FetchTV: An updated review for 2012


review When the FetchTV Internet television (IPTV) platform first launched in Australia in mid-2010, it did so with a great deal of optimism and enthusiasm, but also with a great many flaws.

The service represented something which had been the holy grail of Australia’s broadband industry for many years: A way to move away from simply providing telecommunications transit services and towards completing the so-called ‘triple play’ bundle of broadband, telephony and entertainment that would, it is still believed, ensure the ongoing profitability of broadband providers faced with a market where high profit margins are increasingly hard to find.

For consumers, the platform also represented a tantalising opportunity. For years, the global entertainment industry has locked Australia out of its stark desire to be able to access whatever film and TV content it wanted, when it wanted, in the comfort of its own home. It has been clear for many years that the corner video store has been dying, but what is less clear is what is going to replace it. For many Australians, that replacement has consisted of illegal downloads via platform like BitTorrent.

FetchTV, it was believed, might represent a legal way forward: A unified platform which would pipe film and TV into the home in a more flexible manner than the timetable driven pay TV operators, and in a way which would allow Australia to finally divest itself of its long-held habit of online copyright infringement. By bundling TV recording abilities and programming information with a digital set-top box with several tuners and the ability to stream IPTV from ISPs and play movies on demand, it was thought that FetchTV might be about to hit a home entertainment home run.

Sadly, when FetchTV was first released into the wild in mid-2010, it fell short of those expectations. A clunky user interface, limited content selection, odious network restrictions and expensive pricing meant that most customers switched off, despite the obvious strengths of the wholly integrated set-top box and its back-end ISP functionality.

However, over the past 18 months a great deal has changed. FetchTV is now available through a number of different providers, it’s had a user interface overhaul, its content library has been boosted substantially and price cuts have made the service more attractive. With this in mind, and at the urging of ISPs keen to see us re-evaluate the platform, Delimiter took a second look at FetchTV in December 2011. Is the platform worth your money? Read on to find out.

What’s changed
The most obvious thing which has changed in the FetchTV service (we reviewed a model provided by iiNet, which we thank them very kindly for — and yes, we gave it back) over the past 18 months is the user interface. You can see the old FetchTV interface here:

And the new one (the Optus version) here:

When this writer first received a demo of FetchTV in 2010, the interface appeared rudimentary. It worked and was more than usuable, but the interface felt clunky at best, and like a warmed over Linux X-windows GUI dating back to the early years of this decade at worst. Most of the functionality which you need in a box which is aimed at becoming your main interface with your television was there, but you wouldn’t enjoy using it. And FetchTV’s clunkiness was especially glaring, given the slick user interface enjoyed by Telstra’s comparable T-Box unit, which was being demo’d around the same time.

The new FetchTV interface still isn’t as slick as that on the T-Box, and it still suffers from odd pauses and inconsistencies here and there which give the impression that the hardware it uses is non-too powerful. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and broadly it fits in with other the other consumer electronics devices you expect to see around a TV. The interface is darker now, rather than lighter, and every screen is alive with movement and content to consume. Setting the device to carry out its PVR functions is pretty easy and obvious, as is browsing different channels and finding new IPTV and streaming movies content.

Then there’s the increased breadth of content.

In mid-2010 the FetchTV larder was looking a little threadbare. Although the company had at that stage signed agreements with a number of major movie studios (such as Disney, Warner, Village Roadshow and so on), as well as streaming news and feature channels such as BBC World News, CNBC, National Geographic, Discovery Science, MTV and more, at times it felt as though the platform was more at an introductory phase.

Since that time, FetchTV has been continually adding content to its service. You can now watch YouTube on the service, the Travel Channel launched in September 2011, European soccer channels arrived in February that same year, movie studio Icon has joined its ranks, and a bunch of international language channels have also signed on board. We’re betting this isn’t the half of it, either – we’ve seen a constant rolling stream of additions to FetchTV as the past 18 months have rolled on (check out its media release page here for some more specific details), each one delivering customers increased value, usually at no extra cost.

The cupboard is no longer threadbare – but is there enough content? More on this later.

