Foxtel vs Foxtel Now: What's the real difference?


foxtel vs foxtel now

Delivering pay TV to Australians for the past few decades – and growing constantly over the years – Foxtel has the most comprehensive range of TV content available, across multiple genres. With 54 channels included as part of the base Foxtel Plus bundle, you’re already enjoying far more choice than regular broadcast TV – and adding extra channel packs like Sports HD and Movies HD can enhance that experience even more, right up to the Platinum Plus Bundle which includes everything Foxtel has to offer – a vast amount of content, which includes Netflix.

Foxtel Now, on the other hand, is Foxtel adapted to the streaming era, with both live Foxtel channels and on-demand content delivered via your broadband internet connection to your mobile device, computer or TV. Foxtel Now provides access to most of the channels and content that satellite Foxtel does, but without the need for installation or lock-in contracts – making it perfect for people who move around a lot, and those unable to get access to the satellite version of Foxtel.

What Makes Foxtel and Foxtel Now Different?

Whether it’s Foxtel via satellite or Foxtel Now via broadband, once connected you’ll have access to a vast range of content that you simply can’t find anywhere else. With channels covering everything from first-run drama to premium sports to blockbuster movies, there’s something for everyone amongst Foxtel’s diverse channel line-up.

The Foxtel Plus that all satellite subscribers get offers 54 channels covering everything from drama, news, and music to special channels for the kids, with premium drama channels like Fox Showcase (the home of HBO’s acclaimed shows) and Fox One included. Other channel packs that can be added include Movies HD and Sports HD, letting you tailor your viewing to exactly what you want. The latest iQ4 upgrade also makes bundling Netflix possible, which makes for a very well-rounded and appealing entertainment package.

Choose How you Want to Watch

Foxtel Now, meanwhile, also comes with a base set of channels, with the Pop and Lifestyle packs forming the entry-level channel bundle called Essentials, alongside a set of bonus channels – bringing the base line-up to 26 channels in total, including Fox Showcase, the home of HBO shows like Game of Thrones. Extra channel packs can be added to get access to live sports, a wide range of movies or premium drama.

With so much of its content exclusively licensed to Foxtel, regardless of which method of viewing you pick, you’ll be gaining access to some of the best TV you’ll find anywhere – and it can only be found through Foxtel.

Foxtel Now

Instantly stream all your entertainment on your favourite devices

Stream the world’s best dramas, sport and Hollywood blockbusters. No installation, no lock-in contract.

What Do They Deliver?

Part of the base packs on Foxtel Now and also the standard Foxtel Plus bundle, the Fox Showcase channel has exclusive rights to everything from acclaimed network HBO – giving Australia access to much-acclaimed shows like Game of Thrones, Westworld, Veep, Silicon Valley, Watchmen, Big Little Lies and many more. All of it is available to stream on demand in high definition, too, alongside thousands of hours of other content that’s included in your subscription price. There’s even a dedicated channel for those who like to binge-watch shows – Box Sets runs entire seasons, 24 hours a day.

Sports fans, meanwhile, are well catered for by the range of 13 HD channels available through both Foxtel and Foxtel Now, including comprehensive live coverage of sports from Australia (including AFL and NRL) and around the globe, 24 hours a day. In addition to the multiple Fox Sports channels, you’ve got access to the international resources of ESPN, Eurosport and beIN.

What Does Foxtel Offer?

Foxtel splits its channels into separate packs that can be added individually to the base 54-channel Foxtel Plus bundle, which all subscribers get. You can add Sports HD, Movies HD, Kids, Favourites and, of course, bundle them with a standard Netflix plan, with costs for each pack varying depending on what’s included. Each channel pack also unlocks access to its on-demand content, increasing the value hugely.

