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 views 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 Play is Foxtel’s IPTV offering. The base packages include 17 channels alongside those from the chosen pack. They offer five distinct base packs that cover Drama, “Pop”, Documentaries, Lifestyle and Kids channels. There are two premium packs covering Sports and Movies.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 Play on the other hand, does not require a set-top box, but just that you have a Smart TV – or you can even watch it on your PC, Mac, PlayStation or any of a wide range of internet enabled devices, including the Telstra TV box which is the only device able to stream Foxtel Play channels in high definition. See the list of Foxtel Play compatible devices here
. Of course, you require a high bandwidth internet connection
Foxtel Go comes free with both options – meaning you can watch your favourite shows and movies, on the go, from your mobile devices, irrespective of whether you opt for Foxtel or Foxtel Play.
A Foxtel iQ2 or iQ3 set-top box is included with each contract and comes with up to 90 hour of SD recording or 30 hours of SD recording on the iQ2, or 345 hours of SD and 172 hours of HD on the iQ3. A good EPG makes it easy to navigate to and record your shows. Foxtel Play is more of an application than an EPG, but it is just as simple to navigate and use. Foxtel’s catch-up service, Foxtel Anytime, is included with both.
Foxtel Play 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 there’s no lock-in contract so you can choose to renew or opt out of your plan at the end of the month. 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.
Foxtel Pay TV is available in all metro areas, however access may be limited in remote areas. Foxtel Play is available anywhere you have a broadband connection.
Foxtel vs Foxtel Play: which is best for you?
At the entry package level, Foxtel’s PayTV
definitely provides more value for money. Provided of course, that the service is available in your area. Otherwise, you can just opt for Foxtel Play
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 cableor satellite installation is not an option – then picking and choosing selected channel packs from Foxtel Play potentially works out to be more cost-effective.