Australia’s biggest entertainment service offers a versatile online alternative in Foxtel Now, which lets you be a part of Foxtel’s exclusive programming.
Not everyone who wants to get access to Foxtel can do so easily. If you live in an apartment building with no Foxtel cable or satellite access, for example, you’re out of luck. Fortunately, Foxtel’s got a solution in the form of Foxtel Now — a service which lets you subscribe to Foxtel channel packages and stream them live online (even on your TV, with a compatible device).
Plus, there is tons of content available on demand, in HD, and there’s no waiting around for an install, either. Sign-up is instant and there’s no lock-in contract to tie you down. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Let’s have a look at the juicy details of this extremely handy service.
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shows, sport, and movies instantly, including Game of Thrones.
What do you Get with Foxtel Now?
You don’t need to pay any setup or installation fee to get Foxtel Now because it’s an entirely different service from the traditional Foxtel subscription. You just need to sign up for an account on the Foxtel Now website, enter your credit card details, and choose the package or packages that best suit you. You pay for the service on a monthly basis and you can change your subscription at any time for the next month’s billing cycle. You can also cancel your subscription to the service without incurring any penalty. And best of all, Foxtel Now offers a two-week free trial which includes all the packages, so you can try it out for yourself and decide which ones you want to keep.
To get started, you need to sign up for the default packs. You get the Pop and Lifestyle channels with this $25/month offering, including Fox Showcase. In addition, you can get one or all of the Premium Packs — Movies is $20, Drama is $10 and Sports is $29/month, with the three new English Premier League channels available for 1c each with the Sports Package. Just remember that these Premium Packs aren’t available without getting at least one Starter Pack. If you get all the Premium packs, you get bonus access to the Kids and Docos packs as well at $20. Several base entertainment channels are included with any package (including V Hits, Fox News, TVSN, Sky News Live, Sky News Business, Sky News Weather, and Fox Sport News).
|Pop & Lifestyle (entry pack)||$25||
|Drama (premium pack)||$10||
|Sport (premium pack)||$29||
|Movies (premium pack)||$20||
|All Packs Bundle (including Kids & Docos)||$104||
Channel packs can be added and removed without penalty whenever you like, with any changes applied as soon as the following month begins. And if you want to take a break from Foxtel Now altogether, you can do that as well. Since there’s no contract, you can pause or cancel your subscription anytime. There’s no charge to do so, and no ongoing cost. If you pause, all your channels will be there, ready to go when you’re keen on tuning in again.
Foxtel Now offers good value to its customers — as long as they know what they want to watch and have enough time to watch every month. The platform is available on a variety of devices, including computers, smartphones/tablets, Telstra TV 2, PS4, and via Chromecast and Airplay, as well as the Foxtel Now box. PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and select Smart TVs are still able to stream Foxtel content live in SD via the previous Foxtel Play app. Using the app on all these devices is very simple. You just need to log in once and all your account details are saved, or you can download the app on your preferred gadget and start streaming. Here’s a handy guide on how to use Foxtel Now on a variety of devices.
The main screen shows the most popular and newest content available to Foxtel Now subscribers. Keep in mind, the items that they show are a general overview, and some of them may not be available to you, based on the packages you selected. This means that you might choose a program from the items on the list only to find that you don’t have access to it. This isn’t really an issue, because you can easily watch whatever you want from the service as long as you are willing to pay to add the appropriate channel package to your account.
There are three other sections available: Live TV, On Demand, and Kids. The Live TV section shows all the channels available on Foxtel Now. The channels that aren’t included in your subscription are greyed out in the list. The On Demand screen is where things get interesting; here you can see all the content available to binge from your chosen packages. As for the Kids section, it’s pretty self-explanatory — it features content suitable for the little ones.
Stream On Demand or Live
Foxtel Now offers a plethora of shows on demand, with new content always available to stream. Titles are listed horizontally in themed rows, like Best of HBO, Foxtel Originals, Best of Lifestyle, and more. To make navigation easier, the On Demand tab splits TV Shows, Movies, Sports, and Channels into subgenres.
What About Sport?
In addition to quality movies and other entertainment, Foxtel Now offers comprehensive access to your favourite sporting events on Fox Sports, ESPN, beIN, and other channels. This year the fixtures available for streaming include each and every AFL match before the Grand Final, the entire NRL season before the Grand Final, world-class tennis, PGA golf, featured NFL and NBA games live online from the US each week, the world Rugby Sevens series, Socceroos World Cup qualifiers, Champions League, La Liga, every A-League match, international and domestic Cricket, World Surfing championships, every V8 Supercars contest, all F1 Grand Prix racing fixtures, and much more — with the cricket now on its own dedicated channel! You can try out the full package of sports action completely free for two weeks thanks to the Foxtel Now obligation-free trial offer.
Using Foxtel Now
It’s a pleasure to watch video-on-demand and live video streams on Foxtel Now. You just have to choose a new channel in Live TV and let it buffer for a few seconds. The video flows smoothly on an average ADSL2+ connection, or through Telstra’s 4G network. We were able to watch the “Best” video quality stream on both connections. The video quality is very high, running close to near-DVD quality — and if you’re using one of the devices that supports the new app, you can also stream in 720p HD (On Demand content, meanwhile, is 1080p).
You may also opt to use the “Low” video quality in the app’s settings to watch the most basic and bandwidth-friendly stream if you have worries about data caps. The minimum speed required to watch Foxtel Now in SD is 3Mbps and the minimum speed required to watch Foxtel Now in HD is 7Mbps. The device you use to watch videos has an effect on the quality of the stream as well — mobile devices can only stream videos at a lower bit-rate, unlike a computer or streaming box.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that you can share the subscription with your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, or any family member because you can use a single Foxtel Now subscription on two devices at the same time, as well as have the app registered to run on five devices. If you’re a couple, both with PCs (or Macs) and iPhones, you only need to have one Foxtel Now subscription.
Accessing Foxtel Now
As an online streaming alternative to satellite and cable, it goes without saying that Foxtel Now is only available online through either a web browser or through apps on various streaming devices. While you can stream Foxtel Now through a wide range of devices, not all of them support the newer high definition streams — in particular, platforms that still use the legacy Foxtel Play app will be restricted to standard definition only.
The table below provides an overview of the compatibility of Foxtel Now with the most popular devices and platforms.
Foxtel Now is available on a wide range of devices.
|Device||Does it work?|
|Computers (PC & Mac)||Yes (Chrome and Safari browsers only) (HD)|
|iOS and Android Phones & Tablets||Yes (HD)|
|Telstra TV||Yes (HD)|
|Apple TV||Via AirPlay Only (HD)|
|Foxtel Now Box||Yes (HD)|
|PlayStation 4||Yes (HD)|
|Smart TVs||LG, Sony, Samsung|
Foxtel Now is continuing to expand its compatibility range. Check back frequently to see new updates!
Foxtel Now — Premium TV Without the Hassle
The concept of Foxtel Now is really cool, making it one of the most appealing Pay TV offers on the market. It makes the shows we like more accessible and takes away the need for a cable subscription, which usually comes with a long contract. This can also put a stop to the illegal downloading of TV shows or movies because they’re now more accessible.
If you can share the bill with a partner or family member, then it might be a good idea to get the full package. It’s hard to find a flaw with Foxtel Now even when just paying for the default packages, like a daily dose of drama, live sports, and lifestyle. Without the hassle of a physical Foxtel installation, you have instant and easy access to the wide world of Foxtel without any lock-in contract to tie you down.