FetchTV pricing has also changed dramatically over the past year. When the service first launched, initially only through iiNet, users were paying $29.95 per month to rent the required set-top box and receive the full suite of services, along with a $149.95 setup fee, for a total spend of $868.75 over 24 months. Buying the set-top box outright was to cost $499, plus a monthly access fee of $19.95 over 24 months, for a total cost of $977.80 over 24 months.

However, in December last year iiNet chopped the price on its FetchTV plans by up to third, bringing the $29.95 price down to $20 and the starter package without the full set of features down to $10 a month (from $14.95 a month). Those price cuts came after iiNet stablemate Internode had cut its FetchTV prices the month before, by about the same amount. And, in what could be seen as a related competitive move, the month before that, in October, Optus launched its FetchTV packages for the starting price of $9.95 a month — a charge which will be waived when customers are using its $109 Fusion home broadband and telephone bundle.

When FetchTV launched, this writer held the belief that the package was too expensive. But with the recent price cuts, the service has come within the grasp of many more Australians. It’s just that much more tempting at a $10 or $20 price point per month, compared to $30, which is what many people pay for their entire broadband package each month.

It’s also important to highlight the fact that more ISPs now offer FetchTV — the three above, plus South Australian company Adam Internet. The fact that two of Australia’s major ISPs, iiNet and Optus, have standardised on the FetchTV package means the IPTV provider is that much more able to push TV studios and other content providers to give it good deals and make their content available for online delivery. FetchTV now has an IPTV mandate of sorts in the Australian marketplace — and that mandate will become overwhelming if the last major ISP left, TPG, eventually signs up to market the package as well.

That mandate also has another impact on consumers — platform stability. iiNet, Internode, Adam and Optus broadband customers know that if they switch ISPs within those four providers, they won’t need to switch IPTV boxes at the same time. Because the same FetchTV box is being used by all of the ISPs, customers can switch between the different ISPs at will and maintain their FetchTV hardware. Or, at least that’s what we’re assuming, as we haven’t seen a lot of talk about this option.
One other aspect of FetchTV’s service needs to be mentioned as it has also improved over the past year: Bundled apps.

Users of pay TV services such as FOXTEL have long been able to access programming information and remotely record TV programs through mobile phone apps. And now, through what appears to have been a development partnership with Optus, FetchTV offers that capability as well. Users now can use their iPhone or iPad (and soon, Android) devices to control their home FetchTV box. This was functionality which wasn’t available when FetchTV first launched, and we reckon it’s brilliant.

What’s still a problem
During our review of the FetchTV service, we came across two major problems with the service which really drag it down. These two problems need to be fixed if FetchTV is going to get to the level of mainstream acceptance which we believe it has the potential of reaching.

The first one is the difficulty of setting up the service. If you’re looking to set up FetchTV in your home, be aware that the process is very far from being a painless one.

For starters, due to the heavy load which FetchTV places on your aging ADSL copper line broadband connection, the ISPs which support it are generally requiring that you use specific router hardware, and have your broadband connection configured in a certain way, for the set-top box to function beyond its basic in-built PVR functionality.

What this meant, when we were conducting a review of iiNet’s FetchTV service, was that we had to swap out our top of the line Fritz!Box router (we actually have the 7390 model, but it’s similar to the one in this review), and replace it with iiNet’s BoB Lite router, simply for the purpose of getting FetchTV working. To say this was annoying was an understatement. In no way does the BoB Lite measure up to the features and performance offered by the Fritz!Box, a router which costs several hundred dollars more to buy. And yet, iiNet requires that a BoB Lite be installed before its FetchTV service will work.

When we did install the BoB Lite, it took around a week for iiNet to successfully walk us through configuring the FetchTV service on both their end and our end to get it to work. During this period, our broadband connection was up and down for half a day at a time, and we had to go through several calls to iiNet’s tech support team of half an hour or so each.

The principal problem in setting up our FetchTV service was that iiNet needed to configure our ADSL connection with a specific FetchTV profile on their end. Unfortunately, iiNet’s normal customer service team couldn’t quite manage this (although they believed they could at several points), and so had to call in experts from a dedicated internal FetchTV support team to get the connection working.

