iiNet TV and Optus TV are both built on Fetch TV, which now offers full integration of Netflix, so how do you choose between the two providers? It’s important to compare the compatibility and available options for each provider to make an informed decision – so here goes…
First off, it’s important to note that with TPG’s acquisition of iiNet the Fetch TV deal has been abandoned. iiNet will continue to support their existing Fetch TV customers, but the ISPs are no longer signing up new users. Bummer, we know, but if you’re already using Fetch TV with iiNet, you’re in luck.
iiNet TV with Fetch and Optus TV with Fetch allow subscribers to watch IPTV, with over 4,000 unlimited on-demand film rentals available. You can also buy back-catalogue titles, as well as new-release films like Deadpool and Kung Fu Panda 3, which are available for an additional rental fee (and an additional fee for HD where available).
Access to all Free-To-Air digital channels is included, and the Fetch STB supports the usual PVR functions such as pausing live TV. Catch-Up TV is part of the package, with access to recent on-demand television episodes for ABC, SBS, Plus7 and TenPlay. (Nine Network’s catch-up service is not currently supported.) Moreover, both packages come with a YouTube app and a Media Hub (to access media stored on other devices on your home network), as well as Netflix and Stan apps (separate monthly subscriptions required). Both iiNet TV with Fetch and Optus TV with Fetch allow for unlimited monthly film rentals.
Both services also offer a free mobile app (available on iOS and Android), which works as a remote control, and allows you to browse the TV Guide and set up shows to record even when you are away from home. The app also allows you to view selected content on your mobile device. At the same time, both services offer a mobile app – the only difference is that iiNet offers users the ability to watch FTA recordings, while Optus doesn’t. Additionally, iiNet has a range of custom built apps including radio that aren’t available on Optus.
For an additional monthly subscription fee, the Entertainment Plus Pack gives access to over 30 premium subscription channels, as well as free access to “Movie Box”, which is a changing list of 30 movies (one new title is added and one is deleted each day).
If you take up the option of subscribing to Netflix, linking the Netflix app to your Netflix subscription adds integrated access to all Netflix Australia content. The app supports multiple user profiles, so each family member can quickly find their preferred content, and you can set up a child-friendly profile for younger family members.
When it comes to availability, both ISPs require a fixed line broadband connection with a minimum line speed of 3 Mbps. iiNet recommends a BoB modem, but both iiNet and Optus will work on a range of modem options.
The Fetch STB does not support WiFi, and instead requires a dedicated wired ethernet connection or equivalent. (This is apparently a technical issue to ensure adequate bandwidth to sustain HD viewing.) If a wired ethernet connection to your modem is not practical, Powerline Adapters (PLA) can be used to provide an equivalent capability using your house’s AC wiring to provide the data connection. These can be bought at electronics retailers, or both iiNet and Optus supply PLA devices.
iiNet TV with Fetch starts at $10/month and includes all free to air digital channels along with access to online movie rentals and Catch Up TV.
For existing Broadband or Post Mobile subscribers, Optus TV with Fetch starts at $15/month with a 24-month commitment. It includes the set-top box, free to air channels, access to the online movie rental library and 30 preselected movies free each month. Subscribers can add the Optus Entertainment Pack to get the additional premium TV channels for an extra $15/month with a 1-month minimum commitment and automatic renewals. Optus TV bundles with cable, Internet, and Fetch start at $90/month.
Check out how other broadband providers compare with iiNet and Optus:
- Up to 9Mbps Basic Evening
- Unlimited Data
- NBN 12™ Fixed Line
Note that all content other than Free-to-Air TV will use internet data; this includes the FTA catch-up services, movie rentals, Netflix and YouTube, etc. The data rate varies according to the source and picture quality; as an indication, HD movies can consume around 2.5 to 3.5 GB per hour, so you need to ensure that your data plan will cover several hundred GB of video data per month. iiNet and Optus handle the data requirements differently.
iiNet includes all Fetch and Netflix content (except for FTA catch-up viewing) into their unmetered FreeZone. In addition, if you reach your metered data quota on other usage, the FreeZone (including Fetch TV / Netflix) is not “throttled”, so that you can continue to watch streaming video even if the rest of your internet connection has slowed to a crawl. This means that you can bundle Fetch / Netflix with even the cheapest iiNet broadband plans.
Optus meters all data, including Fetch / Netflix, so bundling Fetch / Netflix with their smallest budget data cap plans may not be a practical option if you are likely to view more than a few hours of internet content each month. However, for $90 / month, Optus offers unlimited broadband data, and includes the Fetch / Netflix service, making this a very attractive option for many households.
iiNet TV with Fetch subscribers can contact iiNet Support at any time with a call wait time that’s typically under 1 minute. A support email provides a digital feedback and assistance channel. For help with Optus TV with Fetch, subscribers can use an online platform to find the best number to call for quick support. Frequently-asked questions are available on the website, along with online user manuals for smartphone and tablet users, tutorial support videos and an online support forum.