You’ve probably heard us say this a few times before, but the future of television is already here – and in that future, we don’t need an antenna or a satellite dish on the roof. We watch what we want, at the time we want to watch it. And if it’s a one-time broadcast thing, we watch it later on our terms. People have long wondered when mainstream television viewing would move from the airwaves to the internet. Fact is, it’s already happened.
But if you’re like the thousands of people every day who discover streaming TV for the first time, you might be a bit put off by all the tech that surrounds it. Broadband plans, streaming devices, data allowances, app downloads… Wouldn’t it be better if there was just one package you could buy that gave you a fast broadband connection and the gear you need to stream on-demand and live TV?
Thanks to these two top-tier internet providers, options like that exist – and don’t cost a fortune either. These bundled plans give you everything you need to stream Netflix and Stan, watch live TV via Foxtel Now and Fetch TV, or catching up with missed episodes of your favourite free-to-air shows any time you like.
The approaches taken by each ISP are slightly different. While Telstra makes good use of their excellent Telstra TV streaming box, iPrimus has partnered with Fetch TV for access to both of their latest devices and the channels they offer. Both of these options are fantastic on a technical level. And thanks to rapidly falling prices in recent times, both are surprisingly cheap. So which one is the right fit for you? Read on to find out!
Telstra Broadband – Entertainment Bundle
Telstra’s given up the letters with the name of their new bundle, shying away from their years of naming plans “M” and L” and just calling it like they see it. And it’s a great deal, too, offering unlimited data for $99 per month, with the Telstra TV box thrown in for free along with two years of Foxtel Now. This is no-fuss bundling at its finest. No hidden fees or traps, just one of the country’s fastest broadband networks to play with, at a price that sits comfortably amongst the competition.
It’s worth mentioning the bundle above this one, too. It gives you everything in the $99 bundle, but a hardware Foxtel installation with Foxtel’s Entertainment pack and sports pack and a free iQ3 box, for only $129/month.
Get Telstra’s Broadband Bundle
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Based on the second generation of the legendary Roku streaming box that’s hugely popular in the US – and specially customised for Telstra by Rokuthemselves – Telstra TV is an impossibly tiny little box that will fit anywhere under or near your TV. Plug it into your TV and connect via Wi-Fi or Ethernet and you’re good to go. Apps for Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now and all the free-to-air catch-up services are pre-installed and ready to go at the touch of its uncomplicated remote. Telstra TV was the first device to be able to stream Foxtel Now in high definition, too!
Telstra TV’s purpose is clear from the moment you turn it on. This is a little powerhouse box that streams a pre-defined set of services, and does it beautifully. It’s unquestionably the best way to view Foxtel Nowby far. So if you were planning on using that service, this is the device you want.
Video Review of the New Telstra TV 3
iPrimus – Fetch TV Unlimited Bundle
Now in the very capable hands of massive Australian fibre network provider Vocus, iPrimus was fairly late to the Fetch TV party. Despite the fact that its sister company Dodo has offered it for a long time. Backed by a well-provisioned network, iPrimus has long been a great choice for broadband (and now NBN). They provide a solid, reliable and speedy service with everything bundled in; home phone line rental, as well as local and national calls are included.
Head to the iPrimus web site looking for info on this Fetch bundle, though, and you’ll find yourself puzzled. It’s hard to find. The reason for this? Well, it’s not really a bundle at all. Rather, you pay for a Fetch TV service on top of your monthly broadband plan. That plan, whether on ADSL or NBN, must be unlimited-data.
So for ADSL, the unlimited data plan is $80/month, plus another $10/month for the superbly capable Fetch TV Mighty box. And if all you want is a PVR to record and play free-to-air TV and stream Netflix and Stan – and the base Fetch TV channels, similar to Foxtel’s Entertainment Pack – you’re set. Fetch also offers premium streaming TV channels (see below for details) which are $6/month each – or $20/month for all 42 channels. If you don’t want to pay for the premium channels, you still get access to 30 free pre-selected rental movies every month delivered right to your Fetch TV box.
The total cost, then? $90/month for unlimited ADSL and the Mighty box, or $110 with all the premium channels. The same price applies to NBN at the medium (50Mbps) speed tier.
Fetch TV Mighty
Probably the company that’s jumped head-first into streaming TV of all kinds sooner than anyone else in Australia, Fetch TV launched their new Mighty boxback in 2016. It’s a seriously nice piece of entertainment tech. The compact box functions as a streaming box for Netflix, Stan and others. It’s also a PVR, allowing you to record TV shows and streaming TV channels to hard disk to play back later – though of course you can’t do that with the on-demand streaming services. Furthermore, it comes with catch-up services for the free-to-air channels. And, last but not least, it’s a high definition set top box as well.
The Fetch TV Mighty has a superb full-sized remote control that brings all of its many features together seamlessly. It has an app that allows you to set recordings remotely when you’re away from home. And as a bonus, it fully supports 4K televisions – including streaming your own content to them over your home network. The Mighty costs $399 to buy from retailers, so even on a two-year contract you’re getting it cheaper by getting one on a plan.
Fetch TV’s channel packs are similar to what you’d find on Foxtel or Foxtel Now, without the super-premium offerings. At $20/month for all 42 channels you’re getting great value, though – everything from SyFy and BBC First to Disney or ESPN.
Which one is the right fit?
What we have here are two very different ways of bundling your entertainment with your broadband. Both networks are excellent choices for fast broadband, with iPrimus having the slight edge on raw broadband pricing.
If it’s both streaming video and TV channels you’re after, though, you’ll need to choose between Fetch and Foxtel Now for channel variety – and between the two devices for their features. So, pick your priority – is it HBO shows and AFL/NRL? You’ll want the Telstra deal with Foxtel Now (or satellite Foxtel if you want to spend a bit more). If you watch a lot of free-to-air TV, just want a bunch of the most popular premium channels and would like a high-quality digital video recorder to record and manage it all, iPrimus’s Fetch service is where you want to be.
One thing’s for sure – real broadband TV is here, it’s growing in popularity, and it’s never been more affordable.