Part of the problem appears to be the fact that when the FetchTV profile is acting on your ADSL line, your ADSL router doesn’t authenticate you to iiNet’s servers — the FetchTV set-top box does. We have no idea why this setup exists, although we’re sure there is a reason. But in a practical sense it meant a week of patch broadband when we were getting FetchTV set up. And on the other end, when we were getting FetchTV disconnected and going back to normal broadband, we also suffered a series of network problems and had to once again get in touch with iiNet’s dedicated FetchTV support team. Not happy, Jan.

The other problems which we found with the FetchTV platform relate to content.

One of the value propositions of the FetchTV service is that you get quite a few free movies auto-downloaded to your set-top box every week for free. However, almost universally, when my wife and I were looking to find some content to watch on FetchTV, we had never heard of the movies which were delivered for free, and when we did watch them, they turned out to be quite B-Grade. For example, these are the free movies which were listed as “Just Out” five days before Christmas last year. When at university, I helped run my university’s film society and watched hundreds of the classics and great modern films and discussed many more. But I’ve never heard of any of these films.

How about this list? These are the films which were about to cycle out of the free Movie Box system that day. Nope? Me either.

This issue can be witnessed throughout the FetchTV platform. We had never heard of most of the free TV shows on offer, and many of the IPTV streaming channels offered content which we had never heard of and had no interest in watching.

The one bright spot was the Movie Rentals section, where you can pay sums up to $5.95 to rent a movie and watch it over the next day or so. In this section, we found a wide range of great classic and modern films, which we’d heard of and loved. Mary Poppins, All the President’s Men, the Toy Story series, Jack Nicholson in Chinatown — there’s a wealth of content here.

But the problem is … when you’re already paying $20 or so a month for an IPTV platform, do you want to pay another $6 every weekend to watch another movie, when you could just rent it from your local video store? The cost all starts to add up when you start looking at it like this, and starts to be hard to justify. This is especially the case when you consider that you can rent many of these popular movies in Blu-ray format, while the FetchTV streaming platform offers quality probably slightly less clear than a DVD.

All in all, when I discussed FetchTV with my wife (we both made a point of using it over a review period of several weeks), the issue we had with the service was that we could rarely find anything we wanted to watch on it, and when we did, you usually had to pay extra to watch it. Some of this is understandable, because I’m a geek and like specialised content, but my wife is a more mainstream viewer and regularly watches mainstream TV. However, not much on the FetchTV service attracted her.

There are other minor problems with FetchTV. In general the set-top box is sluggish to respond to the remote control and is extremely slow to switch on, its improved user interface is still relatively clunky, the streaming quality is not fantastic (around on par with a standard DVD for the average viewer, but more technical users who have encoded their own video content will notice artefacts of video compression), some of the IPTV channels have bugs and occasionally don’t work, and the remote control itself has a thousand buttons on it, of which only a handful are ever used.

But we could have gotten past these, and the setup issues with iiNet, if the available range of content had been great. However, unfortunately, it’s not. It is mediocre at best, and when it is good, it is pricey. This availability of content remains FetchTV’s key issue, and until it is resolved, the service is likely to continue to suffer relatively low levels of adoption.

Alongside Quickflix’s fledgling IPTV service, Telstra’s rival T-Box platform and hybrid streaming services available through Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, FetchTV remains one of the only decent options open to Australians for getting legal video on demand and IPTV content into your home and onto their television screens. Out of that batch, FetchTV is likely close to being the front-runner platform, due to the breadth of content it has available and the integrated nature of its set-top box, as well as its broad ISP support.

However, the service is far from mature. On a technical basis it still has a number of medium-level bugs, which are not show-stoppers but are annoying. And it’s biggest issue remains the availability of content through the platform. Put simply, when browsing the service, many people will find it hard to find any content they actually want to watch, rather that simply tolerating if they are really bored. There is some great content available — but you’ll usually pay more for it when you find it.

FetchTV is continually improving its service, and we think that in several years it may become a powerful and complete system. But it’s not there yet.

