that broadband internet and TV entertainment have so quickly merged together over the past half a decade has been astonishing even to seasoned observers. Only a few years ago, you’d have your TV in the lounge room viewing free to air or Foxtel, and your PC in the study connected to the internet.
Now, thanks to the meteoric rise of streaming via Netflix, Stan, Prime Video, Disney Plus, BINGE and others, the two are inexorably linked. Even Foxtel has jumped into full-on broadband connectivity with their superb iQ4 set top box, which acts as both a satellite TV receiver and a streaming platform for some of the most-wanted content on the planet. Your new TV is now “smart” and connects to broadband to deliver you far more entertainment than mere broadcast channels.
Of course, this means you’ve got more than just one service to maintain as you jump into the modern connected TV world. Not only do you need subscriptions to your premium TV platform of choice, but you also need a broadband connection capable enough to handle it. You want it to be as fast as possible to cope with multiple family members streaming at the same time, and you want unlimited data so you don’t need to worry about using too much when you settle in for a weekend bingeing 11 seasons of The Big Bang Theory on Netflix or every episode of Game of Thrones on your Foxtel iQ4 box.
How to Bundle and Save
You’re probably used to seeing bundles being offered from the times you’ve shopped for a phone or broadband plan before, and they’re great – you get a package of services for a defined monthly price that can save you both money and hassle. But it’s only relatively recently that we’ve started seeing bundling extended to TV services on a wide scale; it’s been done by some providers for a while in a fairly low-key manner, but these days, if you want to get set up with Netflix, Stan, Foxtel or Fetch, you’re going to fine there’s a bundle for it and you’ll very likely be pleasantly surprised by the price.
We’re going to take a look at the biggest TV services around right now, and where you can get set up with them via a package that delivers them to you with the broadband you need bundled in. You probably don’t feel like juggling multiple bills just to get set up for streaming in your new place, and the good news is you don’t have to!
Best TV Bundle for Netflix Fans
With millions of people already streaming Netflix in Australia and close to 200 million worldwide, it’s pretty clear that Netflix is a must-have if you want the latest in original shows and movies from the world’s largest and most influential streaming service. But at the same time, you can’t survive on just Netflix alone – especially if you’re a big fan of watching some of the most talked about shows of the past decade from studios like HBO and Fox.
That’s where Foxtel’s Netflix integration comes into play, and while you can grab Foxtel with Netflix bundled in for a keen $61/month, it’s when you add Foxtel NBN broadband that the package comes together. You can bundle the Foxtel Plus package (including premium drama channel Fox Showcase) with the latest iQ4 box, a 50 Mbps NBN broadband connection with unlimited data, and a Netflix HD subscription that you can use on the iQ4 as well as your own devices – all for $136 a month. That’s a great money-saving option which sets you up with limitless entertainment and rock-solid fast broadband, all in one go. Depending on Foxtel’s current offers, these prices can get way cheaper when locked into 12 months.
Last audited 29 November 2020
Best TV Bundles for Sport Fanatics
Here’s where things get interesting. Depending on your preferred sporting codes, you’ll find some very solid broadband bundles across different providers. And for many Australians, the must-have sports are AFL, NRL and cricket.
All three of those are comprehensively covered by Foxtel, which makes Telstra’s Sports HD + Unlimited Data bundle a great one to grab. Along with Telstra’s acclaimed NBN broadband service at 50 Mbps – with 4G backup via the latest Telstra smart modem and unlimited data – you get the superb Foxtel iQ4 box and access to both Foxtel Plus (including HBO) and Sports HD. That means 12 channels of live sports in HD and the new 4K channel, with the option to add Netflix and stream it right there on the iQ4 box as well.
If you’re a big fan of English and European football, though, you might want to cast your eyes on a different bundle – Optus’s excellent-value unlimited broadband bundle. This one brings together fast 50 Mbps broadband, a Fetch TV service with the superb Fetch Mighty set top box, and full access to Optus Sport ready to stream on your new Fetch device. Also including unlimited phone calls to anywhere in Australia, it costs a mere $90/month, a hard one to beat for football fanatics.
One more option that’s not technically part of a bundle, but can be added to an existing Telstra bundle deal, is sports streaming service Kayo Sports. This hugely popular service, which brings streaming sports into the 21st century, can be added to any Telstra broadband bundle for $25 per month. So rather than going with the Foxtel satellite option, you could pick the Telstra TV + Unlimited Data bundle instead, at only $99 including the versatile Telstra TV streaming box – which, of course, has a Kayo Sports app ready to go. Add a Kayo subscription to your plan, which Telstra currently offers from only $15/month, (easily done on the same monthly bill) and you’re ready to stream sport both live and on-demand for less per month than ever before.
Last audited 30 November 2020
The Best Bundles for Fetch TV
Operating in Australia for several years now, Fetch TV is an alternative pay TV service that uses broadband internet to deliver its live channels and on-demand content, rather than traditional broadcasts. But that doesn’t mean it’s a compromise – Fetch TV’s Mini and Mighty set top boxes are full-fledged entertainment hubs with the ability to stream in 4K, access all the major streaming and catch-up TV services, and even record shows from streaming channels on the Mighty box.
