Foxtel is a great Pay TV option, but it may not perfectly suit your tastes or needs. Let’s take a look at how Fetch TV compares to Australia’s cable behemoth.
Essentially, Foxtel and Fetch TV serve a similar purpose. Both extend the capabilities of your TV dramatically, with dozen of channels you want find on the Free-To-Air airwaves, plus streaming TV and Movie libraries where you can download shows over the internet.
But, there are huge differences between the two services as well. Foxtel has dozens more included channels to watch and Fetch TV has an Ace up its sleeve: a Netflix app.
Keep in mind that pricing is subject to change. Take a look at the last time this article was updated to make sure it's still fairly relevant.
Fetch TV pricing and channel inclusions change depending on what provider, if any, you are signing up through. There is a Starter Pack, which only offers basic services, and an optional extra Entertainment/Entertainment Plus pack, which generally has around 35 channels depending on your provider.
There are also other optional add-ons, such as Setanta Sports and foreign language packs.
Optus: $15 for the Starter Package and $15 for the Entertainment add-on. Movie Box is part of the basic package.
iiNet: $10 for Starter and $19.95 for Entertainment Plus. Movie Box is part of Entertainment Plus.
Internode: $9.95 for Starter and $20 for Entertainment Plus. Movie Box is part of Entertainment Plus.
Westnet: $10 for Starter and $19.95 for Entertainment Plus. Movie Box is part of Entertainment Plus.
Dodo: $10 for Starter and $15 for Entertainment Plus. Movie box is part of Starter. This is the cheapest Fetch TV Starter option that includes Movie Box.
Adam Internet: $10 for Starter and $19.95 for Entertainment Plus. Movie Box is part of Entertainment Plus.
SlimTel: $10 for Starter and $19.95 for Entertainment Plus. Movie Box is part of Entertainment Plus.
Foxtel is a stand-alone service, but can be bundled with either Telstra or Foxtel Broadband packages. These are the prices for cable Foxtel and not Foxtel Play.
The Entertainment pack is $25 per month for 43 channels. This is the basic package and is included in every other package combo.
The Drama Combo is $45 per month for 49 channels. It includes SoHo, showcase, BoxSets, BBC First, 13Th Street and FX.
The Movies Combo is also $45 per month. It has 52 channels in total, leaving 9 for dedicated to movies.
The Sports Combo is $50 per month for 52 channels - 9 of which are dedicated sports streams.
Premium Entertainment is $55 per month for 68 channels. It is a combination of the Entertainment, Entertainment Plus, Docos and Kids packages.
Sports & Kids is aimed at families. It is $60 per month for 58 channels across the Entertainment, Sports and Kids packages.
Sports, Movies & Drama is $90 per month for 67 channels. Included packages are Entertainment, Sports, Movies and Drama.
Finally, we have the Platinum HD Pack: $132 per month for all Foxtel channels - Entertainment, Sports, Entertainment Plus, Movies, Docos, Drama and Kids -- with all HD channels included.
Foxtel is available primarily as a specialised cable service, requiring geographical support and usually installation by a paid professional. If you rent your house, or live in an apartment – whether you own it or not – this can be a problem.
Renters will require permission from their landlord. Apartment dwellers need permission from their building’s Body Corporate. Apartment renters need both.
If installation is an issue you can sign up to Foxtel Play, which is an IPTV service. Like Fetch TV, Foxtel Play requires a fast, reliable internet connection and, if you can’t get an unmetered deal, a big data allowance in your broadband plam. Unlike Fetch, Foxtel Play does not require you to purchase a dedicated set-top box. All you need is a computer, or compatible internet-connected device. Foxtel Play is not contract-based, so you can sign up for a single month with no ongoing commitments.
Cable Foxtel is still by far the most popular option. It has more channels than either Fetch TV or Foxtel Play, and will not affect your download cap unless you choose to watch it on a mobile device via the Foxtel Go app. It also delivers its content with reliable quality; something you can’t guarantee from any IPTV service, as they rely on your internet connect.
What you get
- Foxtel has a huge number of channels bundled up in to packages. The default Entertainment package is compulsory if you want any Foxtel content, but after that you can choose to add or ignore any of the others.
- You can pause and rewind live TV. You can also record up to two programs while watching a third, just like on Fetch. Also like Fetch, whole series can be set to download automatically via “Series Link”. Finally, you can set programs to record via the Foxtel Go app, which means you don’t even need to be at home to tape your favourite movie or TV show.
- Actual content ranges from classics to entertainment news to cartoons, drama, sci fi and reality TV. Just about every genre is covered.
- Sport in particular is a big draw-card. Foxtel is absolutely the best option for sport-lovers in Australia right now. There is a huge number of sports channels available, as well as options for pay-per-view events.
- Anytime, previously known as Catch Up, is a library of popular TV shows and movies available to watch on demand. These do not incur extra charges.
- There are also movies available to rent. These do cost extra, but tend to be more-recent or popular titles.
- Main Event is a pay-per-view sport service, generally focusing around MMA, Boxing and Professional Wrestling.
Fetch TV is an IPTV service. It uses your internet connection to provide you with content, rather than a dedicated cable service. There are benefits and draw-backs to this.
Seeing as it uses your home internet connection, you don’t need to pay or wait for a technician to come and install Fetch TV -- you just plug in the set-top box. Also, the Fetch TV service isn't limited by where you live, the way Foxtel isn't available to all homes.
Unfortunately, this also means you need pretty decent and reliable broadband speeds if you want to get full HD video. This is a kind of geographical restriction, but not as stringent a one. If you live in an area where it’s impossible to get fast broadband speeds then you may find your experience is affected.
Also to be considered is data usage. Some providers offer Fetch as an unmetered service. Unmetered means it doesn’t count towards your monthly cap, which is a good thing because streaming HD video is a huge data drain. However, not every provider offers unmetered access. Make sure that, if yours does, you do your signing up via your ISP.
What you get
- The default subscription gives you access to movie rentals, Movie Box (30 free-access movies replaced on an average of one per day), the ability to record TV and access to catch-up TV.
- The Entertainment package includes upwards of 30 more channels, although this can vary depending on your provider. There are some familiar names here, like Syfy, CNBC, Nat Geo, Nickelodeon and MTV Music. Some foreign language channels are available as add-ons.
- Sports fans aren’t left out. ESPN and ESPN2 are part of the Entertainment package. You can also get Setanta as an optional monthly add-on.
- Much like on Foxtel you can record on two channels simultaneously while watching a third. You can also set and entire TV series to download, so you don’t need to schedule it every time.
- Finally, you can watch your content on mobile devices (iOS and Android). This can be done on your home WiFi network, or over 3G/4G when you’re out and about.
- Apps! Unlike Foxtel, the Fetch TV set-top box comes with apps, like YouTube and Netflix, making it easy to share videos on these sites with the whole family.
Note: Movie Box is not part of the basic package from all providers and is part of the Entertainment package, so will cost extra.