Foxtel Play is more than just Foxtel through the Internet. Here's what you need to know about this digital streaming service.
Foxtel may be the dominant force in pay TV in Australia, but the company saw the potential for Internet streaming entertainment way back in 2013. Foxtel Play is the pay TV of the digital age, offering subscriptions to more than 60 live television channels as well as hundreds of video-on-demand titles.
With the closure of Foxtel's Presto joint venture, Foxtel Play has also undergone a significant overhaul, from its pricing to its channel packages. Starting from 1 December 2016, Foxtel Play is available for as little as $10 per month.
The service can be streamed through a variety of devices, including computers, certain smart TV models and video game consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. With the demise of the Presto streaming service, Foxtel Play has also made its way to the Telstra TV. Smartphone and tablet owners can also get access to Foxtel Play using the Foxtel Go app. However, it's worth noting that because of licensing deals, not all content is available on all devices.
Unlike a full Foxtel subscription, there are no lock in contracts, so you can cancel Foxtel Play at any time. That said, it's worth noting that you'll need to cancel before the end of the month to avoid being charged for the next month too.
Compare Foxtel Play packages
The all new Foxtel Play has seen not just a reduction in the minimum asking price, but also a change in the range of packages on offer.
There are now five starter packs to choose from, starting at $10 each but ramping up to $15 for the premium packs. You only need one of these packs to enjoy Foxtel Play, but you can stack them together. If you do decide to add on both the Drama and the Pop packs, Foxtel will bundle them together for $25 instead of the regular $30 asking price.
Plus, both the Drama and Pop packs include the Showcase Channel, which is Foxtel's home for HBO content. That means you'll be able to stream Game of Thrones, Westworld and more for as little as $15 a month.
|Package||Monthly price||Channels included|
|Docos||$10||Discovery, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Turbo, Nat Geo People, CI, A&E, Discovery Science, Animal Planet, BBC Knowledge, History, Nat Geo Wild|
|Lifestyle||$10||Lifestyle, Arena, Lifestyle Home, Lifestyle You, E!, Lifestyle Food, Style TLC|
|Kids||$10||Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nick Jr, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, BBC CBeebies, BabyTV, Boomerang, Discovery Kids|
|Drama||$15||Showcase, BBC UKTV, Box Set, BBC First, Universal Channel, 13th Street|
|Pop||$15||Showcase, Syfy, Binge, FOX8, Comedy Channel, FX, MTV|
Once you've got your base content sorted, you can consider moving on to the premium stuff. While streaming video has been growing substantially across all providers, Foxtel Play is still the dominant force when it comes to streaming sports online. It's worth noting that the sports package offers access to Foxtel's English Premiere League team channels (LFCTV, Manchester United TV and Chelsea TV) for 1c per channel per year. Without the sports package, customers must pay $5 per channel per month.
If you're more of a movie lover than a sports fan, Foxtel Play has also got you covered with a dedicated premium movie package.
|Package||Monthly price||Channels included|
|Sport||$25||Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports 3, Fox Sports 4, Fox Sports 5, BeIn Sports 1, BeIn Sports 2, BeIn Sports 3, ESPN, ESPN 2, EuroSport, Footy Play (Not available on PC/Mac)|
|Movies||$20||Foxtel Movies Premiere, Foxtel Movies Disney, Foxtel Movies Masterpiece, Foxtel Movies Action, Foxtel Movies Romance, Foxtel Movies Thriller, Foxtel Movies Family, Foxtel Movies Comedy, Foxtel Movies More, World Movies|
Regardless of what combination of channel packs you opt for, Foxtel Play also includes access to CNN, Foxtel Smooth, BBC World News, CNBC, Max, V hits, TVSN, CMC, Fox Sports News, EuroSport News, Sky News Live, Sky News Weather, Sky News Business and Foxtel Arts.
How does Foxtel Play work?
If you’ve used a streaming service like Netflix or Stan before then you should be comfortable with Foxtel Play. If you are completely new to the streaming game, here's how it works:
- Go to the Foxtel Play website, sign up for your package of choice, add on your additional premium packs and arrange your account details. You’ll be direct debited from your chosen account on a monthly basis, in accordance with your monthly billing cycle.
- Download the Foxtel Play app for your device (there's a list of compatible devices below).
- Sign in on your device.
- Enjoy the latest entertainment from all over the world.
Easy right? Before you get started, though, there are a couple of additional criteria that you'll need to meet to be able to access Foxtel Play.
- Internet connection and data: Foxtel Play is simply the streaming service, so you’ll still need to have an Internet connection to stream shows (minimum 3Mbps) and enough data on your broadband plan to cater for your streaming needs. But the good news is that since it's a streaming service and not pay TV, there's no installation required and anyone in Australia with an Internet connection and compatible device can access it.
- Australian residence: Foxtel Play is only available to Australian residences.
Foxtel Play compatible devices
You can register up to three devices on a single Foxtel Play account (but only one Xbox One). You can then watch content on any two devices at the same time. You can change the registered devices up to once a month, which is useful for when you get a new phone or tablet.
Bear in mind that some channels have device restrictions, so even if you do have an eligible device, you might not be able to access all channels on it. The best option is to contact Foxtel if you have any questions or doubts.
Remember, you’ll also get access to Foxtel Go, which is available on smartphones and tablets. There is some confusion about the difference between Foxtel Go and Foxtel Play, so it's worth comparing the two before signing up. It's also worth keeping in mind is that the device restrictions that apply to some channels on Foxtel Play could also appear on Foxtel Go.
Streaming quality for Foxtel Play
Foxtel Play currently streams at two quality settings: "Best" and "Low". Best quality is standard definition, while Low is designed for situations where bandwidth is significantly restricted. According to its customer support service, Foxtel is investigating plans to introduce high definition streaming to the Play service, although no timeframe has been given.
Foxtel Play trial offer
One of the key benefits of a streaming video service as opposed to a full pay TV service is that there are no installation costs, meaning you can trial a service for free to see if it works for you.
Foxtel is currently offering Australian customers a free two-week trial of Foxtel Play. To sign up, you will have to provide your credit card details, however you won't be charged during the trial period. Should you continue your service beyond two weeks, Foxtel will charge your account for a month's subscription of your nominated package. If you choose to subscribe fully, then your card will be debited monthly according to your billing cycle.
You can cancel your subscription at any time, but be aware that you'll need to cancel it before your billing cycle ends or you'll be charged for the following month.