Streaming video on-demand (or SVOD for short) has really taken off over the last couple of years. With the introduction of Netflix to Australia in 2015, streaming services have become the new revolutionary media platform. And for good reason – there are no ads, and you can watch what you want, when you want, with access to shows and movies that you don’t have to hang out for to watch on regular ole TV.
In these times of maximum user-control, Fetch TV has emerged as a strong contender to supply all your streaming demands in one simple place. Its appeal and main premise are a little different to the likes of Netflix and Stan, however, so read on to find out exactly what Fetch TV offers.
What is Fetch TV?
Fetch TV is an SVOD device used to stream from subscription services such as Netflix and Stan, but it’s also much more than that. After purchasing the set top box for about $400 – or less than half of that for the Mini player – Fetch gives you the opportunity to purchase a variety of entertainment packs, starting from about $15. Think of it like a hybrid between Apple TV and Foxtel. If you don’t want to pay for an extra subscription, Fetch TV is compatible with free-to-air services such as ABC iView, SBS On Demand and Tenplay. For about a $400 initial price or less, Fetch TV has the capability of being your new home entertainment hub.
What’s the difference between the two Fetch TV devices?
There are two different types of players that Fetch offers. They are the Mighty player, and the Mini player. The key difference? With the Mega player you can record live TV. It’s not purely a streaming device – it also acts as your personal video recorder. It allows you to record up to six channels while watching another, and its intuitiveness means you can easily record all shows in a series. Fetch TV claims the one-terabyte hard drive is big enough for 585 hours of recordings, which is fantastic. The Mega player retails for $399 (plus a $1 activation fee), and is a great ‘one stop shop’ as far as home entertainment goes.
However, if you’re not worried about recoding shows, Fetch TV has you covered with the Mini player. The Mini player can be had for about $150 outright, and is basically the same as the Mega player but without the recording features. The Mighty player also supports 4K Ultra-HD, whereas the Mini player supports regular old HD. That’s about where the differences end, but it may be well worth getting the Mighty player if you desire a recording device. However, you could save $250 by going without it. Both players have these features:
- FTA ‘catch up’ services from ABC iView, Tenplay, SBS On Demand etc
- Built-in apps to watch Netflix and Stan (you’ll need to have your own subscriptions already though)
- The option to buy the Entertainment Pack (35+ channels), Optus Sport Pack or Bein Sport pack for about $15 each a month
- ‘Smart’ 7-day TV guide
- Pause and rewind live TV
As far as entertainment goes, Fetch TV has you well covered. As mentioned earlier, Fetch gives you the ability to serious ramp up your home entertainment endowment. For an extra $15 a month, you have the ability to purchase an entertainment pack, which includes 35 channels. All the usual suspects are there from what you’d expect with traditional pay TV – you’ll be able to keep up with the Kardashians and watch Steph Curry shoot the lights out in the NBA with channels like E! and ESPN. Extra packs like Bein Sports and Optus Sport can also be had from about $15 extra a month, so that way you can keep up with the English Premier League action too. With both players, you’ll also get these inclusions:
- Over 5000 movies to rent or buy
- 30 free preselected movies a month (inclusion seems to vary)
- Integrated ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ reviews
- Browse movies based on genre or cast/crew
Fetch TV is also intuitively integrated with your smartphone. For either Android or Apple, Fetch has developed a free app that also acts as a second remote control. With the app you can set recordings remotely. Did you forget to set the recording of the 80th rerun of the Golden Girls in the morning? No matter, just use your phone to hit record when you’re out and about. Of course, this is only a feature on the Mighty player, but both also allow you to watch premium channels on-the-go, and watch shows and movies anywhere you like (this depends on how much mobile data you have!).
Fetch TV really is an all-encompassing home entertainment hub, and it’s refreshing to see that there’s minimal compromise when opting for the cheaper Mini player.
What broadband do I need for Fetch TV?
The great thing about Fetch TV – besides the awesome entertainment features, of course – is that you can buy the media player outright, and keep using your existing internet service provider, should you wish too. Alternatively, there are three premier providers that offer the Fetch TV Mighty or Mini player in a bundle with a broadband plan:
- Optus: ‘Yes TV’ by Fetch – unlimited data from $110 per month for 24 months
- iiNet: ‘iiNet TV’ by Fetch – Fetch player rental from an extra $10 a month with any plan
- Dodo: Fetch Mini player bundle from $44.90 per month, unlimited data
Optus Bundles with Fetch TV
Optus may be one of the first ISPs you associate with Fetch TV, as in the early days Optus was one of the early adopters of bundling Fetch TV with a broadband plan. There are two key plans that you can bundle with Fetch TV, which are:
- $110 per month over 24 months, unlimited data, unlimited national and local calls to landlines and mobiles, ‘Yes TV’ aka a rebranded Fetch TV Mini player included, Optus Sport package at no extra cost.
