Netflix Australia vs Foxtel 2021 | Price, content and quality compared
Since launch, Netflix has successfully infiltrated Australian loungerooms but Foxtel isn't going down without a fight.
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Before we compare and contrast two of Australia's largest entertainment services, let's make sure we're up to speed with the overall concept of pay TV vs streaming.
For a full explanation of pay TV, check out our comprehensive guide for everything you need to know. For all things streaming and on-demand, head over to our hub for more information on your options in Australia.
Up to speed on the pros and cons? Great. Let's move on to tonight's match-up: Netflix, the US heavyweight on track to eclipse Hollywood someday, and Foxtel, the plucky Aussie contender that's punching well above its weight in a few key entertainment areas.
For the sake of this toe-to-toe comparison, we're comparing Foxtel's on-demand streaming platform Foxtel Now against the multinational monolith Netflix.
Netflix vs Foxtel: Price
A Netflix subscription is available in one of three tiers: Basic, Standard and Premium. More-expensive tiers offer higher levels of maximum video quality and let you stream on a larger number of devices at the same time. The service also increased its prices for Basic and Standard plans in September 2020.
Foxtel takes a different approach, asking customers to tailor the service to their tastes by ordering from a variety of packages (each of which are further split into Starter Packs and Premium Packs).
In Netflix's case, the AU$10.99/month Basic option will let you stream in up to Standard Definition (SD) on one device at a time. The AU$15.99/month Standard plan lets you watch video in up to High Definition (HD) quality and supports streaming on two devices at the same time. Lastly, Premium goes for AU$19.99 and offers 4K streaming plus support for four devices at any one time.
Conversely, buying into Foxtel Now requires that you sign up for the Essentials Pack at AU$25/month. This gets you a range of Entertainment, Lifestyle and Comedy channels including Showcase, FOX8, Comedy Central and Arena.
From there you can add on extra packs like the Drama, Docos and Kids packs as well as Sports and Movies. These start at $10 extra a month but can cost as much as $29 extra a month.
How do Netflix and Foxtel's content libraries compare?
Netflix is heavily invested in creating exclusive original content like Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things, Altered Carbon and Okja. Foxtel's strengths, meanwhile, lie in securing the local rights to much sought-after content like Game of Thrones and other key HBO titles, not to mention live coverage of all the local sporting codes.
All that said, what we'll focus on today is library totals. At last check (26 August 2019), Netflix Australia had 1,705 TV shows and 3,650 movies with a total of 5,355 titles whereas Foxtel had 2,021 TV shows and 1,424 movies for a total of 3,445.
That's a sizeable difference, with Netflix boasting roughly 1.5 times the titles that Foxtel does. That said, titles are consistently added and removed from both services and the tide can change from month to month. Check the graph below for a better visual on how the two services compare.
What about kids' programming?
Netflix is great in that it allows you to set up child-specific user profiles which are password protected and can shield minors from inappropriate content. What will be available to them is a wide array of premium kids' content, thanks to Netflix having solid partnerships with various distributors. Netflix also gets the edge over most other streaming services due to its commitment to original content that can't be found anywhere else. For example, Dreamworks is currently partnered to produce awesome TV series like Dragons: Race to the Edge, a remake series of Inspector Gadget and All Hail King Julien.
Foxtel offers a dedicated Kids channel pack that lets your ankle-biters stream thousands of episodes from the world's best brands. You can expect to see content from networks like Nick, Nick Jr., Disney (XD, Channel and Junior), Cartoon Network and Cbeebies to name a few. Foxtel also offers parents the peace of mind that comes with channel and classification block functions. Foxtel also go the extra mile here by offering a viewing time limit function.
Does Netflix Australia or Foxtel offer better quality streaming?
Both Netflix and Foxtel use adaptive bit-rate technology that allows TV shows and movies to adjust their quality automatically based on your Internet speed.
Both Foxtel Now and Netflix offer SD and HD video quality, but only Netflix offers Ultra HD (4K) resolutions for select content. You do have to purchase the top-tier Premium subscription to see that 4K content, however.
Netflix offers a decent array of shows and movies at 4K (though it does an iffy job of informing you which of these are UHD before you click into them).
While Foxtel Now doesn't support 4K, regular Foxtel does. If you purchase Foxtel's iQ4 set-top box and sign up to Foxtel's HD channel pack, you can watch select sports coverage and a range of movies, concerts and documentaries in 4K.
Compare more streaming TV services in the table below
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