Image credits: FetchTV and Delimiter


  1. I remember you promising this review around xmas
    Maybe we should let iiNet review your tardiness ;-)

    That said it’s a shame this service isn’t quite there yet.
    I’m guessing there is still to many advertising dollars getting thrown at free to air, which locks up local rights for TV content.

    Movies is still a bit of a mystery.

    • Yeah it is quite late — one of three items on my long-term list of unfinished articles ;) I’m trying to knock the other two off this week as well. It took me a while to get it done! I’m much better at news articles than reviews :)

  2. I have two thoughts on this:
    1) Current (and the Co-coalitions planned future) infrastructure Doesn’t handle this well. Especially if I want HD (and I do), after I bought the TV for it.
    2) I DON’T WANT PACKAGES!!! I refuse to buy Foxtel because of their packages sales method. I wont buy Fetch for the same reason. If I’m going to pay for TV I MUST be able to choose which channels I want to pay for on a granular level.
    It would be even better if I could pay for for channel or show as I watch it.

    Fix those two and I’ll use it, but Once you fix the infrastructure I expect PaaS to go nuts, and FetchTV will only be a small subset of what I’ll be able to purchase…

    • +1

      I considered FetchTV, but I don’t want to sign up to on going costs.
      I don’t want to pay for things I won’t watch.

      What I want is up front cost of the hardware, and then pay for what I watch.
      I went with the appleTV, which gives me just that.
      It’s not perfect, and one thing that really annoys me about the appleTV is that a lot of the content doesn’t come with closed captions/subtitles.

  3. The router and setup weirdness is specific to iiNet. On internode you can use the fritz box- no extra setup required, it just works. Other routers might require setting up and they have guides for the supported hardware.

  4. I can’t believe they make you replace your router with their spec one, then authenticate the PPP session to the box. I’ll be damned if any ISP 1st/2nd level support guy tells me how to configure my router.
    And if they PPP auth to the fetch box this means that your router is actually acting as a half bridge and the fetch box is actually doing the routing. NO SALE

    Heard similar things re: your review as to the content. How they expect it to sell to anybody is a total mystery.

    • This was pretty much my reaction when iiNet tech support told me my router had to authenticate the ADSL session. I was like … “YOU WHAT???”

      • Sounds like you had a bit of a rough time there Renai but I don’t think it’s fair to say that’s a negative for Fetch but more of a negative for iiNet.

        To my knowledge none of the other service providers have this restriction and Internode even spent considerable time and money to make the fritzbox work with Fetch too.

        Still, it’s a fairly good review of the service.

    • This is incorrect. I have iiNet FetchTv 2 service running on a Fritz!box 7390. I had a BoB2 and found it was absolutely rubbish. A quick 5 min google search of whirlpool shows you what modem and configuration you need to get other non iiNet devices to work with Fetch TV 2 using iiNet.

      I personally found Discovery Turbo an excellent channel to record and watch while feeding my 3 month old at 3am in the morning. Just remember this device can record, so saying there isn’t worth watching could be just laziness in using the guide to plan ahead.

  5. I completely agree with Marcus about Foxtels stupid package system and I’m sure there are many more of us that would reconsider Foxtel if they changed the system. However this review was about FetchTV.
    The advertising catches my attention every now and again and I keep checking it out but, as you say, the content is simply appalling even though I did recognise, and had seen, half of those films you had never heard of ! lol
    What drives me crazy, however, is the lack of TV series.
    So much good TV is now available on DVD and there are so many good series I missed completely and would love to watch, as well as those shows I’d love to see again, in order. (Yep, kudo’s to you 11, for Voyager.)
    I’m currently enjoying a mates copies of ‘Eureka’ and another mate’s copies of “Community’. There are hundreds of great TV series out there that, for whatever reason, many of us didn’t see the first time around. Surely some of these could be available on services such as Fetch.

  6. I’ve been a modestly happy FetchTV user for over a year now. I use iiNet’s BoB so never had any problems setting up the Fetch box when I received it. It was literally plug and play.

