The iQ3 is one of Foxtel’s premium set-top boxes, allowing users to record their favourite shows, stream content on demand and discover new programs.
Launched in response to the growing popularity of streaming services, the iQ3 is a slick device meant to seamlessly blend together all the Foxtel offerings subscribers know and love, from Remote Record to On Demand. It’s been a few years since the device hit the market but the telco is constantly working on fixing bugs and improving features. With the most recent update, iQ3 users can get even more out of their device thanks to new additions like AutoPlay and Team Link.
What is Foxtel’s iQ3?
The iQ3 is an Internet-enabled set-top box that brings together cable TV and Internet streaming. As a result, it offers a complete TV experience, allowing users to watch channels live, record shows and catch up with series on demand. In other words, Foxtel shifted the focus from traditional cable broadcast to on-demand content, offering highlights and suggestions for what subscribers may watch.
How does the iQ3 work?
The iQ3 connects to your home broadband, as many of its advanced features are only accessible via the Internet. You can easily install the box yourself by connecting the HDMI and Foxtel cables to your TV. You’ll also need to pair the Bluetooth remote to the iQ3, call Foxtel to activate the set-top box to ultimately connect the iQ3 to your home broadband, either via an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi.
Foxtel Subscription Packages
The entire process is pretty painless and Foxtel offers step-by-step instructions to guide your through the installation. Alternatively, you can also pay for a technician to come and set it up for you.
Once connected, the iQ3 opens you up to a full world of entertainment. Simply hit the "Home" button on your remote control and you’ll notice all the shiny features the box has to offer, including suggestions for what shows you might be interested in, highlights that are coming to Foxtel in the near future and trending shows that other people are watching. You can also access the On Demand section to binge shows on your own schedule, or you can access new releases from the Foxtel Store.
The iQ3 also offers impressive recording features. The box packs a generous 1TB hard drive, so you can record up to 172 hours of high definition content and up to 345 hours in standard definition. Moreover, your iQ3 can record up to three shows at once while playing back or watching a fourth one live. That’s what we call multi-tasking.
Furthermore, the Foxtel iQ3 packs some excellent features designed to make any avid watcher’s life a breeze.
With Start Over you can start a program you're watching from the beginning with the touch of a button. The Look Back feature allows you trace back up to 24 hours in the TV Guide, so you can watch and even record shows that escaped you.
Don’t want to miss a single episode of your favourite show? Select a series to record and then the Series Link option, so that all episodes will be automatically recorded.
The same goes for all the games of your favourite sports team thanks to the recent Team Link feature. You’ll be able to get snapshots of fixtures to come, plus automatically record games so you can witness every minute of the action.
With the iQ3 you have access to all the channels from the packs you’re subscribed to as well as on-demand content from those packs. For instance, if you’re only subscribed to the Entertainment Pack you won’t see series available to Drama subscribers in the On Demand section. Until recently, shows you watched on demand automatically downloaded to your device, but Foxtel is implementing a streaming feature so you won’t have to manually delete the show from your device after you’re done watching.
The telco’s most recent iQ3 update also includes Auto Play, which automatically plays a show's episodes consecutively, a common feature on streaming services like Netflix. Plus you get a Continue Watching tab on your home screen so you can easily access the shows you’re bingeing on currently. If on-demand content isn’t enough or you’re dying to see a recent release, Foxtel iQ3 users can access the Foxtel Store to rent TV shows and movies.
The iQ3 is only available to Foxtel customers, new or existing. If you’re new you usually get it for free when subscribing to Foxtel, depending on what offers are available at the time. How much you’ll pay will also vary based on what channel packs you choose and whether you want additional services like broadband.
Existing customers who want to upgrade to the iQ3 will have to pay $125. There’s also a $100 fee if you choose to have it installed by a technician. Please note that the self-install option isn’t accessible to all customers as it depends on where you live and what type of equipment is required.
What’s the difference between the iQ2 and the iQ3?
First off, the iQ2 only packs a 320GB hard drive, so you can only record up to 30 hours in HD or 90 hours in SD programs. You can still watch, pause or record live TV while also having access to on-demand content. However, you won’t get most of the shiny features the iQ3 offers like Team Link, Suggestions or Auto Play.
- 325 x 240 x 75mm
- Internal storage
- USB ports
- Internet connectivity
- Wi-Fi, Ethernet
- HD recording time
- 172 hours
- Start Over function
- Trending feature
- Look Back feature
- Movie rentals
- Remote record
- 90+ channels
- HD channels
- Up to 36 HD channels
- From $125 upfront
How fast does my Internet need to be for the iQ3?
As per Foxtel recommendations, the minimum speed required is 3.0Mbps for Standard Definition and 7.0Mbps for High Definition.
How much data will the iQ3 burn?
If you have Foxtel Broadband you get unmetered access to your Foxtel services at home. This translates to no data download limits for content available on demand or downloaded from the store. Otherwise, at the highest quality you’ll burn through a maximum of 1.1GB per hour for standard definition and 2.2GB for high definition shows.
How does Team Link work?
This handy new feature is basically Series Link but for sports enthusiasts. Access the newly-minted Sports menu in the Home screen and select your favourite teams. Once that’s done, the iQ3 will automatically record games your team is playing in.
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