Foxtel Review - Everything you should know about the Pay TV Giant


Summary

Our Verdict

Foxtel Pay TV


Foxtel is the only game in town for premium sport, drama and even Australia's first 4K channel.

 
Overall 91%
Content
Usability
Value

Review was updated on 11th October, 2019

Nearly half of all Australian homes now have Foxtel, giving Aussies extensive access to the largest range of drama, comedy, sport, and entertainment around. If you’re not in one of those homes, you’re missing out!

Foxtel Review

Foxtel has stunning dramas express from the US and UK, like Westworld, Outlander, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. There’s also a huge range of exclusive live premium sport including tennis from Wimbledon and Roland-Garros, V8 and F1 motorsport, AFL, NRL, and much more — all in high definition and even 4K. Foxtel’s been hard at work making sure their subscribers have access to the best of the best, whether it’s content or the equipment needed to enjoy it, and at a lower cost than ever before. Here’s everything you need to know to get the most out of your Foxtel experience.

Foxtel highlights

  • Free trial offer: N/A
  • Price: Base Entertainment pack – $29/month
  • Top content: Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Outlander
  • Sporting content includes AFL, NRL, motorsport, international rugby union, cricket and loads more
  • Device: iQ4 set-top box
  • Support: Phone, Web Form, Email, App

What Makes Foxtel Unique?

Having been Australia’s first subscription TV service, Foxtel has over 20 years of experience in the industry, and has grown to encompass a vast range of channels that cater to all tastes — handily divided up into separate channel packages so that you can pick and choose which Foxtel experience suits you best. Foxtel has spent a lot of time, effort, and money to gain access to the best TV programming available. There are premium drama series express-delivered from the US and the UK along with exclusive Australian productions that have been winning worldwide acclaim.

For sport fans, there are 18 channels of 24/7 sport that take in live coverage of the world’s major events as well as all the action and excitement from Australia’s sporting codes. There are ten channels of ad-break-free movies from all genres – classics as well as new releases straight from the cinema. Music video channels, lifestyle channels, documentary channels, news channels… it’s a channel surfer’s dream, a true entertainment hub.

What are Foxtel’s Best Features?

  • The New Foxtel Experience — Stream Netflix using the iQ4 set top box
  • Great Value Bundles — Special TV packages that come with 6 months free Netflix and other freebies such as $0 standard installation and waived iQ4 setup fee
  • Latest and Biggest TV Series — Watch original shows from Foxtel, alongside hits from HBO, FX, and more as they air in the US
  • Dedicated 4K Channel — Includes live airing of major sports such as cricket and rugby

What Exactly Does Foxtel Offer?

Foxtel has simplified their whole system of subscription packages, making the entire process fully customisable so that you’re only paying for the content and services you actually want. The base of it all is the Entertainment Pack, which is included with the basic Foxtel service, and supplies a range of 45 basic channels, including Fox8, MTV, Arena, Discovery, Disney and Nickelodeon for the kids, and a bunch of news and information channels ranging from CNN and Sky News to Sky’s racing channels and Fox Sports News. Every Foxtel subscriber gets this package of channels — it’s the base-level service so you can’t opt out of this channel pack.

Movies, Drama, Sports and More

On top of this, you can then add the packages that appeal to you. Sport fans will want the Sport Pack, which gives you access to Fox’s range of sports channels — and that means live coverage of AFL, NRL, golf, tennis, cricket, soccer, the supercars, and a lot more, along with access to Australia’s first 4K channel.

The Movies Pack adds ten movie channels — including Premiere for the latest and greatest, and Movie Greats for some of cinema’s most enduring classics. The Drama Pack gives you a bunch of channels filled to the brim with the shows everyone’s talking about, including Fox Showcase, otherwise known as “The Channel with Game of Thrones”! There’s even a “Box Sets” channel where complete seasons of shows can be found airing with back-to-back episodes, like True Blood and The Walking Dead. The Entertainment Plus, Docos, and Kids Packs all add more high-quality channel choices in those categories for a little extra.

Upgrade to HD

The upgrade to HD is only $10/month more, and in our opinion, well worth it — most of the key channels are available in HD, including all of the sports, movie, and drama pack channels. If you’ve got a modern TV, you will be wanting this for the best possible picture quality. For a full list of channels under each Foxtel channel pack, check out the table below:

Get Netflix with Your Foxtel Subscription

Foxtel has recently unveiled what they call “The New Foxtel Experience,” which gives Foxtel subscribers with an iQ3 and iQ4 box a completely redesigned user experience that includes an easy access to Netflix. As part of this “new experience,” Foxtel will now include Netflix for the first time on the iQ4. This move is part of the pay-TV giant’s continued strategy of aggregating the best content for their nationwide subscription base to watch on-demand. And what better way to have it all in one place than by housing the biggest streaming TV provider in the world?