    As for content, sure it’s not great, and the On Demand section really could use better content. But for me, Fetch offers a wealth of News channels like BBC and Al Jazeera, as well as some other channels of medium interest like National Geography and Travel Channel, all for $20 a month. Add in PVR functionality as a bonus, and it really is a no brainier for me. I used to pay Foxtel over $70 just to watch the same channels, so for me, Fetch is a significant saving. Of course if you care about Australian sports, then there is no competition and you have to go Foxtel, but for those of us who don’t particularly care about domestic sports, I think Fetch is very good value.

  7. I did the iiNet fetchTV trial, even for $10 I’m not interested. I want iiNet to pay me for trying to watch those crappy movies.

  8. How would you rate the Lite version?
    Ie: no special modems, no paytv content, $10/mth?

    I also wonder about the Optus version – with their unique VoD channels

  9. I have Fetch TV through iinet and I love it. You get more than what you pay for. Yes, the free movies are not all great, but some of them are not bad either. I have also noted that they have continually improved the free movies, so go check them now.

    • I think this is the late 1990s version – a remake (though still reasonable) of the classic with Henry Fonda

  10. The information about the box doing the auth is incorrect, the complicated setup is iinet authenticating you without the need for a username/password, the connection uses IPoE instead of PPPoE/PPPoA that you would have been using before.

  11. From the looks of thing FetchTV seems to be good if watch a lot of news as that looks like what most of the included channels focus on.

    As for movies $5.95 for what aren’t even new release movies is a bit much.

    I subscribed to quickflix and switched to a stream only plan a month or so back the back catalogue is good but restricted to the one studio the pay per view is the same price $5.95/movie but the content seems to be mostly newish DVD releases. Just wish there was a way to either pre-buy a bulk amount of movies (at a discounted rate) or add an additional to your subscription to gain access to the PPV movies. ATM thinking of dumping the service altogether if another studio doesn’t get on board soon.

    Hi publishers Australia wants to pay for content but we want to access it when we want how we want at a rate comparable to what you offer in your home market.

    • They’re new releases. Same release timing as apple iTunes.

      $10/mth for a pvr is well worth it. As I see it $10 more for a bunch of documentary channels, music, news, plus some vod tv shows and the 30 old movies, and whatever I’ve forgotten, is a good deal.

      Btw the iPad version of this page can only read the first 12 posts.

  12. As mentioned above by Bryn if you had tried it on Internode it would have just worked. Also the Optus version would work with any modem as they have as pointed out above only offer the world channels as linear channels but all of the others are on demand.

    As for content true there are a few genera that are not that well serviced but with Foxtel holding exclusive rights on most of the good channels there is not a whole lot Fetch TV can do beyond creating their own linear or on demand channels. And on the creating their own channels based on an Interview with the Fetch TV CEO a year ago they do not plan on being content creators for at least 1 more year or until the subscriber numbers get to a reasonable level. That said I personally never find myself without something to watch as part of the point of the Fetch TV service is as a PVR and I have at least 100 series tags recoding a wide range of content from both FTA and the pay channels and will be regularly watching a recoding if there is not something interesting on right now.

    As for Movie hire there are in fact 3 price points for movie hire $3.95 for older movies (on average about 10 years+ old and often have or will appear in the Moviebox) $5.95 for SD newer movies and $6.95 for HD ones. These prices are true expensive compared to a DVD store but my closest one of those is at least 2km away now and I would much sooner not have to dive that far to hire and then return a movie all to “save a dollar”. The prices are also about the same as the competition is charging as it is not Fetch TV who set these prices but the movie distributors themselves.

    I do not totally disagree that there could not be some more mainstream movies in the Moviebox but they have had some of the big blockbusters of the early 00’s. These have included Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry potter etc. You will find however that often known movies from the Movie box will be still shown on GO or 7Mate within 1 month of being on Fetch TV.

    Fetch TV is not for everyone and they are not trying to be. They are targeting 3 main areas. Those in the market for a digital STB or PVR to access the extra digital channel. Those who have never been interested in pay TV or who have given up Foxtel due to price. Lastly the International students and immigrants (mostly from Asia) wanting entertainment from back home. My personal opinion is the Fetch TV platform is very very good value and thought so on the old price a when you add up all the things it can and will do in the future it is a no brainer to me.

