Foxtel Review - Is the TV Service Worth It?


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 28 February 2021

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!

In this Review

What is Foxtel?

Australia’s first pay TV service, Foxtel has over 25 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 even have their own subscription service with Foxtel Now, but we will cover that later. Foxtel has spent a lot of time, effort, and money to gain access to the best TV programming available.

Foxtel has stunning TV shows and movies 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 Roland-Garros, V8 and F1 motorsport, AFL, NRL, and much more — all in high definition and even 4K.

Foxtel — Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Delivers the best and latest in sport, TV shows and movies
  • Broadcasts the only 4K TV channels in Australia
  • Foxtel includes the app for another streaming giant, Netflix, which is available for all iQ3 and 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 can be costly

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What can I watch on Foxtel?

Foxtel has simplified their whole system of channel packs, 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 Foxtel Plus package, which is included with every Foxtel service and supplies a range of over 50 channels, including Fox Showcase (the home of all things HBO), Fox One, Fox8, MTV, Arena, Cartoon Network 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.

For sport fans, the Sports HD pack adds 12 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. Movies HD adds 11 channels of ad-break-free movies from all genres – classics as well as new releases straight from the cinema, with the addition of the ultra HD movie channel as a free bonus for those with compatible TVs. There’s also music video channels, lifestyle channels, documentary channels, news channels… it’s a channel surfer’s dream.

The biggest shows on television

Foxtel is home to an extensive library of HBO originals with complete seasons available to stream anytime. This includes iconic shows such as Game of Thrones and Westworld, as well as award-winning dramas such as Big Little Lies, Succession, Watchmen and Chernobyl. Newly added shows are also a must-watch, including Perry Mason and I May Destroy You. In addition, Foxtel also has many highly acclaimed originals, including Wentworth, Secret City, Picnic At Hanging Rock, Lambs of God, the award-winning Mr Inbetween, Tim Minchin’s superb series Upright and many more.

  • Game of Thrones
  • Westworld
  • The Walking Dead
  • Raised by Wolves
  • Lovecraft Country
  • Wentworth
  • Chernobyl
  • Gogglebox Australia
  • Keeping Up With the Kardashians
  • I May Destroy You

The world’s best sport

For all you sports fans, through Foxtel you can watch over 50 different sports including live coverage of AFL, NRL, NBA, NFL, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Supercars, and more.

  • Formula 1 Grand Prix
  • Moto GP Grand Prix
  • Rugby World Cup
  • AFL Premiership
  • NRL Premiership
  • Cricket
  • V8 Supercars
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • World Surf League

Entertainment on demand

TV shows and sports aren’t the only forms of entertainment that Foxtel delivers. Their content library has something for just about any kind of interest. From the latest movie releases to thought-provoking docos, as well as the shows your kids wouldn’t want to miss, Foxtel has got you covered with new additions to their ever-expanding library every single week.

  • Henry Danger
  • Adventure Time
  • Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein
  • Alone
  • Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • Jumanji: The Next Level
  • Knives Out
  • Ford v Ferrari
  • Doctor Sleep

How much 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 Foxtel Plus pack for $49 per month. Then add as few or as many additional packages as you like, including Sports HD ($25 per month), Movies HD ($20 per month), Favourites ($20 per month) and Kids ($5 per month). Don’t want to pick and choose? Simply take the Platinum Plus bundle with a $139 subscription fee, which will also get you access to bonus on demand HD content and comes with a Netflix subscription included. All packages are available on a 12-month or a month-to-month plan, although you’ll save on upfront costs if you lock it in for year. Special discounts are often available, such as the Platinum Plus bundle at $99.

Should I get Foxtel Now instead?

Foxtel Now — the internet-based, online-streaming version of Foxtel — has a slightly different pricing structure to standard satellite Foxtel. Subscribers add a selection of channel packs on top of a basic Essentials bundle, which delivers 32 channels. Those premium packs include Drama Extra, 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 can be cheaper 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’s video quality currently only streams in HD on the Telstra TV set-top box, Foxtel’s own Foxtel Now box, Playstation 4, on the new LG and Samsung smart TV apps, and in the Google Chrome and Safari web browsers.

Foxtel features

With Foxtel, you can add the packages that appeal to you and get a TV experience tailored to your interests. Aside from Sports HD and Movies HD, there’s the Favourites pack – which brings some of Foxtel’s most popular channels together including Lifestyle Home and Food, Fox SciFi, and History Channel. It also includes 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. Finally, the Kids Pack gives you three channels for the little ones.

Upgrade to HD

The upgrade to HD is only $10 per 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. The good news is that the upgrade to HD is now included with both the Sports and Movies channel packs – and it applies to all HD-compatible channels in other packs you’re subscribed to, including the base Foxtel Plus pack. HD is also included with Platinum Plus.

Get Netflix with your Foxtel subscription

Foxtel now includes the full Netflix app on both the iQ3 and iQ4. And for the first time, you can add Netflix to your Foxtel service – or enjoy it at no extra cost if you opt for the all-inclusive Platinum Plus bundle. Netflix recommendations even show up as part of the iQ4’s on-demand interface, so you can go right to the latest shows.

You can now add Netflix to any Foxtel plan or bundle, or use your existing Netflix account if you already have one.

On top of that, free-to-air catch-up services ABC iView and SBS On Demand have been added to both the iQ3 and iQ4 set-top boxes.

