Fetch wants to be your all-in-one entertainment solution. Here's everything you need to know to decide whether it's right for you.
A relatively recent addition to Australia's subscription TV market, Fetch (formerly Fetch TV) sells itself as Foxtel for the Internet age, combining the most-popular pay TV channels with a growing library of on-demand movies and TV shows. Using your broadband Internet connection, the subscription service streams its content directly to your TV through the Fetch set-top box, saving you the hassle of a separate cable installation for both pay TV and home Internet.
This set-top box is Fetch's big draw. Once hooked up to your TV and home network, it serves as your gateway to the dozens of channels and thousands of movies the service has to offer. It's a TV guide, video recorder and movie store all in one, making it a versatile addition to any entertainment centre.
As a one-stop shop for all your streaming needs, Fetch has plenty to offer discerning TV and movie buffs. Here are some of the key features the service packs in.
Buying or renting movies. With a catalogue of over 6000 movies spanning everything from the latest blockbusters to much-loved classics, Fetch is the ideal movie store offering unlimited availability, no late fees, and most importantly, no need to get up off the couch. Most movies come with the option to either buy or rent. Renting gives you 48 hours to watch the movie as much as you want before it's removed from your library, while buying gives you access to it indefinitely.
Premium TV. From Nickelodeon to National Geographic, Fetch's Premium Channel packs include over 40 of the most popular TV channels from America and the UK. At $6 a month, each pack comes with a selection of channels tied to a theme. The Vibe pack includes pop-culture channels like MTV Music and E!, while the Knowledge pack bundles in the likes of CNN and the Food Network.
|Package||Monthly Price||Channels Included|
|Kids Pack||$6||Disney Channel, Nick Jr, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Cartoon Network, CBeebies, Nickelodeon, Boomerang, BabyTV, ZooMoo|
|Knowledge Pack||$6||National Geographic, BBC Knowledge, Travel Channel, Nat Geo People, HGTV, BBC World News, Nat Geo Wild, Food Network, CNN, Bloomberg Television, Euronews, NDTV, CNBC, France 24, CGTN, Aljazeera, Channel NewsAsia|
|Vibe Pack||$6||ESPN, Edge Sport, Spike, ESPN2, Garage, Egg Network, E!, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV Music, MTV Dance, Style, Fashion.TV|
|Variety Pack||$6||BBC First, 13th Street, 111, UKTV, SyFy, MTV Classic, Universal Channel, TV Hits, Music TV|
Alternatively, if you prefer to watch your favourite TV shows on-demand, Fetch also sells shows individually, offering the likes of Westworld and Legion for purchase both as full seasons and as single episodes. You cannot rent TV shows.
Record live TV. Only available on the Mighty version of its set-top box, Fetch makes recording your favourite TV shows a breeze. With a built-in 1TB hard drive capable of storing up to 585 hours of TV and a handy Series Tag function for designating shows you want Fetch to automatically record for you, the Mighty Box ensures you won't have to miss another episode of House Hunters ever again.
Catch-up TV. Along with built-in apps for catching up on last week's free-to-air TV, Fetch lets you re-watch recent episodes of select shows from any premium channel packs you've subscribed to.
What devices are compatible with Fetch?
To access Fetch content, you'll need a Fetch set-top box. Whether it's bundled in with your Internet plan, or you purchase it separately from a participating retailer, Fetch simply won't work without it. The box comes in two models: the Mini, small and lightweight for those who are only interested in streaming through Fetch; and the Mighty, larger and more feature-packed for those who want to take advantage of everything Fetch has to offer.
The smaller of the two units, the Mini supports all the free-to-air catch-up apps, streaming apps like Netflix, and any Premium Channels you subscribe to. You can rent and buy movies as well as buy TV shows on the Mini, pause and rewind live TV, and connect your mobile devices for watching Fetch content on-the-go.
In addition to doing everything the Mini can, the Mighty box packs a 1TB hard drive for recording live TV, supports resolutions up to 4K, and comes with 4 TV tuners built-in, meaning you can record up to 6 shows at once or record 5 shows while watching another.
|Fetch Set-Top Boxes||The Mini||The Mighty|
|Storage||4GB flash memory for pausing/rewinding live TV||1TB HDD|
|Maximum Supported Resolution||1080p||4K|
|Networking||1Gbps Ethernet/Wi-Fi||1Gbps Ethernet/Wi-Fi|
|# TV Tuners||1||4|
|# USB Ports||1||2|
In addition to the set-top box, Fetch also supports a range of mobile devices. Using the free Fetch app for Android (requiring Android 4.2+) or iOS (requiring iOS 8.0+), you can watch selected channels, movies, and TV shows on-the-go. The mobile apps do come with a few caveats, however. On iOS, you can't purchase or rent movies or TV shows through the app due to Apple's restrictions on in-app purchases. On both iOS and Android, all video content is limited to Standard Definition, and you can only register a maximum of 3 mobile devices to your Fetch account at any one time. If you want to watch Fetch content on an unregistered device, you can switch registrations twice a month, provided you don't exceed the limit of 10 a year.
While you can't currently watch Fetch on your computer, you can stream video files, photos, and music from your computer to your TV over your home network using the My Media Hub app on the Fetch set-top box.
