Review: Foxtel Vs Foxtel Now

Foxtel is one of the main players in the Australian entertainment space. So how do you choose between two of the best offerings from Foxtel?

We walk you through a feature by feature comparison of both Foxtel services, to help you figure out which is better suited to your needs.

Content

The PayTV service Foxtel has the widest range of TV content in Australia. The entry level Entertainment Package offers 45+ channels that cover all bases from drama, news, music to special channels for the kids. Other packages include Movies, Drama and Sports addons. Their Showcase channel runs exclusive HBO series, giving Australia access to much acclaimed shows including Game of Thrones, Westworld, Veep, Silicon Valley and others. Boxsets allows viewers to binge watch their favourite shows as well. Other shows and movies are available on demand, for extra payment. The Sports pack includes special programming from ESPN as well as beIn Sports and three English soccer club channels in addition to Fox Sports’ 9 main channels.

Foxtel Now, previously known as Foxtel Play, is Foxtel’s IPTV offering. They offer five distinct base packs that cover Drama, Pop, Documentaries, Lifestyle and Kids channels. There are two premium packs covering Sports and Movies.

Ease of Use

Foxtel PayTV requires installing a set-top box, normally included in the contract. You can request an installation by Foxtel or do it by yourself. Foxtel Now does not require a set-top box, since you watch via the internet. You can access Foxtel Now on your PC, Mac, Telstra TV, mobile phone or tablet, Chromecast or Playstation 4, and content is available in HD. Meanwhile, the older version of the app, Foxtel Play, is still available on Xbox One, Playstation 3 and selected smart TVs. See the list of Foxtel Play compatible devices here. Of course, you require a high bandwidth internet connection.

Foxtel Now offers a mobile app that comes free with both options – meaning you can watch your favourite shows and movies on the go, from your mobile devices.

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Features

A Foxtel iQ3 set-top box is included with each contract and comes with up to 345 hours of SD and 172 hours of HD. A good EPG makes it easy to navigate to and record your shows. Foxtel Now is more of an application than an EPG, but it is just as simple to navigate and use. Foxtel’s catch-up service, Foxtel On Demand, is included with both.

Value

Foxtel Now starts at $10 for the Docos, Lifestyle or Kids genre packs, or $15 for Drama and Pop. You can choose only one pack or as many as you want – with a discount applying if you choose both Drama and Pop ($25 for the two instead of $30). The Movie pack is an additional $20, while the Sports pack costs an additional $29. If you feel greedy and want everything on offer, it will cost $104/month for about 60 channels. Note that you can cancel your subscription anytime. There’s also a free 14-day trial for new subscribers.

Foxtel’s base plan starts at $26/month with additional charges for the premium channel packs. Going whole hog with the Platinum HD pack – i.e.  all channel packs containing 92 channels plus high definition – will cost you $137/month. All rates are on a monthly direct debit plan. The minimum total cost, including equipment and installation works out to $151 for Entertainment Plan and $262.03 for Platinum HD.

What’s New?

Foxtel Now will soon get its own dedicated streaming device which will enable subscribers to access plug and play streaming, with just a Wi-Fi connection and a HDMI input required. It will be a brilliant option for those that can’t get a hardware-installed Foxtel connection. This review was last updated in October 2017.

Availability

Foxtel Pay TV is available in all metro areas, however access may be limited in remote areas. Foxtel Now is available anywhere you have a broadband connection.

Best of all, EVERYONE can grab the Foxtel Now free trial whether you’re a new user or existing Foxtel Play subscriber!

Foxtel vs Foxtel Now: which is best for you?

At the entry package level, Foxtel’s Pay TV definitely provides more value for money. Provided of course, that the service is available in your area. Otherwise, you can just opt for Foxtel Now.

If you like a broad range of channels to choose from, you can take the Platinum HD package from Foxtel. Otherwise, if you’re not too particular about all the extra channels – or if either cable or satellite installation is not an option – then picking and choosing selected channel packs from Foxtel Now potentially works out to be more cost-effective.

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8 Comments

  1. Brent December 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    I am currently on Foxtel Pay TV but am considering a change to Play. How can this be done?

    • Anthony Horan January 19, 2016 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      Give Foxtel a call on 1300 760 579 and they’ll be able to let you know what’s involved, and organise the changeover for you if you decide to go ahead and switch over.

  2. Larissa May 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Hi I’m wondering if I can use Foxtel acc with normal Foxtel play?? I’m unsure what the difference is

    • Anthony Horan May 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      They’re separate services, so no, you can’t – but you CAN use Foxtel Go by logging into the app with your Foxtel account. Think of Foxtel and Foxtel Play as two separate services that both offer free access to Foxtel Go.

  3. Colin Downing May 11, 2016 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    I am considering signing up for Foxtel Play as my Sony LED TV has it as an app but need to know what package I need to include to get AFL Footy Channel.

    • Anthony Horan May 11, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      The Premium Sports pack ($25 on top of your base package) includes Footy Play, which is the Foxtel Play version of Fox Footy. Be aware, though, that there are some restrictions on the live games that the Play version is allowed to show.

  4. Wendy October 10, 2016 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    Can u record any shows on Foxtel play

    • Anthony Horan October 11, 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

      No, it’s a streaming-only service. You do however get access to Anytime, which lets you watch shows (and entire series) and movies that have already aired any time you like, often without ads as a bonus!

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