Kayo is the latest contender in the world of sports streaming but how does it compare to Foxtel and Foxtel Now?
It’s easy to get confused by the various ways Foxtel and Fox Sports are enabling sports fans to stream its collection of channels, which includes every Fox Sports channel, Eurosport, ESPN, beIN Sports and some (not all) Red Bull TV programming. There are now four different ways you can access these channels via a Foxtel affiliated service:
- The traditional cable or satellite experience to your home TV, utilising the latest IQ4 box for full 4K streaming and local recording.
- There is the Foxtel Go companion app that comes as part of that subscription, allowing you to access a selection of your channels on the move.
- You then have Foxtel Now, which is a standalone service that can be accessed via an app, or via a Foxtel Now box that sits small and snug near your TV. It’s effectively an alternative to the standard Foxtel experience, without the cost (and features) of the larger IQ4 box.
- And now you have the new Kayo Sports streaming app. This does away with the box altogether, providing a pure streaming service focused right in on sport. It provides a tip-of-the-spear feature-set and HD stream of all of Foxtel’s sports content, accessible through browsers and ChromeCast currently, with an app to appear on multiple devices in the future.
So, which is the right live streaming TV option for you?
Are you a sports fan?
Kayo offers sport and nothing else. If you use any of Foxtel's other services and value the non-sports content, then Kayo may not be for you. That said, Kayo does offer you a sports viewing experience that is beyond what is available on Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go or Foxtel IQ.
Features like picture-in-picture, choose your own camera, skip to highlights and hide score are central to a great sports viewing experience. And there are up to 12 more exciting features expected in 2019.
So, if you love sport, but also love the Entertainment, Kids or Movie packs, then Kayo may be worth your while as a secondary or supplementary service.
Watch us go hands on with the Kayo beta
The only other downside with choosing Kayo over Foxtel IQ, outside of the lack of non-sports content, is that it is capped to not exceed HD resolution. The latest Foxtel IQ4 box, on the other hand, allows for 4K resolution. While not all sports are filmed (or broadcast) in 4K, and you need a 4K TV to see the difference, you can’t argue against 4K being best way to watch sport on a screen.
But there are a lot of “ifs” when it comes to 4K. If you are just someone who begrudgingly pays for the Pop or Entertainment packs just so you can access the Fox Sports content, then Kayo is quite simply a no-brainer. It provides all the same sports content in HD, but with a stack of additional features catered to sports fans and at less than half the price.
Price: Foxtel Now vs Kayo
Kayo is anticipated to be such a disruptive force that we expect the costs of other streaming services will shift to meet the new market. Even the costs of the other offerings coming from within the Foxtel family. But at the time of writing, sports fans have plenty to gain from considering Kayo. Here is a quick price comparison:
|Components||Foxtel||Foxtel Now||Kayo||Kayo Premium|
|Set-top box||$125||$99 (optional)||$0||$0|
|Base monthly fee||$68||$40||$25||$35|
|Free trial||No||2 weeks||2 weeks||2 weeks|
|Minimum cost after 12 months||$805||$648||$300||$420|
Features: Foxtel Now vs Kayo
At launch, Kayo is compatible with most of the same devices as Foxtel Now, with the notable omissions being video game consoles and native support on smart TVs. It's fair to assume that the likes of Xbox, PlayStation, Samsung and LG will get involved with Kayo in the future, however, that has not been confirmed or denied during the launch of the beta. Here is an overview of the other key features.
|Feature||Foxtel||Foxtel Now||Kayo Basic||Kayo Premium|
|Devices||iOS, Android (Foxtel GO), IQ||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and Samsung, LG and Sony smart TVs||PC, Mac, iOS (v11+), Android (V6+), Chromecast, Telstra TV, Apple TV||PC, Mac, iOS (v11+), Android (V6+), Chromecast, Telstra TV, Apple TV|
|Concurrent streams||2 (via Foxtel Go)||2||2||3|
* While all the services are capable of delivering HD content, it does depend on a number of factors. 1.) Was the broadcast shot in HD? 2.) Is your screen capable of displaying HD? 3.) Where applicable, such as with Kayo, is your internet connection fast enough to steam HD?
Free trial and future updates
While all of the sports streaming options under the Foxtel banner come with free trial periods, these are not an offering fixed in stone. Currently, there is a two-week trial period offered for Kayo, but we suspect that will not last forever. While nothing has been confirmed or denied, we would be surprised if it didn't last at least till the start of the NRL and AFL season in 2019. But that is just our speculation.
Considering that the service is available through a browser and has no invasive installation requirements or costs, experiencing what Kayo is like is relatively pain-free. You could even time your trial to coincide with a sporting event you are interested in so you can really dive into the service with a match you find really engaging.
We anticipate a number of additional features to continue to roll out deep into 2019, staggered to ensure the servers remain stable. With that in mind, we would expect a significant update in March 2019, ahead of the AFL and NRL seasons. These are traditionally important periods for Foxtel in luring subscribers.
By comparison, Foxtel Go and Foxtel Now are well established and have had multiple updates. So, if you want to jump into Kayo early, you should be willing to accept some teething problems and a period of delay before all the features arrive. The core ability to just watch sport, though, will not be affected. And if you watch our live stream of Kayo in action in the video above, you'll see that the teething issues are very minor.
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