Experts Score:

Everything you ever wanted to know about Foxtel, from A – Z, in one place.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Foxtel, from A - Z, in one…
Overall - 85%
Technical Specs - 80%
Content Range - 85%
Coverage - 80%
Value - 90%

84%

Foxtel is one of the very few major players left in the traditional Pay TV sector, and the company has been investing in both content and technology to make sure that viewers have the best experience and value possible.

User Rating: 1.63 ( 25 votes)

Nearly half of all Australian homes now have Foxtel bringing a whole planet’s worth of entertainment to their lounge rooms, giving them 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 on a lot.

There’s stunning drama express from the US and UK like Game of Thrones, Outlander, Big Little Lies or The Walking dead, exclusive live premium sport from Wimbledon, V8 and F1 motorsport, AFL, NRL and much more in high definition. Foxtel’s been hard at work making sure their subscribers have access to the best of the best, and at a lower cost than ever before.

What is it?

With 20 years of experience in providing Australia’s first subscription TV service, Foxtel has grown to encompass a vast range of channels that cater for 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 top tier of TV programming available. There’s 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’s 18 channels of 24/7 sport that takes in live coverage of the world’s major events and all the action and excitement from Australia’s sporting codes. There’s multiple channels of movies for all tastes, both classics and hot new releases straight from the cinema. Music video channels, lifestyle channels, news channels… it’s a channel-surfer’s dream, a true entertainment hub.

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Coverage

With connection available both via underground cable (in capital cities) and via satellite, Foxtel is now available to more than 70% of Australian homes. Households in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, or the Gold Coast have the choice of receiving their Foxtel fix via either satellite or cable (satellite being a much better option when it’s difficult to run a cable connection from the street), while those outside these areas get the same quality and breadth of service via satellite. But what of those 30% of 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 (see our broadband plan guide), 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 substantially the same channel packages as conventional delivery.

And if you want to take Foxtel on the go? That’s what the Foxtel app is for!

Foxtel iQ3 box
The new iQ3 box is designed especially for those with broadband internet connections at home. Photo: Foxtel

Hardware

The basic Foxtel package (which gives you the service and a range of basic channels for $26/month) includes the iQ3 box, which is a fair bit more than “just a box”. It lets you take control of your Foxtel viewing thanks to its ability to record shows at full quality (even in HD if you choose the HD option in your subscription package, an extra $10/month) directly from the built-in electronic program guide (EPG). You can ask the iQ3 to record every new episode of a show when it airs so you never miss it (a feature Foxtel calls “Series Link”), and the box is capable of recording four separate channels at the same time even while you watch something else. It can hold a massive 345 hours of recorded programs in standard definition (172 in HD) and is as user-friendly as they come. It’s available for $125 up-front.

The iQ3 box was designed especially for those with broadband internet connections at home (it connects to the internet via built-in WiFi). The added features largely revolve around that internet connectivity – catch-up TV services, suggested and trending shows, the ability to instantly zip back to the start of a show even if you weren’t recording, and more. As a bonus, its remote control uses Bluetooth to talk to the box, meaning you can stash it away out of sight – and no more having to aim the remote towards the TV!

What’s New?

Foxtel is also planning to launch a stand-alone streaming device for its Foxtel Now service that will bring HD Foxtel streaming together with other streaming services and free-to-air TV in an easy to use, plug-and-play box. This review was updated October 2017.

Value

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 Now – 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 Now, 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 Now currently only plays in HD on the Telstra TV set-top 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.

One other aspect you will have to consider if mulling over the idea of whether to choose Foxtel or Foxtel Now 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. 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 $91/month. And for $101 a month, you get unlimited data and unlimited local and national. As a bonus, both Foxtel On Demand streaming and the Foxtel app 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 app is bundled with Foxtel, 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.