This new user interface brings together two entertainment powerhouses under one roof, Foxtel and Netflix, while also offering a whole lot more in key features that provide entertainment to the Australian audience like nothing else. With just a click of a button, you can switch from browsing through Foxtel’s acclaimed shows such as Wentworth and Lambs of God to Netflix’s hit seriessuch as Stranger Things and Black Mirror. On top of that, free-to-air catch ups services SBS On Demand and ABC iView will also be made available to users with either the iQ3 and iQ4 set-top boxes.

In line with this, Foxtel has updated the plans — which are now called “bundles”. Among the 9 bundles, you can get a standard Netflix standard plan included on 5 bundles, which include the following:

  • Foxtel Plus + Netflix Bundle
  • Movies HD + Netflix Bundle
  • Sports HD + Netflix Bundle
  • Premium + Netflix Bundle
  • Platinum Plus Bundle

Foxtel Channel Packs

Channel PackChannels Included
EntertainmentFOX8, BBC UKTV, Arena, MTV, Universal, TVHits, Very Funny, FOX Classics, Lifestyle, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Disney Jr., Nick Jr., Boomerang, MTV Music, MTV Dance, Channel V, MAX, Foxtel Smooth Arts, CMC, Foxtel Music, FOX Sports News, SKY Racing, SKY Thoroughbred Central, FOX News, SKY News, Your Money, SKY News UK, SKY News Extra, SKY News Weather, BBC World News, CNN, CGTN, CGTN Documentary, NHK World, Aurora, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Al Jazeera, RT, EXPO Channel, TVSN, ACCTV, Daystar, Sonlife, Hillsong, TRT World
SportFOX Cricket, FOX Footy, FOX League, FOX Sports 503/505/506, beIN Sports 1/2/3, ESPN, ESPN2, Eurosport
DramaFOX Showcase, Binge, BoxSets, BBC First, 13th Street
MoviesPremiere Movies, Action Movies, Comedy Movies, Masterpiece Movies, Family Movies, Disney Movies, Thriller Movies, Movie Greats, More Movies, Romance Movies
Entertainment PlusThe Comedy Channel, Syfy, Style, TLC, A&E, E!, Lifestyle Home, Lifestyle Food
DocosNat Geo Wild, History, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, Animal Planet, Crime+Investigation
KidsCartoon Network, Disney Channel, CBeebies, Nickelodeon, Discovery Kids
Specialty ChannelsBoxSets, Antenna Pacific, RAI International, Sky Racing+

What does Foxtel cost?

Foxtel’s progressive pricing plans means it costs pretty much as much or as little as you want it to cost – depending of course on which packages you want. To start with, you’ll need to take the Entertainment pack for $29 per month. Then add as few or as many additional packages as you like, including Sports ($29), Drama ($20), Movies ($20), Docos ($10), Entertainment Plus ($10) and Kids ($10). Don’t want to pick and choose? Simply take the Platinum HD package at $139 per month, which will also get you access to Bonus On Demand HD content. All packages are to be taken on a 12-month plan.

The iQ4 Box – Smarter and Faster?

With the launch of the new 4K channel – a first for Australia – comes the release of the new iQ4 set-top box. This new box will eventually stream 4K video, and can receive 4K broadcasts right now – beginning with live cricket games, movies, rock concerts and various documentaries in pristine 4K picture quality.

But make no mistake, they’re not going to stop at one channel if all goes to plan. Satellite is an ideal delivery method for 4K, freed from the constraints of free-to-air broadcast TV when it comes to available bandwidth –— the only real limit is how much capacity Foxtel has on the satellite. This also means that even if you’re one of the many suffering from slow broadband and can’t stream 4K video via the internet, you’ll have no such problems with the iQ4 — the use of satellite means pristine 4K video will be available to everyone.

Compared to the iQ3, which had rather sluggish performance that was always an annoyance to one degree or another, the iQ4K is a fast, feature-rich and hugely capable box which makes the experience of using Foxtel magnitudes better. The fact that it comes with access to 4K broadcasts via satellite, well, that’s just the icing on the cake. You’ll get one if you sign up now, but if you’re an existing customer you can order an upgrade to the iQ4 with a simple phone call.

