arrow43 Comments
  1. Ray Herring
    Jul 30 - 3:17 pm

    About freakin’ time. This is what i have been saying to those foxtel booths at my local shopping centres, what i have said to friends, etc….

    If Foxtel just allowed us to pay per channel, and choose what we want instead of having crap channels that we will never watch, they will get more people.

    The fact that they have chosen to do this model on an IPTV offering makes it all the more interesting. What will matter now though, is whether ISPs will ink a deal with Foxtel to offer it quota-free to their customers.

    • GongGav
      Jul 31 - 11:14 am

      Its not pay per channel, its pay per package – so if you just want the single discovery channel, you’re going to need to buy the set of 5 discovery channels (at, say $15 a month) to get that one you want.

      Or more relvant, buy the movie package to get Showtime so you can watch GoT.

      The last pay per channel service I can remember was SelecTV, which didnt work here at all. Works great in the US though. Was ahead of its time here, now would be the perfect time to relaunch it.

  2. Ray Herring
    Jul 30 - 3:20 pm

    Just doing the whole ‘what will it cost me thing’ on their website, 2 picks + premium (so for me, kids + documentaries + movies) will set me back 60 a month, not a bad thing really, as it means i don’t end up paying for sports channels i will never watch or music channels i will never watch.

    Would be nice if they lowered the prices a little bit, but oh well.

    • AJ
      Jul 30 - 3:47 pm

      Umm that price is basically the same as normal foxtel + Movies according to their packages I fail to see it as good as you have never had to pay for sport if you did not want to.

      When compared to Netflix or hulu at $8 a month it is nowhere near good or reasonable with sport being the only differentiator when compared to Netflix or hulu. I would pay $25 for sports but that is it

  3. R0ninX3ph
    Jul 30 - 3:22 pm

    I think I will likely just be sticking with a VPN and Netflix/Hulu accounts, still ends up cheaper than the base cost of Foxtel Play.

    • PeterA
      Jul 31 - 11:53 am

      +1 Netflix provides me what I choose, not what they choose for me.

  4. Tinman_au
    Jul 30 - 3:30 pm

    And the perfect compliment to this would of course be……….FTTP.

    • Renai LeMay
      Jul 30 - 3:32 pm

      Mate I swear, if you try and turn this article into an NBN debate, I will kick your ass ;) Serious.

      • Tinman_au
        Jul 30 - 4:51 pm

        Well, it was an obvious point to make :o)

        They do still need to work on the pricing a little though.

        I mentioned this article at work today, and pretty well everyone said “Oh, so you can get the channels you want now??”, and everyone lost interest when I told them it was still “Pay per Package” based. I think they’d get more viewers than FTA in Australia if they ever bring in a “Pay per Channel” model.

        • GongGav
          Jul 31 - 11:53 am

          Made me laugh Tinny :)

          There’s also the issue of download limits, in which case Telstra will win out again when they announce that streaming of this service isnt counted against downloads. The fine print will be that it only applies if you have the relevant Bigpond package that includes home phone, internet, Foxtel, Foxtel Play, the relevant tablet/phone, and are willing to sign over naming rights to your firstborn.

    • looktall
      Aug 01 - 10:32 pm
  5. Mash
    Jul 30 - 3:50 pm

    I’d see it as a good start. We need IPTV to “kick off” in this country and it is great foxtel are dipping their toes in the water. Competitively it now exposes them more directly to Netflix etc but also I can’t see them ever withdrawing from the IP market now they are in it. Interesting times ahead.

  6. Frank Farrina
    Jul 30 - 3:54 pm

    “They don’t want a category of sci-fi/fantasy television shows, they want Game of Thrones. They don’t want a sport category. They want the English Premier League specifically.”

    Can’t +1 this enough!

  7. Tezz
    Jul 30 - 3:57 pm

    So essentially it gives me a few more channels than Fetch that I don’t want to watch, at a massively higher price, that can only be used on devices I don’t have (well I have a PC, but if I’m paying that much for Foxtel I want to watch it on my TV easily, ie. with a set top box).

    This looks like a massive opportunity wasted, better to just get a cable or satellite connection for the same thing.

  8. Toby
    Jul 30 - 4:32 pm

    I still want cheaper sport. Pay per view or on demand. So I can watch a few games a month. I’d pay $5 a game as a starting price

    • Rhys
      Jul 31 - 7:29 am

      $5 a games a bit rich if you want to watch 4 games that Foxtel have locked down on the weekend for NRL, and still wouldn’t be able to watch ESPN. If your a AFL and NRL fan you’d be broke.

      • Toby
        Jul 31 - 7:39 am

        Yes, but if I only watch 2-3 games a month because I’m generally too busy to watch TV most of the time I am way in front. If I want to watch 4 games a weekend then I’d pay for the package.

