The “one box that does it all” is a top-notch PVR, streaming device, and pay TV access portal that’s priced incredibly well. If you watch free TV and stream, Fetch is for you.
Watching TV shouldn’t be a chore, but it becomes a chore for one reason. You’ve got your traditional Free-to-air (FTA) channels. You’ve got your new-ish FTA digital channels — plus the FTA catch-up services. Then there are your SVOD choices — Netflix, Stan, etc. Plus there’s a huge range of premium channels. And then the videos you have stored at home. And let’s not forget YouTube.
Then there’s figuring out where you can watch each one. Some you can only stream to your laptop, so you have to find a way to connect that to a bigger screen. Others you have to cast from your phone. And others you have to download, move it to a USB drive, and plug that into the TV — only to find that the format isn’t supported.
You’re not alone. There’s room for a solution that pulls everything together. We know that there’s technology that can answer these promises. And with this review, we’re looking at something that might just be able to deliver on that promise.
What Makes Fetch TV Different?
You may have already heard of Fetch TV. You can find it in Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, next to the TiVo and the Chromecast. Or you may have seen it bundled with broadband packs from leading ISPs. But the new generation of Fetch TVs look set to blow the competition out of the water. It’s not just the technology, it’s not just the content, it’s the thoughtful way these two have been put together that makes Fetch TV stand out.
Fetch TV does an exceptional job of collating all your viewing options and making them available on your big screen. But while some services stop there, Fetch TV goes beyond that by letting you choose where you watch — and makes it easy to do so.
Plans with Fetch TV
What Does Fetch TV Deliver?
Fetch TV gives you access to all FTA options, all digital channels, plus the online catch-up services, all in one place. You can pause and rewind these FTA shows with ease, and the Mighty will also let you record up to 585 hours of SD content.
You can also access online content such as YouTube, Nasa TV, and WikiTV direct on your big screen.
Want premium TV series? The TV Store lets you buy single episodes or entire seasons of your favourite shows. Popular titles include Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. The TV Store is available to all customers.
What about movies? Get 6,000 of the latest blockbusters to watch whenever with the Movie Store. That’s every new release title from all Hollywood studios, plus more. Titles include big hits like Zootopia and The Revenant, and they are yours to buy or rent for a price. You can stream them directly or download them to a mobile device for remote viewing on the go.
How about your current SVOD subscriptions? Fetch TV draws them all in, with a unique and instantly navigable app that makes viewing a pleasure. It supports Stan and Netflix, and takes almost no time to set up.
What about other premium services? For only $6/month Fetch TV will deliver premium channels tailored to your interests, built into four packages: Kids, Knowledge, Vibe, and Variety. You can also get all the four packs for $20/month. Then, channels available will cross a wide range of viewing needs, including entertainment, news, sports, music, and kids. Recognisable names include Disney, ESPN, E!, National Geographic Channel, Comedy Central, MTV, CNN and more.
Fetch also offers the Movie Box feature, which delivers 30 pre-selected rental movies available to watch as many times as you want. The movies are available on a 30-day rotation, where one movie is switched out and a new one taking its place each day. Movie Box is included in the Starter Pack for Optus, Dodo, iPrimus, and iiNet customers. Retail customers can add Movie Box for $1/month.
For special interests, Fetch TV offers beIN Sports and Horse & Country, each for a monthly rate. Customers who sign up for Fetch TV through Optus can also add on Optus Sports for access to the Premier League games. You can add Hillsong and ACC to your subscription for free.
How about international content? Fetch TV has World TV packs available for $9.95 to $49.95/month. Currently, these include Taj Mahal, Korean, Pinoy, TVB Cantonese, Chinese (The Great Wall), and Italian.
In October 2017, Fetch TV added hayu, the specialised reality TV streaming service, to its collection of supported services. Hayu delivers over 150 reality shows directly — same day as the US — and you can read our hayu review here.