    I hope you will be willing to do another review in another years time and that you will fine more interest in it then.

  13. I have the $10 a month package which is a no brainer for me. $10 a month over 24 months is $240, find a PVR for that price that I can control from anywhere with my smartphone. For a similar Foxtel or Austar box I would be looking at $50 or $60 a month, and require cable runs, etc from a satellite dish which is not so easy when you live in the tropics and your house is a concrete bunker to met cyclone code. When iiNet make the $20 package available in my area, I will jump on it.

    New features keep being added for that same price, indications on whirlpool are that DLNA is coming soon. It’s good to support the little guy. For a lot of content, Foxtel/Austar still have exclusive rights, so we need to wait for some of that exclusivity to be lost via the Foxtel/Austar merger or when channels need to be renegotiated before the floodgates open on IPTV content.

  14. I tend to agree that the movie box movies are often a bit old. It’s one reason I now only look at the “top rated” tab of 9 movies (which uses rotten tomatoes critic ratings). Brilliant view.

    Currently the top 9 are the Right Stuff, Night Shift, Moonstruck, Ed Wood, Chicago, Running on empty, Purple Rain, Stand and Deliver, Mermaids. A few of those are definitely worth watching :)

    Pic of top 9 http://tinyurl.com/6wjeh3n

      • I would expect that. Wouldn’t you?

        Anyway I agreed the free movies aren’t that good mostly. But I do wonder about your judgement on it as a pvr-only, and your thoughts on the linear channels.

  15. Until Netflix and Hulu come to Australia, we will continue to be ripped off byt the likes of FetchTV and Telstra etc.

    I’d rather pay Netflix $7.99 a month for all the movies, docos and tv shows I can watch, then add the free content from Hulu on top. Heck, I’d even pay another $7.99 a month for Hulu Plus – then for less than $16 I’d have an IPTV service that is lightyears ahead of FletchTV or Telsra or anything else offered in Australia.

    And for those not willing to wait for Netflix or Hulu to come to AU, there are ways of getting it now if you do a little googling ;)

    • +1 for Netflix and Hulu Plus.

      I had Fetch and it was a constant battle for stability in the beginning and then a continual promise that the service would improve but apart from some attempts dress up the interface there has been no improvement in the content (unless you are after a NES package).

      After cancelling Fetch and Foxtel I am a saving $125 a month after paying $20 for Netflix, Hulu Plus and UnblockUS. The amount of content available puts any Oz option to shame.

      Another tip is to switch to an ISP with unlimited downloads and that negates that issue.

  16. Compare like for like though. Netflix doesn’t include a stb to play it on. Pvrs have value too. And many Netflix users complain that the range is quite limited once you get past the first few months.

    • Netflix does not need to offer a STB. Almost every SmartTV has the ability to access Netflix. And those same SmartTVs have more features then most PVR’s on sale anyway.

      As for range – Netflix on it’s own beats FetchTV – and with the addition of the free Hulu content, there is no match offered by anyone in AU except Foxtel.

      Only those who have never used Netflix will complain it’s range is limited. I’ve been a subscriber of Netflix since 2007 and I still find things to watch on a regular basis :)

      Since subscribing to Netflix and Hulu, I have done away with Foxtel and have never looked back. I save approx $100 a month since ditching Foxtel.

      For less than $20 (Netflix and unblock-us subcriptions) I get movies, tv shows and docos that I want to watch at any time I feel like watching them. And for Aussie tv sows, news or sports, I simply use my LG smart TV :)

      I will also state openly that if I didn’t discover services like Netflix and Hulu, I would still be downloading over 100GB of movie content every month via bit torrent.

      • Fair point if you’ve got a smart tv you don’t need a smart box. Personally I find being able to record really useful! – you’re looking at a single feature.

        As for Netflix I may try that out, but mostly it was people who don’t have Netflix saying how good it was, and people who do have it saying it was good fr a few months. In glad it’s good for you though, and perhaps I’ll give it a try!