  9. Rohan
    Jul 30 - 4:54 pm

    What I really want is a true international offering.

    I want some Russian/Ukrainian TV because I miss it like crazy.

    No one offers it here.

    I’m not interested in 99% of the premium content, but until someone offers this, I’m stuck with resorting to creative ways of getting my slavic shows.

  10. Tinman_au
    Jul 30 - 4:57 pm

    it’s a bit disappointing you can’t get Sci-fi and TV1 on PC :/

  11. steven
    Jul 30 - 6:57 pm

    I am skeptical as it will probably be riddled with adds all over the place just like foxtel has become.

  12. Sean
    Jul 30 - 7:15 pm

    Foxtel certainly hasn’t listened to my comments. All I want is sports, specifically football (soccer) but if I choose this new service (or their old service) I have to pay at least $25 for stuff I never watch before forking out another $25 for the shows I want to watch. Looks like another season of footy on SBS for me.

  13. looktall
    Jul 30 - 8:18 pm

    probably the biggest selling point of foxtel for me is the ability to time shift. ie. foxtel IQ.

    we record shit loads of kids shows as well as cooking shows and other docos etc.

    i’m not sure how that would work (if at all) with this new service.

    • AJ
      Jul 31 - 10:26 am

      There is a catch up which allows you to stream some content OR just get Netflix and watch anything you want whenever you want!

    • itgrrl
      Jul 31 - 11:41 am

      @looktall: No ability to record for later. You can pause the live feed for up to 30 mins (shorter period than set-top Foxtel), and rewind a live feed up to 30 mins on certain devices only (PCs/Macs at the moment).

      Lack of proper timeshifting is the dealbreaker on this for me. I’d switch to this (or similar service) from my current Foxtel/IQ subscription even with the existing pricing/package model, as it would be a significant saving. (That’s obviously why they’re not offering a truly equivalent service at a cheaper price-point.) I’m clearly not representative of the ‘demand’ from customers though^, as I quite like having genre-based channels. I find it a good for serendipitous discovery of content that I wouldn’t know about if only selecting the content I’m already aware I want to watch.

      ^ Does anyone have any actual data on ‘what customers want’ in this area? Or are we all just assuming ‘everyone thinks like me’…? :-)

  14. Karl
    Jul 31 - 8:59 am

    “availbel”
    This spelling so threw me off that I concentrate pretty hard to remember how to actually spell available :P

  15. merc
    Jul 31 - 9:34 am

    I agree Renai. Its great that there is a new IPTV service, but the batch-channel business model is the problem, not the technology used.

    $25 really doesn’t get you anywhere. You get a choice of EITHER trashy Entertainment, crappy drama, Documentaries or kids shows. Movies costs ANOTHER $25, as do sports. I’d be looking at $60-70 for a half-decent selection which is almost the price of standard Foxtel.

    The only thing this has going for it is that you can use two devices simultaneously. Otherwise, standard Foxtel with Catch Up gives a lot of the same benefits still comes with Foxtel Go.

  16. Brendan
    Jul 31 - 10:56 am

    The so called batch-channel model is there for two reasons. Sure, it’ll make Foxtel more money, but the other is that the content distributors often require bundling of channels to gain content, as I understand it.

    Which is why some channels have been more independently available than other. As much as Foxtel is out to make a crap-ton of money, some of it’s subscription channels are bundled by the distro and it’s either like it or lump it.

    This is a good thing (even if the execution is a little weak).

    It’s what will help rights holders and distributors become familiar with patterns of usage, and paves the way for more granular services.

    • Toby
      Jul 31 - 11:01 am

      Very good point, however I don’t believe that’s what applies to sports and frankly there are a hell of a lot of people who just want sport and even then only one particular code seasonally. Foxtel owns the content rights to a lot of the local sport and so can choose how they bundle.

    • PeterA
      Jul 31 - 11:58 am

      So, they can’t split up the products they buy and price them according to popularity?

      Channel X Y and Z bought from distributor for 30 dollars.

      50% of people buy X, 10% buy Y and 40% buy Z

      Telstra charge customer:
      $15 for X
      $3 for Y
      $12 for Z

      Simple. If 0% buy channel Y, give it out for free!

      They are a big company, they could easily price things like this, and get a lot more viewers out of it, by charging slightly less to more people.

      • Stuart
        Jul 31 - 2:37 pm

        Pricing per channel is pretty much the last thing Foxtel will ever do. I wish it weren’t so but they love their current bulk genre model.

        • PeterA
          Jul 31 - 4:36 pm

          Don’t worry! I know!

          But I am just trying to inject reality into the argument that they have to pay for bundles, therefore we should too.
          The flip-side to that argument, is they buy in bulk and get a better price.

