Go Fetch: A guide to Fetch TV

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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, you watch what you want – when you want, and you get access to new shows and movies that you don’t have to hang out for to watch on regular ole TV. In these phenomena, Fetch 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 Netflix or Stan or so read on to find out exactly what Fetch offers.

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What is Fetch?

Fetch 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 RRP $399 – or RRP $169 for the Mini player – Fetch gives you the opportunity to purchase a variety of ‘cable television’ streaming entertainment packs starting at just $6 a month:

  • Kids: Disney Channel, Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, Disney Junior etc
  • Knowledge: Nat Geo, Food Network, CNBC, CNN, Travel etc
  • Vibe: ESPN, MTV, Spike, E, Comedy Central etc
  • Variety: BBC, SyFy, Universal, 111, TV Hits etc

These packs cost $6 a month each, or you can bundle all four together for a total of $20.

  • Bundling gets you over 35 channels, streamed over your internet connection
  • Think of Fetch like a hybrid between Apple TV and Foxtel

Of course, these packs aren’t mandatory to purchase. If you don’t want to pay for an extra subscription, Fetch TV is compatible with free-to-air (FTA) 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 broadband do I need for Fetch?

The beauty with Fetch TV is that you can buy the media player outright, and use your own ISP. Alternatively, there are five premier providers that offer the Fetch TV Mighty or Mini player in a bundle with a broadband plan:

  • iiNet: ‘iiNet TV’ by Fetch – Fetch Mini player included at no extra cost on 24 month plans
  • Internode: Premium TV bundle with no lock-in contract for $10 a month extra
  • Dodo: Fetch Mini player bundle from $44.90 a month, unlimited data
  • iPrimus: Unlimited data & entertainment bundles from $80 per month on NBN plans
  • Optus: ‘Yes TV’ by Fetch – Fetch & Optus Sport from $90 a month with unlimited data

iiNet Bundles with Fetch

iiNet is a bit of an interesting ISP offering Fetch TV packages. It’s pretty simple:

  • For $0 extra per month on 24 month NBN plans you’ll get a Fetch TV Mini player.
  • Plan and entertainment additions are then as normal.
  • You can then upgrade to the Fetch Mighty for $250, which is cheaper than its retail price.

Overall, iiNet looks to be one of the cheaper providers to have Fetch, but beyond the Fetch Mini you still have to pay for an additional entertainment packs yourself.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
iiNet Logo

Essentials Plus

  • Basic 12/1 speed
  • Fetch included

min. cost $1,679.76 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
iiNet Logo

Advanced

  • Standard Plus 50/20 speed
  • Fetch included

min. cost $1,919.76 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
iiNet Logo

Ultimate

  • Premium 100/40 speed
  • Fetch included

min. cost $2,399.76 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Internode Bundles with Fetch

Little brother to iiNet, Internode, also has Fetch entertainment bundles – but this time you’ll pay $10 extra per month. So what does $10 get you?

  • On NBN plans you’ll get the Fetch Mini and all the included content you’ve come to expect with Fetch. Plus you’ll get one included channel pack.

Alternatively, you can also get just the Mini for $5 per month if you’re not interested in channel packs. Unlimited data starts at $70, while top-flight unlimited NBN costs closer to $100, plus the $10 for Fetch.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Internode

NBN Bronze Unlimited

  • NBN Basic Evening Speed (NBN12/1)
  • $99 Upfront

min. cost $168.99 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Internode

NBN Gold Unlimited

  • NBN Standard Plus Evening Speed(NBN50/20)
  • $99 Upfront

min. cost $178.99 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Internode

NBN Platinum Unlimited

  • NBN Premium Evening Speed(NBN100/40)
  • $99 Upfront

min. cost $198.99 for first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Dodo Bundles with Fetch TV

The third perennial provider to offer Fetch TV bundles with broadband is Dodo. With Dodo, you can bundle in either a Fetch Mini for $15 extra a month, or a Fetch Mighty for $20 extra per month.

  • This brings the cheapest bundle to $75 a month.

Dodo is pretty transparent in its bundle offerings. Overall Dodo appears to be at the cheaper end of the scale. Below is what you can expect to pay for Dodo’s broadband plans, keeping in mind its Fetch TV bundles will add another $15 or so onto the plan per month:

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

Unlimited Plan

  • NBN Basic Evening Speed (NBN12)

min. cost $1,440 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Dodo Logo

Unlimited Plan – Turbo

  • NBN Standard Evening Speed (NBN25)

min. cost $1,560 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Dodo Logo

Unlimited Plan – Supercharged

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN50)

min. cost $1,800 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

iPrimus Bundles with Fetch

As a Vocus Communications stablemate to Dodo, iPrimus surprisingly has a very different approach to its sister brand. Plans with Fetch included start at about $80 a month and come with unlimited data.

  • NBN with the Basic speed tier plus Fetch is $80 a month, while to get NBN Standard Plus you’ll be paying $90 a month.
  • With this you’ll get the Fetch Mini box plus one channel pack.

Plans come with local and national calls as standard, and a 24-month contract. To setup Fetch you’ll pay a $55 activation fee plus $15 postage and handling. For one of the more straightforward approaches to Fetch + internet, iPrimus stands out among the providers.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
iPrimus Logo

Entertainment Basic

  • Basic 12/1 Speed
  • $55 activation fee + $15 P&H

min. cost $1,920 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $80.00Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
iPrimus Logo

Entertainment Supercharged

  • Standard Plus 50/20 Speed
  • $55 activation fee + $15 P&H

min. cost $2,160 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $90.00Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus Bundles with Fetch

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.