        • Most Smart TV’s have the ability to schedule and record to an attached storage device. So you don’t miss that option. I do agree that some are limited in the way they record and schedule, with only single tuners, but if you want to record a show, it is still possible at least.

          I was also not trying to attack you personally with my reply – my goal was to ensure other readers had the full information about Netflix and Hulu from someone who uses them both regularly and how they offer far more for far less then what FetchTV or Telstra do with their IPTV services.

          I’d suggest everyone with the know how to take advantage of the free trial periods offered by unblock-us, Netflix and Hulu to see what IPTV should be in AU :)

          • I used a $40 DSE hd stb for a couple of weeks. Add an 8gb USB stick and it recorded very well, I was hugely impressed. But it had significant limitations – including being one tuner, couldn’t Play something while it was recording, no series link etc. A good pvr costs a bit more.

            The biggest challenge for pvr makers is that the list of recordings can be huge, and none of them (that I know of) help manage large volumes of recordings. I’d be over the moon just to separate my recordings list into “kids” and “not kids” – though to be more general most people probably have a couple of genres which come up frequently and could be pulled out in their own list.

            Separate recordings into 3 or 4 key genres/searches and use now/next to identify precise start points and it’ll be a different experience.

            Of course that’s not fetch either. I just think that a pvr is not just a souped up VHS recorder (though some use it that way), the quality of the pvr is worth comparing to others.

      • I am not sure you are really any more legal doing what you are doing than using bittorrent as you are still viewing content outside of the region that is was intended for. Fetch TV is also fully unmetered wheres you solution you are using your quota (even if you are unlimited). If these serives come to Australia go right ahead and use and promote them but suggesting a questionably legal option as better is a bit much.

  17. Fetch TV has one significant advantage over Optus Cable or Foxtel:

    Non-English programming. I do admit that this will not cater for the majority of the population but for us at least the 24 Chinese channels that we are able to watch are a major drawcard.

    I hope FetchTV will expand the foreign language selection and add more channels to the programming in the future.

  18. Renai, if you’ve never heard of Coming Home, Herbie Goes Bananas, Night Falls on Manhattan or The Good German you probably shouldn’t have been running your university’s film society.

    Also the version of 12 Angry Men displayed there looks like the 1997 one directed by William Friedkin, who, you know, directed The Exorcist and The French Connection…

  19. As ADY mentioned above the Fritz!Box 7390 works fine with iiNET FetchTV, as does the 7270, you just need to enter iiNet VPI/VCI settings.


  20. I would take a stab in the dark and say that they required you to use their hardware (Bob Lite or whatever it is called) so that they KNOW you have multicast compatible CPE.

    Whilst it seems that they have a way to go before bedding down their provisioning processes, supporting any old CPE that the end user brings with them in a multicast environment is a non-trivial task, given the seemingly infinite combinations of hardware, chipsets and firmware out in the wild.

    “Hello, this is iinet support. How may I help you?”
    “My internet tv thing I just ordered won’t work”
    “Do you have a multicast compatible CPE”
    “My grandson told me this modem is a good one…it’s a problem on your end”

  21. Biggest problem and fatal flaw of fetch is that it doesn’t run on Telstra ADSL (except for the Lite variant)

  22. Hi Renai, I was one of the early FetchTV testers for Adam internet prior to it being released to the public and I agree with everything you’ve written, however there was one more item that is worth mentioning, the lack of Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound on 98% of even the “HD” Movies.

    As someone with a decent investment in speakers, amp, bluray player etc, I found this unforgivable especially at $6 a pop for the “rentals” when I can get the latest movies on BluRay for $4 a night from my local video store and get DTS-HD Master or Dolbly TrueHD uncompressed surround sound and better picture quality for less money!

  23. Ive got a much loved Tivo unit, but am thinking about Fetch TV to get a few of Foxtel channels on the cheap (and 3 HD tuners!). I dont care about the content…i download my own movies for free. :)

    Is Fetch itself a good PVR unit equivelant to Tivo? Or would i be making a series downgrade here?