When it comes to sports, the local sporting favourites are licensed to one or two key providers – Sky and Fox Sports. Fetch TV offers ESPN and ESPN2 as part of its Entertainment Pack. This covers a lot of the international basics. Fetch TV also offers beIN Sports, which covers UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and La Liga. And customers who sign up for Fetch TV through Optus can access Optus Sport, which covers the Premier League. Plus you can watch other sporting events through FTA services as they become available. However, when it comes to Australian games, then Fetch TV does not offer a broad selection.
The Fetch TV User Experience
The Mighty is a home entertainment beast. It does it all. It aims to claim that coveted HDMI1 socket on the big LCD HDTV in your lounge room. And it has the features to make it happen.
These include a 1TB hard drive that lets you record up to 585 hours of SD programming, as well as four tuners. Which means you can record up to six programs while watching a seventh. And if something happens while you’re watching? Just pause or rewind.
You can download your purchased content to this device, and then stream it to your TV, tablet, or smartphone.
Purchased outright, Fetch TV Mighty will cost you $399 RRP. It is also available through select ISPs included in selected broadband bundles, or at a monthly cost starting from $10/month.
The Mini is the high-powered, low-cost alternative. It can access the same content, but lacks recording and 4K capabilities. However, its lower price point makes it an attractive option.
It can access all of the same content as the Mighty, and is set to compete directly with similar SVOD products like Apple TV and Telstra TV.
The RRP for the Fetch TV Mini is $149. You can buy the Mini from Harvey Norman, Domayne, Joyce Mayne or JB Hi-Fi stores. It is also included in select bundles or can be added as a bolt on.
Using Fetch TV
It’s great when things just work. Sure, both the Mighty and the Mini are compelling on their own, but put them together with Fetch TVs mobile apps and slick GUI and you really start getting the best use from your TVs and your internet connection.
The user interface is slick, clean and responsive. Fetch TV presents your viewing options via its snappy, intuitive interface. You won’t get lost navigating between stores, catch-up services, and viewing apps. It’s all very clean and navigable. And you won’t get bored waiting for a screen to load either. During testing, everything loaded in scant seconds. No hanging or loading timeouts (unlike some other well-known but best-left-unmentioned products).
But the integration doesn’t stop there. Fetch TV has put a lot of thought into how people want to watch their content, and then made it happen:
- Recorded a show on the Mighty, but want to watch it on the TV in your bedroom? No problem. Just stream it to the Mini unit attached to that TV.
- Need to step into the kitchen but want to keep watching your show? Just watch it on the app on your preferred hand-held device.
- Going on a trip and not sure that you’ll have Wi-Fi? Just download your favourite purchases to your tablet or smartphone.
- Taking a call and the TV noise is too loud? Turn down the volume remotely using the mobile app.
- Like a show and don’t want to miss a moment. Fetch TV’s smart series tag will record every episode. And you can even do this via the TV or mobile app.
Fetch TV subscribers need a broadband connection that offers a minimum of 3mbp/s. You need a fast, reliable connection — which can be hard to come by in some areas. And with 4K streaming available, you may also need lots of data. Fetch TV supports High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) which can help keep usage down. Fetch TV is often bundled with unlimited broadband packages as well, which makes this factor irrelevant. But if you’re a heavy watcher on a metered plan, you might want to consider switching to a broadband pack that suits your needs.
Is Fetch TV Right for Me?
The short answer is “yes”.
The slightly longer answer is yes, but there are several cases where Fetch TV will stand out from the rest.
You want a simple viewing ecosystem.
This is for people who already use SVOD services like Netflix and Stan, as well as the FTA channels and catch-up services, and maybe other online services like YouTube. And just want them all in one place, on demand, no fuss. Fetch TV just makes it all happen, and gives you more viewing options at the same time.
You need a new broadband connection.
Getting the Fetch TV Mighty or Mini bundled with broadband is a no brainer. You avoid a big down payment for the unit. You get the viewing basics, and you can get more with monthly subscription packs. And in most cases, this content won’t count towards your data limit — but check with your provider first!T