Channel PackChannels IncludedHighlights
Foxtel PlusFOX8, BBC UKTV, Arena, MTV, Universal, Fox Hits, Fox Funny, Fox Classics, Fox Crime, Fox One, Fox Showcase, Lifestyle, TLC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, BBC First, 13th Street, BBC Earth, Disney Jr., Nick Jr., Boomerang, MTV Music, MTV Dance, Channel V, MAX, Foxtel Smooth Arts, CMC, Foxtel Music, FOX Sports News, SKY Racing, SKY Thoroughbred Central, FOX News, SKY News, Your Money, SKY News UK, SKY News Extra, SKY News Weather, BBC World News, CNN, CGTN, CGTN Documentary, NHK World, Aurora, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Al Jazeera, RT, EXPO Channel, TVSN, ACCTV, Daystar, Sonlife, Hillsong, TRT WorldGame of Thrones, Outlander, Mr. Robot, Wentworth, Big Little Lies, The Walking Dead, Chernobyl
Sports HD PackFOX Cricket, FOX Footy, FOX League, FOX Sports 503/505/506/507, beIN Sports 1/2/3, ESPN, ESPN2, Eurosport, FOX Sports Ultra HDAustralian summer of cricket, NBA, NFL, Hyundai A-League
Movies HD PackPremiere Movies, Kids Movies, Family Movies, Action Movies, Comedy Movies, Drama Movies, Thriller Movies, Hits Movies, Greats Movies, Romance Movies, Ultra HD MoviesThe Hustle, The Favourite, Vox Lux, Deadpool 2, Aquaman
Favourites PackCrime+Investigation, History, The Comedy Channel, A&E, Nat Geo Wild, Lifestyle Home, Lifestyle Food, SyFy, Box Sets, Animal Planet, Discovery Turbo, Style, Discovery ScienceLast Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Jim Jeffries Show, Just For Laughs Australia, Decoding the Great Pyramid
Kids PackCartoon Network, Disney Channel, CBeebies, Nickelodeon, Discovery KidsAdventure Time, Thomas and Friends, Lego Ninjago, Where the Wild Things Are

For both the Movies and Sports packs, access to high definition (HD) channels is now included, and subscribers to the Movies HD and Sports HD packs also get free access to Foxtel’s new 4K channels – Australia’s first broadcast 4K television channels.

Premium Viewing with Platinum Plus Bundle

If you want the whole lot, the Platinum Plus Bundle containing over 90 channels plus high definition, multiroom casting and Netflix is your best option. Do watch out for special offers, as free or reduced-price installation or the iQ4 set-top box are often offered as part of advertised bundles.

What Does Foxtel Now Offer?

With Foxtel Now, your first move when subscribing is to get the base Essentials pack – which incorporates the “Pop” and “Lifestyle” packs – at $25/month. After that, you can add any of the premium packs — Drama, Sport, Movies, Docos and Kids. While the packs bear similar names to those in the hardware Foxtel service, not all the channels available on the iQ4 box have made the transition over to Foxtel Now.

Pack/Channel/BundleCost/MonthHighlightsFeatured Shows
Pack / Channel / Bundle:
Essentials pack
Cost / Month: $25Highlights:
  • Fox Showcase
  • Fox8
  • Comedy Channel
  • Arena
  • E!
  • TLC
Featured Shows:
  • Game of Thrones
  • Lambs of God
  • Mr. Robot
  • The Walking Dead
  • Grand Designs
  • Gogglebox Australia
Pack / Channel / Bundle:
Essentials + Drama Extra pack
Cost / Month: $35Highlights:
  • BBC UKTV
  • BBC First
  • Universal Channel
Featured Shows:
  • Victoria
  • Luther
  • The Victim
Pack / Channel / Bundle:
Essentials + Sport pack
Cost / Month: $54Highlights:
  • Fox Sports
  • Fox League
  • Footy Play
Featured Shows:
  • NBA
  • A-League
  • Cricket
Pack / Channel / Bundle:
Essentials + Movie pack
Cost / Month: $45Highlights:
  • Movies Premiere
  • Movies Hits
  • Movies Greats
Featured Shows:
  • Aquaman
  • A Star Is Born
  • The Favourite
Pack / Channel / Bundle:
All Packs (including Kids & Docos)
Cost / Month: $104Highlights:
  • Disney Channel
  • Nickelodeon
  • Cartoon Network
  • National Geographic
  • Discovery Channel
Featured Shows:
  • Paw Patrol
  • Bunk'd
  • Coast Australia
  • Crimes That Shook Australia
  • 60 Days In

Trial it for Free

Aside from the individual premium packs that are available to add, you can get everything on offer – which includes the Kids and Docos packs, unavailable otherwise. Note that you can cancel your subscription anytime – there’s no setup fee or lock-in contract. There’s also a free 10-day trial for new subscribers.

