One of the perks of having a Foxtel iQ box has been free streaming of movies on demand. That feature’s now being revamped, turbo-charged, and renamed — welcome to FoxFlicks!
While Foxtel’s expertise at all things sport is one of the things that attracts people to the service in the millions, there’s always been a lot more to Foxtel than just the latest sportsball. And if you’re one of Australia’s countless movie fans, you’ll probably already have come across Foxtel’s rather epic ten channel movie offerings, with every genre-based channel (Action, Thriller, Premiere, etc.) running continuous movies in high definition, 24 hours a day with no ads and no on-screen distractions. As a drop-in experience, it’s pretty glorious.
Foxtel isn’t messing around here — FoxFlicks is taking centre stage in its On Demand service, and it shows.
Of course, like you’d expect, the On Demand feature of Foxtel’s iQ boxes also offers a range of those films to watch whenever you like — but up until now, the On Demand movies section has been just a list of movies you had to laboriously search through to find something to watch — if you noticed they were there at all!
Foxtel hopes to change all that with the launch of their on-demand movie library FoxFlicks. Now, make no mistake, this isn’t a radical new addition to the Foxtel family — but it’s a very welcome one nonetheless. FoxFlicks takes the existing On Demand movie library, and expands and enhances it with an appealing new look, a distinctive brand, and some new features to help put Foxtel’s extensive movie library front and centre in your mind once again when you’re settling down for a night in.
What Makes FoxFlicks Different?
When Foxtel originally launched their On Demand service, streaming movies whenever you wanted to was something of a niche — but all that changed, of course, with the arrival of Netflix, Stan and Amazon. Streaming what you wanted to watch on demand became a “destination” thing — you’d look to see what’s on Netflix, check out what’s on Stan and so on. But Foxtel? You’d hit up the On Demand menu on your iQ box and get presented with a bunch of categories and A-Z lists, with no indication of what was new or recommendations on what to watch.
FoxFlicks changes that completely. Head to the On Demand section of the Home menu on your Foxtel iQ box, and the very first thing you see is the FoxFlicks sub-heading, with the FoxFlicks home screen already loaded and ready to explore. Foxtel isn’t messing around here — FoxFlicks is taking centre stage in its On Demand service, and it shows.
The home screen’s main page is actually a group of themed “playlists” which serve two functions. First, it allows the highlighting of what’s new to watch, with a movie promised to be added every day. And second, it lets Foxtel get creative with themes and moods to help you find something that fits with your night in. For example, there’s a whole section of movies starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (“Rock with The Rock”), adult romance movies (“You Had Me At Hello”), Robin Williams films (a dozen of his movies in the one place), sci-fi movies, sports movies, and Aussie movies. For those who love their arthouse films, Margaret Pomeranz has her own playlist on FoxFlicks, and there’s also a separate World Movies playlist for all of you who, like us, miss the World Movies channel dearly!
Of course there’s plentiful comedy if you’re in a laughing mood, along with some playful playlists including “So Bad It’s Good” (everything from Battlefield Earth to Speed 2) and “What Did I Just Watch!?” which is probably the only place you’ll find Cloud Atlas and Mother sharing space with the genuinely weird Village People film Can’t Stop The Music.
It all makes for a great jumping-off point for the over a thousand movies on FoxFlicks, which can still be browsed by category if you like (we’d recommend the new, super-speedy iQ4 for that, though!) Each genre page has its own “most popular” playlist, FoxFlicks will also recommend movies to you based on what you watch.
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What Movies does FoxFlicks Offer?
As we mentioned, there’s over a thousand movies on FoxFlicks, with something new added every day. It’s designed as a starting point to browse and discover stuff to watch — but here’s some highlights from each genre category to get you started:
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Within all of the above categories, as well as the catch-all Documentaries category, there’s a vast array of movies to pick from, ranging from stuff fresh out of the cinemas to timeless classic and everything in between. As a sheer range of movies it’s pretty phenomenal, with far more classic titles and far less “filler” than you’re likely to find on the Netflixes of this world.
What About Sport and TV Shows?
While FoxFlicks is front and centre in the new iQ On Demand design — and of course is all about movies — the other content you know and love is still there, and accessible as long as you have the corresponding Foxtel channel pack. The TV Shows section still packs in a vast range of shows, including many entire series — not least, almost the entire HBO catalogue, available whenever you want it.
Sport fans are catered for by some on-demand stuff as well, though obviously it’s a bit more limited — after all, the whole point of having Foxtel for sport is to watch stuff live (or as close to it as possible via the new Team Link recording feature!).
Sports Streaming Plans
The User Experience
In action, FoxFlicks is an absolute joy to use thanks to both the new design and the speedier internals of the iQ4 box that we just upgraded to (but the good news for those who haven’t upgraded yet is that the many playlists on FoxFlicks are just as fast to browse — it’s only when you get to the A-Z browsing that things get a little more sluggish).
Once you find a movie you want to watch, select it and you get two choices — stream it now, or download it for later. The latter will download a full-quality, time-limited copy of the movie to your iQ’s hard drive. This is brilliant for those on slower broadband connections — it lets you watch guaranteed full-quality HD on everything, just as long as you don’t mind waiting a bit for the movie to get sent to your box.
Don’t worry if you’re half way through a movie and have to come back later — you won’t have to go searching for it again, since the iQ interface now adds in-progress movies and shows to the redesigned home screen so you can pick up where you left off with one button press.
Most of the content on FoxFlicks is in 1080p high definition — but there are exceptions, usually when HD versions of a film simply don’t exist. But you’d be surprised at what does get the HD treatment — even vintage classics like My Fair Lady and The Seven Year Itch are delivered in crisp HD widescreen.
So How Can You Access FoxFlicks?
If you’re a Foxtel subscriber with either the iQ3 or the new iQ4K box, then you’ll have FoxFlicks on your iQ already — just hit the Home button and navigate across to the On Demand section (your iQ will need to be connected to broadband internet, by the way — all FoxFlicks movies are delivered via the internet instead of satellite or cable).
Along with an iQ3 or iQ4K, you’ll need to be subscribed to the Fox Movies Pack, or the Platinum HD Bundle to access FoxFlicks.
If you are still using an iQ2, while you can still browse the On Demand library you won’t be able to stream in high definition, and you’ll miss out on all the playlist and recommendations features that FoxFlicks brings. Now might be a good time for an upgrade, especially with the iQ4K getting superb reviews from users.
FoxFlicks is offered at absolutely no additional cost to all Fox Movies and Platinum HD subscribers. So along with those ten channels of 24/7 movies, you’re also getting a thousand plus library of movies to stream or download any time you like!
You can add the Movies Pack to your current Foxtel plan if you’re already a customer; if not, check out the latest offers and make a giant bunch of movies a part of your relaxation time!
FoxFlicks is currently available on:
Does FoxFlicks Hit a Six?
Well, obviously not, because if it was hitting red balls around it’d be a game of cricket! FoxFlicks is a very tastefully done and highly successful relaunch of an existing service in a way that allows Foxtel to improve and expand it as they go. The improvements that are there at launch are terrific, and make for an easy, hassle-free casual browsing and discovery experience.
Streaming quality is top-notch, and while video quality is going to vary depending on the movie, you’ll be extremely happy with the high definition picture and 5.1 surround sound on offer.
And best of all, if you’re a Foxtel Movies viewer, you get it all for no extra cost! Now that’s the sort of pricing we can really get behind.