Foxtel Now is the pay TV giant’s response to Netflix and Stan — it’s own paid streaming service. While traditional Foxtel requires an iQ set top box to broadcast Foxtel to your TV, Foxtel Now is a streaming service, which uses an internet connection to stream content to a device.
While some people are happy to stream shows and movies on their portable devices, such as a mobile phone or tablet, many of us still want to use our TVs to watch the content we stream. That’s why many newer TVs (and devices such as the Sony Playstation 4) include access to TV streaming apps such as Netflix and Stan, so you can stream content on your TV.
Foxtel have come up with a solution to this — the Foxtel Now Box. Unlike the traditional Foxtel set top box (like the iQ), you don’t need to have a technician come to your home to install and activate your service. You can buy the Foxtel Now Box, set it up yourself and start streaming!
What does the Foxtel Now Box do?
The main purpose of the Foxtel Now Box is to stream Foxtel Now to your TV, but it does much more than that. Not only will you have access to the Foxtel Now app, but the Foxtel Now Box also works as a general TV set top box, much like Fetch TV, with access to free-to-air channels and catch up TV apps.
In addition to free-to-air TV and catch-up apps, including ABC iView, you’ll also have access to YouTube, the Google Play store, Spotify and Stan. Of course, you’ll need your own subscription to some of these services in order to access the content. It also comes with Chromecast built-in, so the Foxtel Now Box could be a good option if you’re looking to stream more content to your TV.
The Foxtel Now Box costs $99, but there are no setup fees as installing the device yourself is easy — all you need is an internet connection.
You can buy the Foxtel Now Box direct from Foxtel, with free shipping and next day delivery in some metro areas when ordered before 1pm. You can also buy the Foxtel Now Box through retailers including JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman and Officeworks.
Do you need to be a Foxtel customer to buy a Foxtel Now Box?
Technically anyone can buy a Foxtel Now Box, however you will need a Foxtel Now subscription to access content. Without a Foxtel Now subscription, you can only really use the box for free-to-air channels, and to access apps that don’t require a paid subscription. Ultimately, the main purpose of the Box is to access Foxtel Now, so you can stream popular Foxtel-exclusive content such as Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Big Little Lies.
Can you stream Foxtel Now through a TV without the Foxtel Now Box?
Apart from the Foxtel Now Box, there are several different ways to stream Foxtel Now to your TV, if you don’t want to watch it on your phone, tablet or computer.
- Sony Android TVs: Many of the newer smart Sony TVs have an app store powered by Android TV. Simply download the Foxtel Now app to your Sony TV (smart Sony TVs prior to 2015 will list the app as Foxtel Play).
- Chromecast or AirPlay: Stream Foxtel Now from your portable device through Google Chromecast, or Apple TV via AirPlay
- Telstra TV: If you’re a Telstra customer and have a Telstra TV box already set up, you can download the Foxtel Now app to your Telstra TV, login and start streaming.
- Sony PlayStation 4: When you’re signed in to the PlayStation network, go to the TV & Video section, select the Foxtel Now icon, download to your PS4, log in and start watching.
What is the difference between a Foxtel Now Box and Foxtel iQ4?
The fourth generation Foxtel iQ box, the iQ4 box, is what you’ll require in order to access ‘pay TV’ Foxtel, which is the traditional form of Foxtel through a cable or satellite. To get Foxtel to your home, a technician will need to come to your address to install your new iQ box. Once it’s connected, you can access the channels you’ve subscribed to, along with a range of other functions such as recording live TV, series linking and more. You might have to pay for installation and activation costs, or these might be waived if you sign up for 24 months.
Rather than connecting to cable or satellite, the Foxtel Now Box relies on an internet connection, whether you plug directly into the modem with an ethernet cable or simply use WiFi to connect the device. The Foxtel Now Box, while it does let you watch live free-to-air TV, is primarily for streaming content.
Foxtel Now Box vs Telstra TV vs Fetch TV
All three of these services operate as set top boxes, and while all three do allow you to watch live free-to-air TV, there are quite a few differences when it comes to functionality.
The Foxtel Now Box is primarily for streaming Foxtel Now, but you will also have access to other streaming apps including Stan and Spotify, plus free-to-air catch-up apps. Plus, you can pause and rewind live TV and access a range of other features. It’s also portable, so you can take your Foxtel Now Box with you on holidays as long as you have an internet connection.
Telstra TV is exclusive to Telstra broadband customers, and not only can you watch live free-to-air TV, you can also stop and rewind live TV. You’ll have access to a large range of apps including Foxtel Now, Telstra TV Box Office, Netflix, Stan, ABC iView, SBS On Demand, Kayo, NRL, AFL, YouTube, and more. Of course, you’ll need to pay for subscriptions to apps like Foxtel Now, Kayo, Netflix and Stan. New customers can bundle Telstra TV with an internet plan, while existing customers can choose to purchase for a once-off $216 fee.
There are two Fetch TV boxes available: the Mini Box at $169 and the Mighty Box at $449. Fetch TV is similar to Telstra TV, in that it lets you watch, pause and rewind live TV; however, if you have the Mighty Box, you can also record live TV. You’ll also have access to apps including free-to-air catchup apps, YouTube, Netflix, and Stan. Fetch TV can also be bundled with an internet plan from a range of telcos, including Optus, iiNet and Internode. However, it’s worth noting that currently you can’t access the Foxtel Now app through Fetch TV.
Should I get the Foxtel Now Box?
Whether a Foxtel Now Box is right for you really depends on what you want from a set top box. If you do have a Foxtel Now subscription and want to watch it on your TV rather than your phone, tablet or computer, the Foxtel Now Box could be the solution for you.
However, before you jump in, it could be worth looking at the other options for streaming Foxtel Now to your TV. For example, if you already own a PlayStation 4 or if you have a smart Sony TV, you might already have access to the Foxtel Now app — all you’ll need to do is download it. If you’re already a Telstra customer, or considered signing up to Telstra for your broadband, you might find that Telstra TV could be a good option for you, especially as it does have access to the Foxtel Now app.
Ultimately the choice is yours. You really should assess your needs to determine what it is you want from a set top box, and whether access to Foxtel Now is your main priority. The good news is that there are quite a few options when it comes to accessing Foxtel Now through your TV, so it’s worth comparing each one to determine whether a Foxtel Now Box is right for you.
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