Foxtel and Samsung have teamed up to supply a new line of television sets with built-in Foxtel hardware and we have one thing to say: it’s about time. Obviously not everyone in Australia uses Foxtel, nor does everyone even live in supported areas. However, there’s no harm in including a little extra functionality for those that do. Also, the new partnership shouldn’t add anything to the cost of making the TVs, as everything will be streamed over-the-web to Samsung’s internet-capable Smart TVs.
As technology progresses, our use of it increases and its availability extends to more Aussies it’s becoming important to minimise the sheer amount of stuff that can be found cluttered around our TV sets. I personally have 2 gaming consoles, a media server and a whole sound-system plugged in to my 50 inch plasma TV set. All of that adds up to take up a surprising amount of room, especially if you’re going to add yet another peripheral in the form of a Foxtel box on top of it all.
As far as functionality goes the new TVs will stream up to 30 channels to Samsung Smart TVs over the ‘net. Foxtel on Internet TV packages start at $19.50 for the ‘Get Started’ package. Sport is an extra $10, Showtime Movies is $15 and Entertainment is $15.
As a nice touch the London Olympics package, simply called “London”, will be available for a one-time payment of $50 for all 8 channels. Obviously the timing of this deal is very beneficial for both Samsung and Foxtel, as the London package is sure to be a big hit with both Foxtel fans and nay-sayers alike.
Broadband-wise users will require an internet connection capable of at least 2Mbps down, although a faster connection is obviously preferential.
Some unfortunate news is that anyone who is not a Telstra BigPond broadband subscriber will see anything streamed from Foxtel in this way added to their monthly data cap. This can be very dangerous, as video streaming is one of the major causes of bill shock as it uses up a substantial amount of data, even more so if the quality of video is HD.
BigPond customers can breathe easily, however, as Foxtel over Internet to their Samsung Smart TVs will not have any effect on their monthly cap.
A piece of good news is that any customer who purchases a Samsung Smart TV between now until September 2 (2012) will receive a free 2 month subscription to the Get Started package.
We love just about everything about this partnership. Obviously we’d like to see more brands start following Samsung’s lead and it would also be very nice to see ISPs other than Telstra start offering unmetered access to the Foxtel over Internet service, but at least this is a start. It’s about time Australian consumers started getting more viable and easy options for video streaming via the internet and we’re supporters of anything that helps move us along in that general direction.