Even in this streaming-dominated entertainment age, Foxtel remains the king of live broadcast TV, with its dozens of channels drawing in millions of viewers every day. But with both Foxtel and Foxtel From Telstra offering plans and bundles, how do you know which one to choose? We’re breaking down both satellite providers to see which one gives the best bang for your buck.
If, like many at this time of year, you’ve been thinking that maybe it’s time to subscribe to Foxtel for that tasty sports action (or even the multiple channels of non-stop movies, lifestyle, news and premium drama like Wentworth, Game of Thrones or Big Little Lies) then you may have done a quick Google search and found yourself confused.
There’s Foxtel… and then there’s “Foxtel From Telstra”! Separate offers on separate web sites selling what seems to be basically the same thing. Confused? Check.
Foxtel is, of course, part-owned by Telstra, but if you were thinking there’d be no difference in the actual service you receive once your cable or satellite box is delivered, you’d be absolutely right. Foxtel is Foxtel, regardless of how you ultimately get it.
So what’s the deal with “Foxtel From Telstra”, then?
Foxtel Vs Foxtel From Telstra
There’s often a bit of confusion about what exactly is the difference between getting your Foxtel directly from Foxtel or getting it through Telstra as “Foxtel From Telstra”. The big difference is convenience – after all, you’re getting connected to a pay TV platform that isn’t just about watching live TV via satellite. Your Foxtel service comes with a bunch of extras that make it a truly immersive experience.
There’s the comprehensive On Demand service, available both on the iQ4 box and via apps for your mobile devices, which lets you stream the latest movies, binge entire TV seasons (including the entire HBO library) or live-stream premium sport, wherever you are. It makes sense to pair your Foxtel with a fast broadband service and save money in the process.
That’s where Foxtel From Telstra really shines – you can get yourself a bundle that pulls together Foxtel with the premium Sports HD package and unlimited broadband for only $140 a month – meaning you can stream all you like without worrying about limits. If you’d prefer to have access to the very latest in big-screen entertainment, you can get the Movies HD bundle for $140 a month, again with unlimited broadband included. And it all gets pulled together on the one convenient bill – which you can also add a Telstra mobile service to if you like. Having everything on the same Telstra bill is really convenient and incredibly versatile; if you subscribe to the hugely popular sports streaming service Kayo, for example, you can bundle that onto your Telstra bill as well – and get the latest Telstra TV 3 box to stream it with on your bill as well for only $9/month. You also get access to Telstra’s superb customer service.
Ultimately, it all comes down to convenience. Millions of people have their home phone and/or broadband service through Telstra, and there’s an undeniable lack of hassle about having your Foxtel service bundled in on the same bill – just having the one thing to remember to pay every month is a big bonus for some.
Even better is that Foxtel From Telstra doesn’t require you to sign up for a lock-in contract – you only need to pay out the remainder of your iQ4 equipment fee ($10 per remaining month) if you have to leave early. You can get Foxtel set up at home and not have to worry about being tied down by a contract, which is brilliant.
The key thing to remember is that Foxtel and “Foxtel From Telstra” are two separate things. If you’re subscribed to Foxtel From Telstra and see an enticing deal from Foxtel direct, you can’t just switch over to that new plan – you have to move from one service to the other. That applies to the loyalty rewards programs from each one as well – direct Foxtel customers get access to Foxtel First, while Foxtel From Telstra customers get the benefits from Telstra Plus (we’ve put together a comparison of the two rewards programs if you’re not sure which one offers you better value).
That would be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that both seem determined to come up with the best offers possible (almost like Telstra encouraging Foxtel to compete against itself!). As always, the winner is you as the customer.
Let’s take a look at what’s on offer from each at the moment.