Fetch also recommends a minimum broadband connection of 3Mbps for stable viewing across all devices.
Can I watch my purchases offline?
Any movies you rent or purchase and any TV shows you buy can be downloaded to your mobile device through the Fetch app, letting you watch your content even if you don't have access to an Internet connection. The catch here is that the Fetch app restricts you to a total of 120 hours of viewing time over a 30-day period when in offline mode. If you exceed this, you'll need to reconnect to the Internet to let the app authenticate with your Fetch account before you can continue watching offline.
What is Fetch Multiroom and what does it do?
For large households, a single Fetch box might not be enough. With Multiroom, up to three Fetch boxes can be set up in different rooms of your house, making it possible for multiple people to watch different Fetch content all at the same time. By connecting the separate boxes to the same Fetch account, you can access all your rentals, purchases and subscriptions from any individual unit, saving you from those frustrating arguments over whose turn it is to pick the night's viewing. Similarly, any live TV you record on one box can be shared with the others, too.
How much does a Fetch subscription cost?
You have a few different options when it comes to signing up for Fetch. If you don't like dealing with subscription fees, you can buy the Fetch set-top box outright at retail, with the Mighty box sporting an RRP of $399 and the Mini going for an RRP of $149. Both come with the Fetch Starter Pack which, after a one-off $1 activation fee, gives you access to the TV and movie stores, free-to-air catch-up functionality, and live TV recording (Mighty only) at no monthly cost.
If the Starter Pack is too limiting for your tastes, a $1/month Movie Box subscription will get you access to a roster of 30 pre-selected movies, with 30 new movies cycled in each and every month. Beyond that, you can subscribe to any of the Premium Channel packs for $6/month or get all four in the Ultimate pack for $20/month.
If you are an Optus, iiNet, Dodo, or iPrimus customer, you can add the Fetch box and Starter Pack to your existing broadband plan for between $10 and $15 a month, depending on the ISP. Select plans come with Fetch bundled in at no extra cost.
How much do movies and TV shows cost on Fetch?
Pricing in Fetch's movie and TV stores varies considerably from title to title. On the movie front, new-release rentals typically go for $5.95 in Standard Definition (SD) and $6.95 in High Definition (HD). Older titles tend to be a bit cheaper, dropping as low as $2.95 SD each. When buying movies outright, expect to pay anywhere from $7.99 SD/$10.99 HD to $24.99 SD/$29.99 HD.
TV-show pricing is just as varied. While you can purchase individual episodes for $2.99 SD/$3.49 HD each, the cost of a full season differs depending on how many episodes it contains and whether you buy the whole thing upfront or episode by episode. For example, while the second season of The Walking Dead contains 13 episodes and costs $34.99 SD, the seventh season will cost you $43.99 SD for 16 episodes. Meanwhile, the 21-episode first season of Nashville is only $24.99 SD.
What apps does Fetch support?
As part of its mission to be the heart of your entertainment centre, the Fetch box supports a number of other streaming services through dedicated apps. Netflix and Stan subscribers can download their respective apps and access their libraries directly through their Fetch set-top box, saving the hassle of switching between different devices and remotes. For everyone else, there's also a YouTube app (currently only available on the older Gen 2 set-top boxes) for watching billions of hours of cat videos as well as a NASA app to keep up-to-date with all things space-related from the comfort of your couch.
How much data does Fetch use?
If you subscribe to Fetch through one of its partner ISPs, either Optus, iiNet, Dodo, iPrimus, Internode, Netspace, Westnet, TransACT Victoria, or Adam Internet, the majority of your Fetch viewing will be unmetered. The only exceptions are the catch-up TV services and some of the third-party apps such as Netflix. For the most part, though, you can watch Fetch content to your heart's content without any impact on your monthly data cap.
However, if your Internet provider isn't on that list, everything you watch on Fetch will count towards your monthly quota. Fetch provides a rough guide for estimating just how much data it will use when streaming:
- 20 GB per month for the Starter Pack, if you only watch 1-2 movies a week.
- 60 GB per month for the Entertainment Pack, if you only watch 1-2 movies a week and 2 hours of streamed TV a day.
- 120 GB min for the World Channels or Entertainment packs, if you watch 4 hours of streamed TV every day.
In addition, any movies or TV shows purchased through Fetch will cut into your monthly cap. On average, you can expect to use around 1GB of data per hour when streaming in Standard Definition (SD), and around 1.5-3GB per hour for a High Definition (HD) stream.
What content is available on Fetch?
Along with 49 channels spread across four Premium Channel packs, Fetch also offers a range of special interest channels like Horse and Country and beIN Sports as well as international TV packs from South Korea, China, Italy, and more. You can add or remove all these optional packs from your subscription at any time.
In the Fetch TV store, you'll find full seasons of over 150 of the most popular TV shows from Game of Thrones to The Flash to Australia's own Summer Heights High. For movie buffs, Fetch boasts a library of over 6000 titles spanning the latest Hollywood blockbusters to all-time classics like The Little Mermaid. Better yet, every month Movie Box subscribers get a new batch of 30 movies to watch for free, hand-picked by the Fetch movie team.