Review was updated on 29th November, 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 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.
But with more options out there on the market than ever before, is Foxtel worth it? Is Foxtel only for sports nuts – or have they got something to offer movie buffs and series streamers? We’ve taken a good look at everything Foxtel has to offer to give you the scoop on whether it delivers the goods for content, how easy it is to use and whether you’re getting bang for your buck.
Table of contents
What Is Foxtel?
Australia’s first subscription TV service, Foxtel has nearly 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 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.
What shows are available?
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 Foxtel Plus, which is included with the basic Foxtel service and supplies a range of over 50 channels, including Fox Showcase (the home of all things HBO), Fox One, 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.
For sport fans, there are 14 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 eleven 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.
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, Watchmen and Chernobyl. In addition, Foxtel also opens up access to the many highly acclaimed originals, including Wentworth, Secret City, Picnic At Hanging Rock, Lambs of God, the award-winning Mr Inbetween, Tim Minchin’s new series Upright and many more.
Best Sporting Events Around the Globe
With the Foxtel, you’ll be able to stream over 50 different sports that includes live coverage of the best sports in Australia and beyond such as AFL, NRL, NBA, NFL, Super Rugby, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Supercars, and more.
World-Class Entertainment On Demand
TV shows and sports aren’t the only forms of entertainment that Foxtel delivers. There’s something for just about any kind of interest with Foxtel. 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.
Foxtel Channel Packs
|Channel Pack||Channels Included||Highlights|
|Foxtel Plus||FOX8, BBC UKTV, Arena, MTV, Universal, Fox Hits, Fox Funny, Fox Classics, Fox Crime, Fox One, Fox Showcase, Lifestyle, TLC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, BBC First, 13th Street, BBC Earth, 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||Game of Thrones, Outlander, Mr. Robot, Wentworth, Big Little Lies, The Walking Dead, Chernobyl|
|Sports HD Pack||FOX Cricket, FOX Footy, FOX League, FOX Sports 503/505/506/507, beIN Sports 1/2/3, ESPN, ESPN2, Eurosport, FOX Sports Ultra HD||Australian summer of cricket, NBA, NFL, Hyundai A-League|
|Movies HD Pack||Premiere Movies, Kids Movies, Family Movies, Action Movies, Comedy Movies, Drama Movies, Thriller Movies, Hits Movies, Greats Movies, Romance Movies, Ultra HD Movies||The Hustle, The Favourite, Vox Lux, Deadpool 2, Aquaman|
|Favourites Pack||Crime+Investigation, History, The Comedy Channel, A&E, Nat Geo Wild, Lifestyle Home, Lifestyle Food, SyFy, Box Sets, Animal Planet, Discovery Turbo, Style, Discovery Science||Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Jim Jeffries Show, Just For Laughs Australia, Decoding the Great Pyramid|
|Kids Pack||Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, CBeebies, Nickelodeon, Discovery Kids||Adventure Time, Thomas and Friends, Lego Ninjago, Where the Wild Things Are|
Compatible Devices and Apps
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:
|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 TVs||Yes||Via casting only (only on Multiroom service)|
With Foxtel, you can then add the packages that appeal to you. Sports fans will want the Sports HD 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 dedicated sports channel.
The Movies HD Pack adds eleven movie channels — including Premiere for the latest and greatest, and Movie Greats for some of cinema’s most enduring classics. It also includes Movies Ultra HD, the perfect channel for giving that brand new 4K television a good workout! The Favourites pack brings some of Foxtel’s most popular channels together including Comedy Channel, Lifestyle Home and Food, SyFy 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 five channels for the little ones, and access to the Foxtel Kids app.
What are Foxtel’s Best Features?
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. 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.
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 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? 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.
The 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 series such as Stranger Things and Black Mirror. On top of that, free-to-air catch ups services SBS On Demand and ABC iView have been added to both the iQ3 and iQ4 set-top boxes.
In line with this, Foxtel has overhauled their plans — which are now called “bundles”. Among the nine bundles, you can get a standard Netflix standard plan included on five bundles, which include the following:
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 will eventually stream 4K video, and can receive 4K broadcasts right now – beginning 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, 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.
Setting Up Foxtel
Foxtel has traditionally been available both via cable (in capital cities) and via satellite, meaning it’s available to more than 70% of Australian homes. For future installations, Foxtel aims to use satellite exclusively, 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, as well as a dedicated Foxtel Now streaming box – offering largely the same channels as conventional satellite or cable Foxtel, but bundled slightly differently.
Of course, you will have to consider whether your broadband connection can cope with the sheer amount of data which will be pushing through it if you go with the live streaming option. 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 somewhat 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 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.
Foxtel plans and pricing
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), Movies HD ($20), Favourites ($20) and Kids ($5). Don’t want to pick and choose? Simply take the Platinum Plus bundle at $139 per month, which will also get you access to Bonus On Demand HD content and comes with a Netflix subscription included. All packages are on a 12-month contract.
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 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!