Going direct through Foxtel (and signing up online), you can get a good deal right now – including the brilliant 4K-compatible iQ4 box with no installation charge and no contract. There’s the entry-level plan, which includes premium drama channels like Showcase in the base Foxtel Plus Pack of 55 channels, for only $49 per month on a 12-month plan. Or you can get the Sports HD Bundle for $64/month (specially discounted from the usual $74) which gives you access to Foxtel’s acclaimed premium sport channels plus the HD upgrade and access to the new 4K sports channel. The Movies HD + Netflix Bundle is also discounted to $59/month right now (from a usual $69) and gives you ten channels of uninterrupted movies plus the new Movies Ultra HD channel.
Last audited 11 November 2020
Foxtel From Telstra
Foxtel From Telstra offers some very keenly priced packages, such as the Sports HD and Movies HD plans. Those get you the base 54 channels plus the premium sports or movies channels for a mere $50 per month for the first 12 months. You can have both the Sports HD and Movies HD packs along with the Kids’ channel pack for only $70 a month, or if you’d rather have it all, Platinum Plus gives you every Foxtel channel and a year of Netflix for only $99 a month.
An better option is to bundle all your Telstra communications and entertainment needs into the one package. That’s where Foxtel From Telstra’s bundles come in; for $140 per month, you get unlimited-data broadband via NBN, Cable or ADSL, the latest Telstra smart modem with 4G backup, the Foxtel iQ4 box included, and Foxtel with either the Sports HD pack or Movies HD pack and access to the new 4K channels. If you’re looking for a “connect everything” plan then this one’s the bundle for you (even though you’ll need to add packages for additional channels on top of that monthly price, it still works out to be an amazingly good value deal – and if you don’t want any of the extra channel packs, you’re set!). You also get a home phone line with unlimited calls to anywhere in Australia – including to mobile numbers.
And as we mentioned, one advantage with all of these Foxtel From Telstra packages is that they’re included on your regular Telstra bill, keeping things nice and simple.
Added Value with Telstra Plus
One advantage of getting your Foxtel from Telstra is the ability to join Telstra’s very rewarding loyalty program Telstra Plus, and earn rewards points on every dollar that you spend on your Telstra services – including Foxtel. You can spend your points of a huge range of desirable tech goodies, from phones and tablets to modems and earbuds. And Telstra Plus members get perks, too – like free months of streaming service Binge and discounted tickets to a wide range of events. The added perks and rewards from Telstra Plus certainly tips the value scales in favour of Foxtel from Telstra.
Last audited 11 November 2020
Sport on Foxtel Vs Foxtel From Telstra
If sport is your big thing – as it is for hundreds of thousands of Foxtel viewers – then Foxtel from Telstra’s Sports HD bundle easily wins out. You get the same access to 15 channels of live sport from Australia and around the world such as Fox Sports 1-7, ESPN 1 and ESPN 2, beIN 1, 2 and 3– including dedicated AFL (Fox Footy), NRL (Fox League) and Fox Cricket channels – as well as access to the new 4K channel. That puts your monthly cost at $50, easily added to your Telstra bill.
Drama on Foxtel vs Foxtel From Telstra
With Foxtel’s premium drama channels being the home of so many can’t-miss shows – from Euphoria, Game of Thrones, Westworld, the hit show Outlander and the entire HBO library to fan favourites like The Walking Dead and Wentworth, Foxtel is heaven for drama fans. And if it’s drama you’re after, Foxtel from Telstra wins again, with the base Foxtel Plus pack now including premium drama channels like Fox Showcase, for only $49 per month (or $59 with HD) – and you get the convenience of everything going on your regular Telstra bill, too.