- $140 per month over 24 months, unlimited data, unlimited national and local calls to landlines and mobiles, unlimited international calls to selected countries, ‘Yes TV’ aka a rebranded Fetch TV Mighty player included, plus Entertainment pack, plus Optus Sport
Optus TV has come to the game with a few very interesting bundles. Most notable is the fact that Optus has the rights to English Premier League football. If you’re a Manc or a West Ham United hooligan, you might find yourself keenly interested in these plans. Ordinarily, Optus Sport (which covers EPL) would cost $15 extra per month after buying the Fetch TV player outright. With these plans, it’s included, so effectively you may be better off by $15 a month.
You may also find value in the $140 plan, which gets you the Mighty player, allowing you to record live TV. In this bundle, you’ll also get the Entertainment pack, which is also ordinarily worth $15 per month. Is the Mighty player plus the Entertainment pack worth an extra $30 a month, do you think? These are the key differences between the two plans (plus international calls may be handy), so you’ll have to decide for yourself if Optus is the ISP to ‘opt’ for.
iiNet Bundles with Fetch TV
iiNet is a bit of an interesting ISP offering Fetch TV packages. It’s pretty simple:
- For an extra $10 per month you’ll get a Fetch TV Mighty player, which is dirt cheap considering it retails for close to $400 outright.
- An extra $29.95 per month and you’ll get the Mighty player with the Entertainment Plus pack, effectively making the pack worth $19.95 a month
It’s a little peculiar that the Entertainment Pack now costs an extra $5 per month in a bundle – you might have thought it to be cheaper, or included somewhere along the line. Nevertheless, the cheap entry price of $10 means that you don’t have to front up for a $400 device, instead costing $240 over the course of 24 months. However, the caveat to this is that it’s a ‘rental’ meaning you don’t actually own the player.
Additionally, the minimum cost you can expect to pay is $69.95 a month, with the $59.99 Naked DSL 250GB plan. For the bundle with the Entertainment pack, the minimum cost comes to $89.94 with the same plan. However, to jump up into unlimited data (which we suspect you might need for such a great streaming experience), you’ll need to pay $69.99 per month, plus whatever Fetch TV bundle you decide on. Overall, iiNet looks to be cheaper than Optus in their Fetch TV bundles, however, the $19.95 cost for the Entertainment Pack and no Optus Sport included may be enough to sway many users over to Optus.
Dodo Bundles with Fetch TV
The third perennial provider to offer Fetch TV bundles with broadband is Dodo. With Dodo there are two plans to choose from, with a couple of add-ons:
- Fetch Lite plan: $44.90 per month for 24 months, Fetch TV Mini player, unlimited data
- Fetch Entertainment Plus plan: $59.90 per month for 24 months, Fetch TV Mini player, unlimited data, plus Entertainment Pack
Dodo is pretty transparent in their bundle offerings. It appears that the Fetch TV bundle is $10 extra per month over Dodo’s regular plans – an unlimited ADSL2+ plan costs $34.90 per month, for example. An extra $15 a month – the cost of an Entertainment Pack – gets you the Dodo ‘Entertainment Plus’ plan. Additionally, you can also opt for the Fetch TV Mega player for an extra $10 a month on top of your existing bundle. Overall, Dodo appears to be the cheapest service provider of the three to bundle with a Fetch TV pack, but it works out to be about even with iiNet, who include the Mighty player at no extra cost.
Bundle with your own ISP
Bundling with your own existing ISP could in fact work out to be a little cheaper, albeit requiring a little more footwork yourself. Given that the plans mentioned above are all over 24 months, you can work out how much it’d cost per month to purchase the Mighty and Mini Fetch players.
- The Mini player will cost $6.25 per month over 24 months
- The Mighty player will cost $16.66 per month over 24 months
Depending on what type of packs you add on, these plans cost breakdowns could work out to be a little cheaper than the plans from the three providers mentioned above. However, iiNet does seem to lead the charge with the cheapest options for the Mighty player at only $10 extra per month on top of their original broadband plans. Here’s a quick cost breakdown to help you determine how much purchasing an outright Fetch TV player could cost per month, to easily compare to the other providers.
|Mini Player Per Month Over 24 Months||Mighty Player Per Month Over 24 Months|
|With Entertainment or Optus Sport Pack||$21.25||$31.66|
|With Both Packs||$36.25||$46.66|
With this breakdown, it’s more apparent that buying outright could save you money in the long run. However, depending on how much you’re paying for your home phone and broadband, there is the potential to save some money by bundling Fetch TV with one of the providers above. All you have to do is add the cost of your home phone/broadband plan with one of your desired combinations above, and see how they compare to Optus, iiNet and Dodo.
Overall, there isn’t anything that screams out ‘value’ with these broadband plans mentioned above, and there doesn’t appear to be any huge cost benefits either. Perhaps the biggest point, however, is that the above three ISPs provide unmetered streaming through the Fetch TV player. This is a serious thought to consider, and while it won’t matter much if your current internet package is unlimited, it could be a deciding factor if your plan is data-limited. This is one of the main benefits to purchasing through these ISPs.