Conclusion

Foxtel is one of the very few major players left in the traditional Pay TV sector, but instead of resting on their laurels, the company has been investing in both content and technology to make sure that you, the viewer, have the best experience and value possible. Foxtel’s pricing is becoming more competitive, and the package options add a level of flexibility and affordability that’s really good to see. Plus, they’re currently offering a no lock-in contract option on any Foxtel TV package, allowing customers to enjoy the Foxtel experience knowing they are free to leave at any time. Be sure to check out our up-to-date offers page to see what extra surprises Foxtel has in store for you.
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10 Comments

  1. Jan May 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Been a customer for 19 years and have become very disappointed with the amount of old repeats when I rang to cancel my account the woman told me my box was old and I could upgrade which meant I could record all the repeats she then got an attitude because I didn’t get what she was saying, I got it you didn’t ! So if I’m a valued customer( $100 a month ) then why wasn’t I informed I could get upgraded equipment

  2. Dr Paul June 10, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    In my opinion, Foxtel is the worst customer service oriented company I have ever felt with.
    Eleven months and I still do not have any of my three Foxtel boxes working AND i am still paying $198.00 dollars a month.

    • David August 10, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Agree 100% – they have no idea what customer service is!

      • Liji September 20, 2016 at 6:07 am - Reply

        david its completely outsourced to philiphines

  3. James June 19, 2016 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    I would like to have Foxtel as an option to watch more sports, however the logo in the corner is too big in my opinion. It advertises “No Ad Breaks Live” or “Live and Exclusive” on an opaque block which is unnecessary and blocks the picture. I have not seen American/European broadcasters advertising no ad breaks/exclusivity – leaving more screen for the sport footage.

  4. David August 10, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    I signed up with FOXTEL over 1 year ago for several of TV’s in my house. During he set up I had a number of issues, everything from the installer leaving half way through the job to the sales consultant lying to me when I signed up. As a so called “Goodwill Gesture” they agreed to only charge me $65 per month. for 12 months it was fine, but then they take $155 out of my bank account with no notice or consent from myself. I then email the “customer advocacy team” that have no idea what customer advocacy is. I received an email saying that they’d get back to me in 5 days. Instead 14 days later I receive an email being told that it’s too bad and that it’s because my discount has ended. Ever since I’ve gone back and fourth with them getting absolutely no where. Even my numerous requests to speak to a manager have been ignored. FOXTEL is a joke. They need to learn the value of a customer and what good customer service is. One of the worst companies I’ve ever had to deal with!

  5. Donna September 19, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Called Foxtel mid-August to arrange for a home move. Cable TV was a simple self-install, plug and play. The earliest connect time for the bundled broadband went from end of September, to early October, to end of October. We are existing customers. Any new customers out there willing to share the length of time to get new Foxtel broadband service? Repeated calls to support and told it is not a Foxtel issue, but their partners issue. Hello, Foxtel, your business partner’s inability to provide service IS your problem, not the customers. Really, in this day and age, what company takes 2 months to provide internet service?

  6. Jess Martin October 17, 2016 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    I would not recommend Foxtel to anyone u pay good money to watch the same thing over and over what a joke

  7. Duncan October 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I have been a Foxtel customer for about 4 to 5 years, recently the hard drive on my IQ box died, it happens. I rang Foxtel and was immediately put through to Tech support to see if anything could be done to fix the issue. Unfortunately the hard drive was beyond fixing with a reset code. I had been thinking about upgrading to an HD service anyway, so I asked to be put through to the relevant team for help. Again I was immediately put through to the relevant team, this time on the Gold Coast, the upgrade team I believe, I spoke to Ben, he was amazingly helpful, I had all my questions answered! The whole experience was so easy and painless. The wait times on the phone where easily less than 15 seconds for each transfer. The team members where knowledgeable, courteous and extremely helpful. I would give Foxtel 6 stars out of 5, my reason, everyone at Foxtel exceeded my expectations. From first contact to my final install of a new IQ3 box took 2 and a half business days. I am now enjoying my Foxtel again. Well done!!

  8. Jan May 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I had to have a foxtel tech fix a problem. I cannot speak speak highly enough of him.His name was Clint. He was such a happy go lucky person. Very cheerful. Couldn’t wish for a nicer person. Thank you Clint

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