    • FetchTV is not even close to TiVo as a PVR, it’s much much cruder and doesnt get the same quality of guide data that TiVo gets + the Fetch content is mostly ancient stuff that no other PayTV provider wants.

  24. I took up Fetch TV (Internode) 4 weeks ago, and have nothing but praise for the programming, quality etc. I decided to bite the bullet and purchased the Fetch STB as well as a FritzBox 7390. The setting up of the FritzBox and Fetch STB took about 20 minutes, and realising a small issue (breaking up of picture), I rang Internode’s support and after explaining the problem, they updated my service with a new profile. This took all of 10 minutes, including the normal waiting to connect to Support, so within the hour, including collecting the hardwares from Internode, we were watching Fetch TV.
    After 5 years with Foxtel, paying $69 a month this has now been reduced to $14.95 and I am watching most of the same programs/ channels that I enjoyed on Foxtel. Added to this there are some new channels, never seen before, that we now enjoy.

    • I pay half of what you pay for FetchTV and get 10x more. Netflix and Hulu combined are unmatched for price and content by any other IPTV service in AU or the world.

      • I am not interested in supporting OS businesses, rather that I support local companies that employ local staff etc. etc.
        I am not a movie watcher, apart from enjoying going to the theatre to watch the first release movies on a very regular basis. In fact in over the month of Fetch we have not watched one movie. I am more interested as far as Fetch TV goes, in the varying international news channels and documentary style programs such as National Geographic, Discovery and Travel channels.
        I suspect that my monthly ISP / IPTV billing is far less than your spend.

  25. Maybe i’m missing the point, but it’s all too hard with TV online right now without going down the “illegal” path.

    You’re right, when I’m paying a month fee why do I then want to pay per movie and pay for junk ones at that. Apple TV, again, is quite expensive.

    I was lucky enough to have lived in North America and experience their “freedom” with Netflix, Hulu etc. and all the content they have to offer. Even official HD downloads off the networks websites as soon as the show was over off the air.

    Come back to Australia and it’s a digital backwater. To be fair though I am paying a lot less for cell use.

    In the end I have three words for you.

    Boxee. VPN. Netflix.

    It’s not like the US sites won’t take your Australian credit card either.

  26. Never heard of Stella? Never heard of 12 Angry Men? The second in particular is a classic! Goodness, what sort of film society did you run?!?

  27. I have to agree with the issues regarding setup and content. The Movie Box for the most part sucks. Every now and again you’ll find a movie that you want to watch but for the most part its crap that should never have been made. As mentioned in this review the content available to rent is great but the price is a bit much ranging from $3.95 to $5.95. The tv channels available are for the most part ok,

    That being said fetch tv is improving. The addition of Setanta sports is a big step forward for sports fans. This was the channel I mostly watched when I had Foxtel as I love European football and rugby. The football channels are also great. I used to pay about 120 bucks a month for Foxtel IQ2 with the HD sports channels. The premium fetch service with the football channels and setanta sets me back about 30.

    A few ways I think fetch tv can improve:

    *Introduce more sports to the platform. This is one of the most popular packages on Foxtel and people would pay a bit extra to see the likes of ESPN and Eurosport on fetch (obviously Fox Sports will never be on it).

    *On top of this additional online content could be made available through apps. For instance I have a subscription to the NBA and NHL and have the ability to view every game live or on demand. It would be relatively simple to add apps to the platform that allowed viewers to access these pre-existing subscriptions. The same could go for other subcription channels online.

    *The movie service needs to be improved. Movie Box either needs some injection of decent modern movies or the subscription should allow for a couple of free rentals a month.

    *The introduction of a rental system or even a buying system for television shows would be fantastic. Imagine being able to buy tv shows like How I Met Your Mother or Two and Half Men and have them available on fetch tv.

  28. Are we the only people out there that have really fast download from the free movies, but incredibly, unacceptable slow download of the paid movies?? They take about 5 hours to download!!! We’re finding a 12.30pm a bit late to start watching a movie you wanted to watch at 7.30pm!!!

Comments are closed.