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The User Experience

Foxtel Now launched its own custom-designed streaming box at the end of 2017, and for those that choose to go with the Foxtel Now option it’s an easy way to get Foxtel onto your screen in HD via your broadband connection at a low cost. The interface is based on the familiar iQ interface for ease of use – something you’ll also find on the latest Telstra TV box, where the Foxtel Now app does a superb job of streaming live channels and on-demand content.

The Box is Set, the Choices are Unlimited

Foxtel via satellite, meanwhile, requires the installation of a set-top box, with the iQ4 the latest update to the device that both receives and records your Foxtel channels, as well as serving as an on-demand streaming hub.

The iQ4 can record up to 345 hours of entertainment in SD or 172 hours of HD, and a constantly updated electronic program guide (EPG) makes it easy to find and record your shows. Foxtel Now simulates much of this in its apps, but it’s just as simple to navigate and use. Foxtel’s catch-up service, Foxtel On Demand, is included with both.

The Online Streaming option

Foxtel Now doesn’t require a set-top box, since you watch via the internet, either in a web browser or through the Foxtel Now app on various platforms. You can access Foxtel Now on your PC, Mac, Telstra TV, Foxtel Now Box, Playstation 4, Sony, LG and Samsung smart TVs, iOS/Android phone or tablet and Google Chromecast, with content available in HD where possible. Meanwhile, the older version of the app, Foxtel Play, is still available on Xbox One, Playstation 3, and older Smart TVs.

Foxtel offers a mobile app which lets you watch your favourite shows and movies on the go, which is a great feature to have access to while travelling. Foxtel satellite customers and Foxtel Now both get access to the same mobile app to watch subscribed channels and content when out and about – it’s called Foxtel Go, and is included with all Foxtel and Foxtel Now subscriptions at no extra cost. You can easily access the Foxtel Go app across several devices, making it much easier to watch your favourites wherever you go.

How to Access Foxtel and Foxtel Now

Foxtel Pay TV is available right across Australia, thanks to satellite technology that beams high definition and 4K channels to you no matter where you are (do note, though, that on-demand content on the Foxtel iQ4 box requires a broadband internet connection and will consume a reasonable amount of your data limit). Foxtel Now, meanwhile, is available anywhere you have a broadband connection.

Device Compatibility

Foxtel Now is currently available on the following devices, with more to come:

Device Available? User Guide
Foxtel Now Box Yes
Sony Android TV, Sony TV Yes 2015 models and above
iOS Mobiles/Tablets Yes Via Foxtel Go app (iPhone 4s or above, iPad 2 or above – using iOS 9.35 or above)
Android Mobiles/Tablets Yes Via native app (Lollipop 5.0 or above)
PC/Mac Yes Web browser only with Foxtel Go (Google Chrome and Safari)
Google Chromecast Yes Via casting
Apple TV Yes Via AirPlay
Telstra TV Yes All models
PlayStation 4 Yes All models (Foxtel Play on PlayStation 3)
Xbox One Yes Foxtel Play only
Samsung, LG Smart TVs Yes2017 models and above

Which One Is Best for You — Foxtel or Foxtel Now?

At the entry package level, Foxtel’s Pay TV service definitely provides more value for your money — provided of course, that the service is available in your area. Otherwise, you can just opt for Foxtel Now.

If you like a broad range of channels to choose from, the Platinum Plus Bundle from Foxtel might be the best thing for you. Otherwise, if you’re not too particular about all the extra channels — or if either cable or satellite installation is not an option — then picking and choosing selected channel packs from Foxtel Now potentially works out to be more cost-effective.

Either way, you’ll be getting access to a huge world of TV entertainment and information that you simply cannot get anywhere else.

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