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 $26/month Entertainment Pack, which is included with the basic Foxtel service and supplies a range of 45 basic channels, including Fox8, MTV, Arena, Discovery, Disney Junior 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 and you can’t opt out of this channel pack.
On top of this, you can then add the packages that appeal to you. Sport fans will want the Sport Pack (add an extra $29), which gives you access to Fox’s six sports channels – and that means live coverage of AFL, NRL, golf, tennis, cricket, soccer, the Supercars and a lot more.
The Movies Pack ($20) adds nine movie channels, including Premiere for the latest and greatest, and World Movies for cinema from around the globe.
The Drama Pack ($20) gives you half a dozen channels full to the brim with the shows everyone’s talking about, including 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, like True Blood and The Walking Dead. Box Sets and World Movies are also available separately for $10 each if you don’t want the full packages they come from.
The Entertainment Plus, Docos and Kids Packs all add more high-quality channel choices in those categories for $10 each.
The upgrade to HD is now only $10/month extra, and in our opinion, well worth it – 37 of the key channels are available in HD, including all of the sports, movie and drama channels. If you’ve got a modern HDTV, you will be wanting this for the best possible picture quality.
Foxtel Play – the internet-based, online-streaming version of Foxtel – has a slightly different pricing structure to your standard vanilla Foxtel. Subscribers get to choose from a selection of “Genre” packs. These include Drama, Pop, Docos, Lifestyle, and Kids. You can then add extra genre packages on your plan for between $10 and $15 each, with a combo pack of Drama and Pop available for $25/month. Subscribers can the add on two premium’ packs costing either $20 (movies) or $29 for the Sports Pack. With 14 other channels thrown in regardless of which packages you choose. A two-week free 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 Play, it will set you back $104/month; while this is a better deal than buying the entire channel selection on Foxtel cable or satellite, it’s worth noting that Foxtel Play currently only plays in HD on the Telstra TV set-top box. 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.
One other aspect you will have to consider if mulling over the idea of whether to choose Foxtel or Foxtel Play is whether or not your broadband connection can cope with the sheer amount of data which will be pushing through it. While it’s only 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. To help alleviate worries about data usage, you might look at the Foxtel Broadband Home Bundle, which gives you 45-channel Foxtel access with the iQ3 box, 200GB of broadband data each month, and unlimited local and national phone calls all for $75/month. And for $85 a month, you get unlimited data and unlimited local and national. As a bonus, both Foxtel Anytime streaming and Foxtel Go are unmetered under this package, meaning you can watch as much as you like without using up any of your monthly download limit. Not that it matters when it’s unlimited.
However, these bundles require a 24-month contract. But as a side-bonus, Foxtel Go is bundled with both Foxtel and Foxtel Play, allowing you to stream Foxtel’s channels on mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad, for those times when you really need to see that footy game but aren’t anywhere near a TV.