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Netflix vs Foxtel 2023 | Price, content and quality compared
Netflix has successfully infiltrated Australian loungerooms, but Foxtel isn't going down without a fight.
Before we compare and contrast 2 of Australia's largest entertainment services in Netflix versus Foxtel, let's make sure we're up to speed with the overall concept of pay TV versus streaming.
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. Tonight's match-up: Netflix, the heavyweight hoping to eclipse Hollywood someday, and Foxtel, the plucky Aussie contender that's punching well above its weight in a few key entertainment areas.
Netflix vs Foxtel: Price
A Netflix subscription is available in 4 tiers: Standard with Ads, Basic, Standard and Premium. The Basic plan however is no longer available to new or rejoining subscribers. More expensive tiers feature no ads, offer higher levels of maximum video quality and let you stream on a larger number of devices at the same time. Foxtel takes a different approach versus Netflix, asking customers to tailor the service to their tastes by ordering from a variety of packages.
In Netflix's case, the $6.99 a month Standard with Ads allows you to stream on 2 devices at a time in full high definition (HD), and you view ads while viewing. The $16.99 a month Standard plan lets you watch video in up to full HD quality and supports streaming on 2 devices at the same time. Lastly, Premium goes for $22.99 a month and offers 4K streaming plus support for 4 devices simultaneously.
Buying into Foxtel Now requires you to sign up for the Essentials Pack at $25 a month. This gets you a range of Entertainment, Lifestyle and Comedy channels, including Showcase, FOX8 and Arena.
From there, you can add-on packs such as Drama Extra (making for a total cost of $35 a month), Sports ($54 a month in total) and Movies (total cost $45 a month). If you want them all, the Ultimate Bundle costs $104 a month. It includes the Docos and Kids channels packs, which aren't available as standalone options.
Does Netflix Australia or Foxtel Now have a free trial?
Neither Netflix nor Foxtel Now offer a free trial. Netflix's has been gone since March 2020, while Foxtel Now ended its free trial as of 4 October 2023. That means you need to sign up and pay for at least a month to test either service and see if it packs enough titles you're interested in.
How do Netflix vs Foxtel's content libraries compare?
The platform offers a generous collection of reality TV, docos and stand-up comedy. Subscribers get a diverse movie library that packs everything from Oscar contenders to relaxing romantic comedies and family-friendly titles. There's less licensed content on Netflix these days, but you can still find some TV shows and movies from external providers.
Foxtel's strengths lie in securing the local rights to much sought-after HBO titles, not to mention live coverage of all the local sporting codes.
The Foxtel Now Sports channel pack offers 9 dedicated 24/7 sport channels that cover over 50 sports live.
Even if you only get the Essentials pack, it comes with access to Showcase, which is the home of HBO. You can watch popular series such as House of the Dragon, Succession, Game of Thrones or Euphoria, as well as Foxtel originals like The Twelve.
Netflix Australia has a total of 7,048 titles. Foxtel Now meanwhile has a total of 4,209.
That said, TVs and movies are consistently added and removed from both services. Keep in mind that you need to subscribe to multiple channel packs from Foxtel to watch all that content, versus Netflix which only requires a flat fee that opens up its entire library. Some titles are unavailable on Netflix's ads plan though, so you will be missing out on some shows if you only subscribe to that.
Browse each service's entire library:
What about kids programming?
Netflix lets you create kids profiles and boasts a wide array of premium kids content thanks to the company investing heavily in originals. Popular kids shows on Netflix include Boss Baby: Back in Business, Super Monsters, Bebefinn and CoComelon.
Meanwhile, the Kids channel pack on Foxtel Now is only available if you get the Ultimate Bundle. If you're willing to make the investment, the pack offers content from BBC CBeebies, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Dreamworks. Shows available include Bluey and Adventure Time. You can also find plenty of family-friendly movies in the Movies channel pack.
Does Netflix Australia or Foxtel offer better quality streaming?
Netflix and Foxtel Now use adaptive bit-rate technology that enables TV shows and movies to adjust their quality automatically based on your internet speed.
Foxtel Now offers SD and HD video quality, but only Netflix's full catalogue is in at least HD and it also offers Ultra HD (4K) resolution for select content. You need a compatible device and to purchase the top-tier Premium subscription to see that 4K content.
While Foxtel Now doesn't support 4K, regular Foxtel does. If you purchase Foxtel's iQ5 set-top box and sign up for the HD channel pack, you can watch select sports coverage and a range of movies, concerts and documentaries in 4K.
Netflix vs Foxtel Now: Devices
Both Netflix and Foxtel Now are available on a wide variety of devices.
|Set-top box (Foxtel, Fetch)||✔||X|
|Smart TV (selected models)||✔||✔|
|Amazon Fire TV stick||✔||X|
|Foxtel Now box||✔||✔|
On device compatibility, you can watch Netflix on pretty much any gadget under the sun. It holds the advantage over Foxtel Now in that its available on more streaming devices such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV stick. Netflix is also available more a wider range of smart TVs and gaming consoles.
The only device where Foxtel Now trumps Netflix is the NVIDIA Shield.
Subscribers can watch Foxtel Now on 2 devices at the same time. On Netflix, that number depends on the plan you subscribe to – 1 for Basic, 2 for Standard and Standard with Ads, and 4 for Premium.
Netflix on Foxtel
If you have a Foxtel iQ box, you can watch Netflix with Foxtel, so you have easy access to all your entertainment in one place. Existing Netflix subscribers need an iQ5, iQ4 or iQ3 that's connected to the internet. Simply sign in to the Netflix app with your credentials and start streaming.
You can opt to get a Foxtel with Netflix bundle. A Standard Netflix subscription is included in the Platinum Plus bundle, which usually costs $140 a month. You can also add Netflix Standard to any bundle, including the basic Foxtel Plus option, for extra.
This isn't an option via Foxtel Now. However, those without a smart TV keen to watch on the big screen can use the Foxtel Now Box, a media player that supports several streaming apps, including Netflix. You will need a separate Netflix subscription to watch.
Verdict: Is Netflix or Foxtel a better fit for you?
At the end of the day, it depends on what you like to watch. If you want something that mirrors what you'd get with a Foxtel pay TV subscription via the internet, Foxtel Now is your best choice. You can add or remove packs as needed from one month to the next. If you prefer a more affordable streaming option for the entire family, Netflix's robust catalogue features something for everyone.
Finally, keep in mind that a lot of Foxtel entertainment content is available on BINGE, where plans start at only $10 a month. Similarly, Kayo packs all the Foxtel sports content without breaking the bank from $25 a month. They might be worth a look.
Compare more streaming TV services in the table below
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