How to Set Up for Foxtel?

With connection available both via cable (in capital cities) and via satellite, Foxtel is now available to more than 70% of Australian homes. Households have had the choice of receiving their Foxtel via either satellite or cable for years, but these days, Foxtel aims to use satellite for all new installations, as the NBN prepares to take over the Foxtel TV cable in a couple of years’ time. But what about those households which are unable to receive either cable or satellite?

Well, as long as you have a reasonably fast internet connection and a high enough data cap, the company has you covered with its Foxtel Now option, which allows you to stream Foxtel’s entire offering of channels, live, to a range of devices including Smart TVs, game consoles, and PCs — offering largely the same channel packages as conventional delivery.

One other aspect you will have to consider is whether or not your broadband connection can cope with the sheer amount of data which will be pushing through it. Even at standard definition quality, the download amounts will add up very quickly, and you’ll want to avoid incurring extra charges or a connection slow-down from your ISP. A broadband plan with unlimited data is recommended.

Are there Alternatives to Foxtel?

Foxtel Now — the internet-based, online-streaming version of Foxtel — has a slightly different pricing structure to your standard vanilla Foxtel. Subscribers get to add on a selection of premium channel packs on top of a basic Essentials bundle, which contains the Pop and Lifestyle packs. These premium packs include Drama, Sports, Movies, as well as an all-packs bundle that includes Kids and Docos. A free Foxtel Now trial is available to new subscribers, too, so you can make sure the service is what you’re after before forking out any cash.

If you buy into all of the packs available via Foxtel Now, it’s a better deal than buying the entire channel selection on Foxtel cable or satellite, though not all Foxtel channels are included. It’s worth noting that Foxtel Now currently only plays in HD on the Telstra TV set-top box, Foxtel’s own Foxtel Now box, Playstation 4, and in certain PC web browsers. This is unlikely to be a deal-breaker for most people, nor is the fact that a few regular basic channels are missing, such as Al Jazeera and BBC News.

Score More with Foxtel From Telstra!

Get everything you love about Foxtel for less with Foxtel from Telstra’s TV packs from only $49/mth with no lock-in contract, cancel anytime. Want sport? Save more with Foxtel Plus + Sports HD for only $50/mth.
Compare All Foxtel from Telstra Packs

Does Foxtel Offer Streaming?

As a side-bonus, access to the Foxtel Go app is bundled with Foxtel, allowing you to stream Foxtel’s channels on mobile devices such as an iPhone or iPad, for those times when you really need to see that footy game but aren’t anywhere near a TV. For a complete list of Foxtel Go devices, check out the table below:

Device Available? User Guide
PC/Mac Yes Web browser only (Chrome for PC; Chrome & Safari for Mac)
iOS Mobile Devices Yes Via native app (iOS 9.3.5 or above)
Android Mobile Devices Yes Via native app (Android 5 and above)
Google Chromecast Yes Via casting (only on Multiroom service)
Apple TV Yes Via AirPlay (only on Multiroom service)
Smart TVsYesVia casting only (only on Multiroom service)
Telstra TVNoNo app available
Gaming Consoles NoNo app available
Fetch TVNoNo casting available
Amazon Fire TV StickNoNo app available
Nintendo SwitchNoNo app available

How to Contact Foxtel

If you’re keen to sign up to a brand new Foxtel plan and want to talk through the various options available to you, you can call the friendly sales team on 131 999 and they’ll put you in touch with the right people. That’s also the number to remember if you’re already a Foxtel customer since it’s your gateway to the support you need if you have any technical issues or need help with your account.

Foxtel – The Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Delivers the best and latest in TV, sports, and movies
  • Recently launched the first ever 4K channel in Australia
  • Foxtel now houses another streaming giant, Netflix, and is available for all iQ4 users

The Gotchas

  • To get certain niche channels, like sport, you’ll have to get the corresponding pack on top of the base pack, which could be costly

Foxtel Summary: Entertainment the Way You Want It

Foxtel is one of the very few major players left in the traditional pay-TV sector, and instead of resting on their laurels, the company has been investing in both content and technology to make sure that you, the viewer, has the best experience and value possible. Foxtel’s pricing is becoming more competitive — and if you’re looking for ways to get Foxtel cheaper, you might also want to check out Foxtel from Telstra. Be sure to check out our offers page to see what extra surprises Foxtel has in store for you!