Because Fetch TV relies on fast broadband to work, the company partners with internet providers to deliver a fully integrated bundled service. This gives you multiple options when it comes to where you get your Fetch service from – and the Optus TV bundle is only one of them (though it’s the only one that comes with access to Optus Sport).
Much-loved ISP iPrimus, of course, offers Fetch TV bundles across a range of unlimited plan speeds, which makes them a great choice for the service if your broadband speed needs are modest. Simply sign up for any of iPrimus’ unlimited data plans to add Fetch TV. You can grab a bundle including the Fetch Mini box, unlimited data and NBN 50 speed for only $85 a month. Or if you want to look after the whole family, you can go for the Premium plan – a 100 Mbps NBN service, unlimited data and two Fetch boxes – a Mighty for the lounge room, and a Mini for a second room that can stream recordings off its big brother. That’s a winning way to get rock-solid broadband and set up for streaming.
Last audited 30 November 2020
The Best TV Bundles for Foxtel
We couldn’t possibly talk about broadband and TV bundles without Foxtel. With their decades of experience in providing dozens of channels of entertainment, movies, sport, news and more, they embraced broadband early on via the iQ range of set top boxes, with the iQ3 and iQ4 now just as much at home as streaming devices as they are as TV receivers and recorders.
Foxtel is an obvious go-to for bundled entertainment, with their Telstra-powered NBN broadband a perfect fit with the latest channel packs that are now better value for viewers than ever before. You can go for the Foxtel Plus bundle (including a wide range of channels encompassing everything from news and lifestyle to premium drama) with 50 Mbps broadband and unlimited Australia-wide phone calls for only $124 a month – or add either Sports HD for $25 or Movies HD for only $20 more (activating HD across all Foxtel channel in the process).
Alternatively, if you don’t need unlimited data, Telstra can set you up with their stellar 500GB NBN broadband service and Foxtel Plus with either Movies HD or Sports HD for only $125/month (and you get a hefty bonus in the form of 3 months BINGE streaming as a postpaid consumer, too.) Getting an unlimited data, meanwhile, gets you $10 monthly credit for 12 months, setting this entire package for only $130 per month.
Last audited 30 November 2020
What About Foxtel Now & BINGE?
Australia’s one of those rare countries where two streaming services attract customers by the millions, and Foxtel Now has proven to be a vital part of the streaming landscape with its vast range of shows and movies of all kinds. Then there’s BINGE, which only recently launched.
Fortunately, Foxtel Now can be added into your Telstra home internet plan. Bundling this streaming service with your broadband plan earns you the reward to try all of Foxtel Now’s channel packs for one month free. BINGE can also be added into your Telstra broadband plan, which scores you up to three months of free subscription.
To get more streaming freebies, Telstra’s recently launched loyalty program Telstra Plus gives customers free access to Kayo on its Silver and Gold tiers and BINGE on all member-tiers, which you graduate to by spending a certain amount on Telstra services during the year. So if you were to grab one of the Foxtel from Telstra broadband bundles, you’d find yourself on the Silver tier automatically after the first year – and then treated to a month of free Kayo Sports and a range of other perks and rewards. Streaming service BINGE is also part of Telstra Plus’ latest rewards lineup — Member-tier users get 3 months, Silver-tier scores 6 months, and Gold-tier members get up to 9 months.
Last audited 29 November 2020
Best Broadband TV Bundles on a Budget
If you’re only looking to get set up with TV for yourself, and don’t want to break the bank with broadband speed you don’t need or channels you won’t watch, we’d recommend heading for a Fetch TV bundle as a starting point – because you get a very capable little streaming device that not only serves as a portal to Netflix, Stan, Prime Video and more, but also offers its own range of pay TV channels, many of which are the same as those on Foxtel but at a fraction of the price.
The iPrimus bundle with Fetch TV is a great choice at a low price. Unlimited data with iPrimus starts ar $70 per month and adding Fetch TV is only from $10/month extra. iiNet’s NBN50 Limitless bundle is also a good fit – including a high quality modem, so you don’t even need to pay extra for that if you don’t have one.
Are There Any Super-Cheap TV Bundles?
You may have noticed that the bundles on offer tend to hover around the same baseline price points, with nothing much on offer for those who are looking for something really cheap in terms of cost per month. The main reason for that is the price of the NBN itself – access to it with a quality ISP, even at slower connection speeds, is probably more costly than many might like right now. That’s something the NBN is actively working to change, though, and with new pricing plans and tiers being introduced this year, we’re expecting to see general broadband pricing come down, and broadband/TV bundle pricing dropping at the same time.
Until then, though, remember that what you’re buying with these bundles, while it may sound a little expensive, is the “complete package”. You’re setting yourself up with broadband, home phone and TV all at the same time, and in most cases if you were to buy each separately, you’d end up paying a fair bit more (and dealing with multiple bills!)
Whichever bundle you ultimately choose to go with, remember that your enjoyment of any streaming element of it – whether that’s Netflix in 4K or a Game of Thrones on-demand marathon on your Foxtel iQ4 – is going to depend on the quality and speed of the broadband connection that’s powering it. So, take into account how many people will be using it at the same time – if you’re a family, go for faster NBN speeds rather than saving some money on a cheaper bundle but finding everyone’s viewing turns to buffering in the evening.
We’ve never had so much choice when it comes to TV entertainment – and never at such low prices for what we’re getting. The choice is yours!
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