  • Optus Fetch Mighty bundles start at $90 a month, and this fee also includes Optus Sport as well as one channel pack.
  • Plans come with the Standard Plus speed tier as standard with the option of Premium for $30 extra.
  • Optus mobile customers can save $10 a month on their new broadband plan if they bundle the two together.

Optus notably 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 a month after buying the Fetch TV player outright. Entertainment bundles with Optus are not only convenient, but may also work out cheaper than if you sourced every component separately.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Ultra

  • Standard Plus 50/20 Speed
  • $200 upfront fee if on a no lock-in contract
  • $10 monthly discount if an existing Optus mobile customer

min. cost $1,800 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75.00Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Ultra + Entertainment

  • Standard Plus 50/20 Speed
  • $200 upfront fee if on a no lock-in contract
  • $10 monthly discount if an existing Optus mobile customer

min. cost $2,160 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $90.00Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Ultra Premium

  • Premium 100/40 Speed
  • $200 upfront fee if on a no lock-in contract
  • $10 monthly discount if an existing Optus mobile customer

min. cost $2,520 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $105.00Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Ultra + Entertainment Premium

  • Premium 100/40 Speed
  • $200 upfront fee if on a no lock-in contract
  • $10 monthly discount if an existing Optus mobile customer

min. cost $2,880 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $120.00Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

 What’s the difference between the two Fetch TV media players?

There are two different types of players that Fetch offers. They are the Mighty player, and the Mini player. The key difference: One allows you to record TV and the other doesn’t.

  • With the Mighty player you can record live TV. It’s not just a streaming device; it also acts as your personal video recorder (PVR).
  • The Mighty 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 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 in the market for a PVR, 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 Mighty player but without the PVR 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 PVR. 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, Stan (you’ll need to have your own subscriptions already)
  • The option to buy the aforementioned entertainment packs, Optus Sport Pack (for Optus customers only) or Bein Sport pack for about $15-$20 each a month
  • ‘Smart’ 7-day TV guide
  • Pause and rewind live TV

As far as entertainment goes, Fetch has you well covered. As mentioned earlier, Fetch gives you the ability to serious ramp up your home entertainment endowment.

Fetch Entertainment

For an extra $20 a month, you have the ability to purchase an entertainment pack, which includes over 35 channels. However, if $20 is a bit too much and you can’t see yourself watching all the channels regularly, the packs can be broken down (as above) into four separate ones, each costing $6 a month.

Channel packs are generally broken up into interest groups, so if you’re a sports fan you might like to select the ‘Vibe’ pack. If you have kids, you might like to select the Kids pack, and so on. Though for a one-stop shop for entertainment, the $20 ultimate pack sounds pretty good.

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 (for Optus boxes only), so that way you can keep up with the English Premier League and FA Cup action too. With both media 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, the mobile recording feature is only for the Mighty player, but both players also allow you to watch premium channels on-the-go, and watch shows and movies anywhere (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.

Fetch vs Foxtel vs Apple TV: Who’s the winner?

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 Foxtel Cable Apple TV
FTA TV Yes Yes No
Pause/Rewind/Record Live TV Yes (Mighty player record only) Yes No
Catch-Up TV Integration Yes No Yes
Netflix/Stan/Presto integration Yes No Yes
Buy newly-released movies Yes No Yes
Rent newly-released movies Yes No Yes
Buy popular TV shows Yes Yes Yes
Premium Channel Packs Yes Yes No
On-the-go apps for watching Yes Yes Yes
Price Per Month for Equivalent Package $26.25 (Mini player) or $36.66 (Mighty player) (Ultimate pack + player costs over 24-months) $55 for Sports & Drama Combo no lock-in contract (not including iQ3 equipment fee and installation fees) No entertainment packages available (unit price available from $239 RRP)

Sources: Foxtel and Fetch

The main differences between Fetch, 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.

Pay TV Value

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 and Foxtel, for example. For NRL and AFL, you’ll pretty much have no choice but to go with Foxtel, though!

However, where Fetch pulls ahead is its integrated Netflix, Stan and FTA 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 an expensive workaround for streaming these services.

Value for Money

Another main drawback is the cost of Foxtel. For an equivalent package to Fetch’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 do 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.

paid tv subscription

Netflix, Stan and On-Demand Entertainment

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’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.

Foxtel is also no slouch in the on-demand entertainment side of things. With any Foxtel subscription, customers get access to Foxtel Go, which is a mobile-based streaming service. It allows you to stream all that’s good and holy on Foxtel, including TV shows, movies and sports. It’s a free download and is included with your Foxtel subscription. However, Foxtel is not exactly friendly to Netflix and Stan integration.

Set-Top Box and PVR Tools

Where Fetch 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.

Foxtel does have a great PVR/set top box set-up in its ‘iQ3’ device, which is mandatory for all Foxtel subscriptions and carries an upfront cost when you go to purchase Foxtel.

Overall

  • If you want all-out entertainment and 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
  • 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

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, 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 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 worth the money?

Fetch is a surprisingly welcome and refreshing change of pace in the SVOD world. While it seems many people 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, a lot of people became disenfranchised with traditional pay TV because they found they were perhaps paying too much. This 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 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.

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