Bundling also may present a convenient option, and could bring peace of mind to know that the ISP technicians will be able to help you out with any issues you have regarding their rebranded Fetch TV players – after all, they sold it to you!
Fetch TV vs Foxtel vs Apple TV: Which is best?
SVOD is a huge industry, but there are two key players that tend to compete directly with Fetch TV in regards to streaming and home entertainment as a whole. They are Apple TV and Foxtel. Here’s a quick rundown of how they compare together below:
|Fetch TV||Foxtel||Apple TV|
|Pause/Rewind/Record Live TV||Yes (Mighty player record only)||Yes||No|
|Catch-Up TV Integration||Yes||No||Yes|
|Buy newly-released movies||Yes||No||Yes|
|Rent newly-released movies||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Buy popular TV shows||Yes||No||Yes|
|Premium Channel Packs||Yes||Yes||No|
|On-the-go apps for watching||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Price Per Month for Equivalent Package||$21.25 (Mini player) or $31.66 (Mighty player) (Entertainment pack + player costs over 24 months)||$71 for Sports & Drama Combo no lock-in contract (not including iQ2 equipment fee and installation fees)||No entertainment packages available (unit price available from $239 RRP)|
The main differences between Fetch TV, Foxtel and Apple TV lie in their costs, and what opportunity you have for entertainment packages, as well as how they act as a home entertainment hub. As far as all-out entertainment goes, it’s hard to separate Fetch TV and Foxtel. Both equivalent packs offer a swathe of channels covering entertainment, drama and sport. You can watch NBA games with both Fetch TV and Foxtel, for example. However, where Fetch TV pulls ahead is its integrated Netflix, Stan and free-to-air catch-up TV apps. Foxtel does not have this. Instead, you’ll have to rely on another avenue to get these, such as Apple TV, which seems to be expensive workaround for streaming these services.
Another main drawback is the cost of Foxtel. For an equivalent package to Fetch TV’s offering, you’re looking at spending $71 a month! Adding salt to the wound is the fact that Fox Sports lost EPL TV rights to Optus, so fans of English football may feel even less incentivised to purchase a Foxtel package. Foxtel does provide coverage of games through a few clubs’ specific TV channels though, including Manchester United and Chelsea among others. However, the increased cost comes with the benefit of having these channels broadcast on TV, rather than streamed using the internet. Again, this is likely a non-factor for people with unlimited data plans, but for those with data caps, it is also a consideration.
Where Fetch TV mainly compares with Apple TV is the access to on-demand purchasing of TV shows and movies, as well as integration of streaming services like Netflix. If this is one of your main concerns – not the Entertainment packages mentioned above – then it may well come down to how comprehensive Fetch TV’s library is versus Apple’s iTunes. You may find you prefer one over the other; another benefit is that through Apple TV you also have access to the App Store and the opportunity to download games.
However, where Fetch TV wins out against Apple TV is through its set top box and PVR attributes. Apple TV does not have these functions, and you can’t watch live TV through it. However, Apple TV is a fair bit cheaper, though you’ll still have to pay for your preferred streaming services.
- If you want pay TV packages but have a limited data allowance – choose Foxtel
- If you want cheaper pay TV packages and data is no concern – choose Fetch TV
- If you want a cost-effective solution for streaming and a large entertainment library – choose Apple TV
- If you want English Premier League football – choose Fetch TV with the Optus Sport Package, or buy Fetch TV through an Optus broadband plan
- If you want ‘a bit of everything’ – choose Fetch TV
Overall, Fetch TV seems to offer the best of both worlds between Foxtel and Apple TV. It’s also a good compromise on price between the two. While you’ll be relegated to streaming much of your content – versus straight TV in Foxtel’s case – with Fetch TV, those with unlimited broadband connections will likely not notice any difference, especially if you choose an unmetered ISP mentioned earlier.
Fetch TV also has much more enhanced functionality than Apple TV, albeit at an extra cost. So, unless you’re specifically in the market for either Foxtel or Apple TV, we suspect that Fetch TV offers a good mix of the two, and is your one-stop shop for all things ‘home entertainment’.
Is Fetch TV worth the money?
Fetch TV is a surprisingly welcome and refreshing change of pace in the SVOD world. While it seems many people have moved away from traditional pay TV outlets in favour of streaming services, many of these people may yearn for easy-access entertainment and sports packages like they previously received from the likes of Foxtel.
Simply, you can’t get live TV and sports with Netflix and the like, which is a turn off for many people. On the other hand, some have become disenfranchised with traditional pay TV because they’ve found they were perhaps paying too much.
This has left a void in the market with people looking for streaming, on-demand purchases, and entertainment and sports packages, all rolled into one simple set top box/PVR. This is where Fetch TV filled that void, and we suspect it’ll become increasingly popular in the future for those looking for an easy bundled solution to all their home entertainment needs.