          • Brendan
            Aug 01 - 10:48 am

            Gents, you are missing the point.

            In order to get Channel Y, they have to get Channel X, regardless of whether or not it’s popular. Yes, there is profit to be made (they have to make money to re-invest and to survive) but there are also restrictions on what Foxtel can and can’t do.

            So it’s all well and good to bang the “unbundle” drum, unless there’s a shift of model with distribution, some things will remain as is.

            tl;dr — it takes more than Foxtel changing it’s model, here.

            • Tinman_au
              Aug 01 - 4:44 pm

              I know why they do it, which is why I don’t get it.

              I’m not about to pay for something that I’ll only watch 1/8th of ;o)

  17. Psychaotix
    Jul 31 - 2:16 pm

    Okay, I’ve decided to bite the bullet with the 7 day trial of the Foxtel Play service, and I have one word to describe it.

    Crap.

    It’s using a Silverllight “Out of Browser Launcher” app to display the content to start with. It also seems to like to randomly say that “the content is unavailable” even though it’s unlocked.

    For the record, I’m running a Core i7-920 with 6Gb ram, Windows 7 Ultimate and plenty of free HDD space. I’m also syncing quite high on DSL, with 22,919kbit/s down and 1355kbit/s.

    Usage seems to run at about 3,000kbit/s every 5 or so seconds during streaming (according to the Internode usage meter, MUM) with a spike up to 8,000kbit/s on changing channel.

    I’ll reply to this post if I need to add anything else

  18. seven_tech
    Jul 31 - 9:17 pm

    Signed up for the 7-day trial. Watched 2 episodes of Top Gear and 2 Documentaries. Won’t be continuing after the trial. Reasons:

    1- NO SYFY CHANNEL on PC. This is huge for me. I don’t own any Apple products and want to watch TV on my TV (which is connected to my PC)

    2- Quality isn’t even broadcast level and I don’t know if it’s just my computer, but the streams, both live and VoD are often jerky….

    3- As Renai has already mentioned, the channel lineup is very similar to their cable/sat packages. Meaning you’ve got to get 2-3 to get everything many people want….which makes it almost as expensive as cable/sat version…

    In short- No HD, no SyFy on PC and no individual channel choices. Big fat zero for me. I can get HD versions of ANYTHING I want in a few hours Foxtel….if I can’t have it from you, the way I want it when I pay you for your “exclusives”…. why would pay?….

    • Psychaotix
      Jul 31 - 10:47 pm

      It isn’t just you with the jerky quality, Seven_tech. I’ve had it with my rig as well.

      I’ve cancelled my service.

      Seriously, Foxtel had a chance to really, REALLY shake up the market and get their name going good again. But instead, they’ve chosen to screw it up. It’s sad, really.

    • Phg
      Aug 01 - 7:24 am

      Have Foxtel given any reasons why some channels are restricted from working on PC/Mac?

      • itgrrl
        Aug 01 - 9:26 am

        Yes, they don’t have the rights to deliver those channels in that medium to those devices. It’s a restriction imposed by the content owners on where/when/how their content may be delivered. I assume they’re concerned that its more likely that people could capture & record streams on those devices (as if they aren’t already doing so from cable box output).

        • Blue Tyson
          Aug 02 - 4:57 pm

          Or on their tablet, or mobile phone, or just garden variety digital tv….

  19. Phg
    Aug 02 - 6:29 am

    Any chance that the Foxtel strategy with the new crap Foxtel service is to showcase how crap it is, to try and make their satellite and cable services look good, or at least hope that people like the content, but not the delivery, and then go and buy a cable or satellite service to get the real deal. At least it might appease all those investors, pestering them about their digital strategy

  20. Baldric
    Aug 02 - 9:09 am

    Still no Android general support for GO. Still selling packages instead of channels. Are they interested in growing their business or not?

    I told them every year for the past five years that I’d be happy to pay $50 a month for an iQHD and the Sports Channels so I can see rugby.

    The answer from the nice overseas call centre person was the company line “We think the basic package offers great value for money ” etc etc

    They’re still wrong, and they’re not trying very hard to get it right.

    • Mr T
      Aug 02 - 12:56 pm

      There’s one word for that Baldric… MONOPOLY. Foxtel don’t lower their prices because they don’t have to undercut their competition. There is no competition.

      Personally, I would rather pay the extra to get the iQ HD with HD channels. At least I’d get the best quality and could record what I want to and watch it later. This foxtel play service doesn’t offer those features (at the moment, anyway).

      Who knows what will happen, one day I might be able to afford Foxtel. In the meantime I’ll stick with freeview and enjoy playing back free to air shows on my topfield.

  21. Blue Tyson
    Aug 02 - 4:55 pm

    So, no-one wants Australians to be able to watch the AFL on their PC, ever?

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