For a full list of channels that you can find on both Foxtel and Foxtel from Telstra, check out the table below:
Full list of Foxtel Channels by genre
Channels included – FOX8, BBC UKTV, Fox Arena, MTV, Universal, Fox Comedy, Fox Funny, Fox Classics, Fox Sleuth, Fox Crime, Fox One, Fox Showcase, Lifestyle, TLC, E!, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Animal Planet, BBC First, BBC Earth, Nick Jr., Boomerang, MTV Hits, MTV Classic, Club MTV, CMT, Nick Music, Foxtel Arts, Foxtel Music, FOX Sports News, SKY Racing, SKY Racing 2, SKY Thoroughbred Central, FOX News, SKY News, 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 World
Highlights – Perry Mason, The Singapore Grip, DC’s Stargirl, Wentworth Redemption, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, What We Do in the Shadows
Sports HD Pack:
Channels Included – FOX Cricket, FOX Footy, FOX League, FOX Sports 503/505/506/507, beIN Sports 1/2/3, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX Sports Ultra HD
Highlights – NRL, AFL, 2020 MotoGP, Virgin Australia Supercars, 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship
Movies HD Pack:
Channels Included – Premiere Movies, Lifetime Movie Network, Kids Movies, Family Movies, Action Movies, Comedy Movies, Drama Movies, Thriller Movies, Hits Movies, Greats Movies, Romance Movies, Ultra HD Movies
Highlights – Jumanji: The Next Level, Ford v Ferrari, Doctor Sleep, Charlie’s Angels
Channels Included – Crime+Investigation, History, A&E, Nat Geo Wild, Lifestyle Home, Lifestyle Food, Fox SciFi, Box Sets, Discovery Turbo, Investigation Discovery
Highlights – Titans Of The 20th Century, Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein, The Redemption Project, Gino’s Italian Express
Channels Included – Cartoon Network, CBeebies, Nickelodeon
Highlights – SpongeBob SquarePants, Henry Danger, DC Super Hero Girls, Double Dare
Hooray for 4K!
When you subscribe to either the Sports HD or Movies HD packs – or the top-of-the-line Platinum Plus pack – you get access to Foxtel’s latest innovation – two true 4K channels delivered via satellite, beaming in everything from sport in 4K (including cricket) to the latest movies. They’re Australia’s first and only 4K TV channels, and the only way you can get them is via your iQ4 box. Foxtel also has the flexibility to expand the 4K service when they need to – like they did with the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which got its own dedicated 4K channel, at no extra cost to all Sports HD pack subscribers.
Easy Bingeing with Voice Search
The Foxtel iQ4 set top box also has another handy feature that made its debut in 2020 – full support for voice search using the new iQ4 remote control (all new customers get this enhanced remote included with their iQ4, while existing customers can order one for a small fee).
Now, instead of searching through screen after screen of shows and movies looking for the perfect thing to watch, you can just pick up the remote and ask Foxtel to find stuff for you! Whether you’re looking for everything from your favourite actor or director, or trying to remember which movie a famous quote came from, just press the button and speak, and the iQ4 will deliver the results, showing you titles available to stream as part of your Foxtel package as well as extra titles available to rent on the Foxtel Store. It makes the Foxtel experience even more seamless and fun.
Foxtel Go — Foxtel on the go
One more thing that both Foxtel and Foxtel from Telstra have in common is the free use of the Foxtel Go app. Once you’ve subscribed to any pack from either Foxtel or Foxtel from Telstra, you can already use the app to watch your favourite shows, sport, and movies. Simply download the app and sign in with your Foxtel log-in credentials, and you’re all set to watch while you’re on the go. For a complete list of Foxtel Go devices, check out the table below:
Devices supported on Foxtel/Foxtel Go
– PC/Mac: Yes – Web browser only (Chrome for PC; Chrome & Safari for Mac)
– iOS Mobile Devices: Yes – Via native app (iOS 9.3.5 or above)
– Android Mobile Devices: Yes – Via native app (Android 5 and above)
– Google Chromecast: Yes – Via casting (only on Multiroom service)
– Apple TV: Yes – Via AirPlay (only on Multiroom service)
– Smart TVs: Yes – Via casting only (only on Multiroom service)
Which is the Better Option?
Ultimately, you’re going to get the same Foxtel service no matter which you choose – but the choice is the key. You can just go straight to Foxtel and order the packages you want while staying with your current broadband and phone providers, or you can go with Foxtel From Telstra and get a separate set of deals that all tie in to your existing Telstra services – or your entertainment can be bundled if you’re moving and just want Telstra to handle everything with a minimum of fuss. There’s no denying, though, that currently, Foxtel From Telstra wins out pretty clearly on the combination of price and convenience.