The iQ4 Box: smarter and faster

With the launch of the new 4K channels – a first for Australia – came the release of the new iQ4 set-top box. This powerful box can stream 4K video from Netflix, and can receive 4K broadcasts right now – with live cricket games, AFL, NRL, Formula One and more, as well as Ultra HD movies – all in pristine 4K picture quality.

But make no mistake, they’re not going to stop at two channels if all goes to plan. Satellite is an ideal delivery method for 4K – 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 is available to everyone.

Compared to the iQ3, which had rather sluggish performance that was always an annoyance to one degree or another, the iQ4 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 watch Foxtel

Foxtel can be watched with an active pay TV subscription through them directly. This will require a cable connection or satellite dish as well as a Foxtel box, all supplied by the company themselves.

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. Foxtel Go also brings the complete Foxtel experience – both live channels and on-demand streaming – to your computer’s web browser at no extra cost. For a complete list of Foxtel Go devices, check out the table below:

How to contact Foxtel

If you’re keen to sign up to a brand new Foxtel plan, their customer service service can talk you through the various options available. You can call the friendly sales team on 1300 130 799 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 verdict

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 have 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!

Foxtel FAQs

Existing customers have plenty of options for contacting the company’s customer service team, who’ll be able to answer any questions about your Foxtel service and put you in touch with the right people for everything from plan changes to technical support.

The Foxtel customer service contact line is available for the cost of a local call on 131 999, with technical support for your TV service available from 7.30am to midnight, seven days a week. For pack changes, call between 9am and 9pm weekdays or 10am-8pm on weekends. For any questions about your account or billing, call between 9am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday by
simply dialling 1300 760 579 on your mobile phone.

What people are asking about Foxtel

  • What is the Difference Between Foxtel and Foxtel Now?

While Foxtel Now relies on streaming video via the internet to deliver Foxtel channels and content, the full Foxtel service remains the premium version of the service, offering more channels, more features, higher picture quality and reliable, hassle-free delivery via satellite. Foxtel subscribers get the advanced iQ4 set top box, which can record hundreds of hours of TV on its inbuilt hard disk (up to four recordings simultaneously), receive Foxtel’s channels including the new 4K Ultra HD channels, and stream all of Foxtel’s on-demand content.


  • What is Foxtel Plus?

Replacing the old Entertainment Pack which was the base entry-level channel pack that all Foxtel subscribers got, Foxtel Plus expands that base set of channels to include many that used to be found only in optional packs. For example, Fox Showcase – the home of HBO as well as Australian drama like Wentworth – is included in Foxtel Plus, as are FOX8, Fox One, Universal, BBC First and dozens more. All Foxtel subscribers now get Foxtel Plus as the base collection of channels.


  • Does Foxtel Require a Broadband Connection?

While Foxtel’s channels are transmitted by satellite – and so don’t need internet access to be viewed – the iQ4 box uses broadband internet for a number of its key features, including streaming from a huge library of shows and movies that are available on demand at no extra cost, as well as movies you can rent from the Foxtel Store. In addition, Netflix on the iQ4 requires a broadband connection.


  • Can I Watch Foxtel on my Mobile Phone or Tablet?

Every Foxtel customer gets free access to the handy Foxtel Go app, which gives access to the full range of channels currently subscribed – both for live streaming and on-demand viewing. Foxtel Go is available for phones and tablets, while access is also free of charge via any modern computer web browser.


  • What Does Foxtel Installation Cost?

While generally there’s a $100 installation charge for a technician to visit your home to install the satellite dish and cabling, Foxtel frequently waives this charge in return for agreeing to a 12-month contract – which, in turn, usually also comes with heavily discounted monthly rates for channel packs and bundles. There is also a $125 equipment fee for the iQ4 box – again, waived if you agree to a 12-month contract.


  • How Do I Cancel Foxtel?

If you no longer want to keep your Foxtel service and have decided to cancel, just call Foxtel on 131 999 and when prompted by the voice menu, ask for “disconnections”. If you decide to go ahead and cancel, you will need to send your iQ4 box back to Foxtel, which you can do free of charge by bringing it to any post office with the return label Foxtel sends you.


  • Can I Stream Foxtel to a TV Without the iQ Box?

Yes, you can use the Foxtel Go app on mobile devices to cast live Foxtel channels and on-demand content to any TV with a Chromecast attached or built in, as well as using the Foxtel app that’s available for recent-model (2017 onwards) smart TVs from LG and Samsung. To do so, you’ll need the Multiscreen pack added on to your account; it’s free with some bundles (such as Platinum Plus) or available for $15 per month.


  • How Do I Change My Foxtel Channel Packs?

Foxtel allows you to add, remove or swap channel packs once per month, with the condition that any pack added must be subscribed to for at least a month before being removed or changed. To add or swap packs, head to your Foxtel account page; to remove channel packs, you’ll need to call Foxtel on 1300 657 346 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.


  • Can I Add A Second iQ4 Box in Another Room?

Yes, you can add another iQ box for another room of the house, but you will have to pay an installation charge for the Foxtel satellite connection to be installed in that room, as well as a monthly fee for the second iQ4 box. An alternative is to add the $15/month Multiscreen pack to your account and use Foxtels apps to stream your channels to your TV.


  • How Do I Get Foxtel’s 4K Ultra HD Channels?

If you subscribe to the Sports HD and/or Movies HD channel packs, you’ll have access to the two new 4K Ultra HD channels free of charge – Fox Sports Ultra HD for the Sports HD pack, and Movies Ultra HD for the Movies HD pack. You’ll need an iQ4 box and a compatible 4K TV to view these channels.


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