Foxtel sets future on 4K

Foxtel will launch Australia’s first 4K TV channel in October via a new iQ4 set top box.

The new channel, heralding premium pictures and sound, will feature Live Sport -including upcoming Cricket from November- Documentaries, Concerts, Movies and more.

4K will come as part of a Foxtel Platinum HD or Foxtel Sports HD subscription for satellite customers with an iQ4 and compatible 4K television set. 4K resolution is around 4 times the quality of 1080 HD pictures and 20 times the resolution of SD.

Foxtel in 4K will launch in October on channel 444 with Cricket screening from November 4.

Whilst Netflix and Stan offer some 4K content they are reliant on internet delivery, but Foxtel will deliver via satellite around the country.

 

The launch last night at FOX Studios marks Patrick Delany’s first big pitch to consumers since becoming CEO. There will also be further announcements over coming months.

“Innovation is in Foxtel’s DNA and we have continuously redefined entertainment for Australia putting us at the centre of connecting subscribers with the sports and the shows they love,” he said.

“Today’s news is just the first step into a 4K future – this incredible experience will continue to expand as we bring even more sport and entertainment programming to life in guaranteed 4K, making the most of today’s ultra-modern 4K TVs. It’s TV like never before.”

Also speaking at the event hosted by Yvonne Sampson were Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Head of Sports Steve Crawley, with a performance by US singer Alessia Cara.

From today subscribers should notice an improved end of playback experience on both iQ3 and iQ4, updates to error codes on both iQ3 and iQ4, and a few other minor bug fixes. At this stage the only major feature of release 7.5 is enabling 4K content to be delivered to the iQ4 set top box.

But Foxtel will also raise some prices from October 1 with Entertainment packages rising from $26 per month to $29 and Platinum HD from $137 to $139. Foxtel Sports HD pack is $65 a month.

Access to Foxtel’s 4K channel requires an iQ4 set top box, compatible HDMI cable and compatible 4K TV. Any other connected equipment must also be compatible with Foxtel’s 4K UHD Standard. Available to customers with Sports + HD packs starting in October 2018. For more info see Foxtel.com.au/compatibility. Foxtel and some services not available to all homes.

New Satellite customers that purchase either the Sport + HD tiers, or the Platinum HD pack, as well as the iQ4 will automatically receive the 4K channel as part of their subscription. Current Satellite subscribers with Sport + HD, or Platinum HD, will also automatically gain the 4K channel as part of their subscription. However they will need to be sure they have our iQ4 set top box, compatible HDMI 2.0 cable and a compatible 4K TV in order to enjoy Foxtel’s 4K content. Any other connected equipment must also be compatible with Foxtel’s 4K UHD Standard.

Frequently asked questions

Foxtel price list

31 Comments:

  1. Full Harddrive

    The problem with getting Foxtel to update/ replace outdated boxes is that all the content you have saved on your hard drive will go out the door and you have to start from scratch. My HD IQ2 is having problems successfully recording HD content, and I’ve got a 90% full box including stuff I’ve watched from years ago I dont want to lose.

    • Using HDMI does limit your options though it is possible in earlier HD boxes to connect component cables to another recorder through AV, unfortunately the content will be in SD and have black bars condensing the picture size to a 4.3 ratio.

      • > black bars condensing the picture size to a 4.3 ratio

        What – are Foxtel’s current boxes and other HDD/DVD recorders still mis-handling analogue aspect ratio signalling/switching?

        Long before Australia got Foxtel (or even DTV), it was largely a solved problem in European consumer gear. Glad I gave up on dealing with all that years ago – when it became obvious that providers like Foxtel & the consumer equipment manufacturers were more interested in providing Australia with second-rate junk with half-baked AR handling, rather than providing/selling gear which worked properly & respected standards.

        (Why, yes, I’m still unreasonably annoyed about that even after all these years. Why do you ask? ?)

  2. What planet is Foxtel managment on? The price they are flogging off UHD I could subscribe to Stan, Netflix and a unlimited broadband plan and still it would be cheaper and far more flexible.

    As for customers with shitty obsolete Foxtel boxes can some one please start a website/page where disgrunted Foxtel subscribers can use their numbers to send a clear message to management that unless their old STB is upgraded at no charge that they will cut it off. One customer threatening to do this won’t bother them but if 100s or even a 1000 subscribers complained they would do something about it.

  3. What a joke. How about they get rid of the standard “SD” channels, and make their “HD” channels part of the standard packages. 4K is just another gimmick for a select few like 3D was – maybe focus on your core product and service, instead of just trying to win a few new subscribers by danging a fancy carrot.

    • As Apple’s tvOS12 is increasing its Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos content videophiles will be expecting a gradual adoption of the format for disks and other streaming boxes, the only issue is that HDR 10 is the preferred format for major movie studios like Disney, ( which will start it’s own streaming service soon) and also some of the key TV manufactures, so the format war for commercial ascendancy continues.

  4. ‘Sport, Documentaries, Concerts, Movies and more’
    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t that how they sold Foxtel 3D? And how’d that turn out…it just used the ESPN 3D feed and the only additions were a History doco on the Titanic and 1 Socceroo game.
    Plus maybe get HD sorted before moving on 4K – there are plenty of channels which rate that are full of HD filmed content yet have no HD feed.
    This announcement is a real letdown.

  5. I like it.4K is certainly the future and naturally need to go with the flow otherwise you get left behind.For me i am in no rush at all.I will probably make the move when all channels screen in 4K and naturally have been filmed in 4K but that is going to be a long way off.I love my sport i use a iq2 and watch it in HD

  6. Foxtel are heading to satellite and streaming They won’t be reducing the price of cable, they are dropping it and leaving the cable network for the NBN to maintain for their HFC plans. Foxtel have spent a lot of money for cricket rights, so they are starting off with a 4k satellite cricket channel to compete against their co-broadcaster 7, who can offer the tests and most of the BBL in SD or HD for free.

  7. I live in an apartment building that has cable. We won’t be switching to satellite until we absolutely have to. I’d love 4K content. F1 especially (as it’s already filmed in 4K).
    The excuse that they don’t want to stream 4K is a cop out. If Netflix and Stan can handle it surely Foxtel would be able to if they spent the money.

  8. Consumers should make sure their TV is genuinely 4K compatible before spending their money, some of last years middle range TV’s with AV panels do have brightness/contrast limitations. Foxtel is asking for loyalty here as the marketing is not looking particularly competitive versus streaming only, Fox Sports will be their flag ship but some review is required for that service as well, if consumers are paying a high price then sports content should justify the expense especially when the major sporting fixtures are completed there will be periods of sports inactivity that need filling.

  9. Bye Foxtel! It was good having you, but this? One 4K channel, still charging or HD and reading comments from people here and elsewhere (reviews too) you’ve got to be kidding. Step up to the table and offer something more and better, Netflix and On Demand TV is rising.

  10. Now we know what Rupert came to Oz for: jack up Foxtel prices and introduce a flaky 4K satellite service for lottery winners. Meanwhile, Telstra is installing a new protocol to their towers to allow simultaneous video stream sharing, just like TV.
    4K FTA will need a few, if not all, sacrificial “digital” channels and we’re still simulcasting HD in SD so I’m not holding my breath!
    The next 007 Jane Bond movie with Gillian Anderson will look fantastic in 4K, if only….

  11. Will this be available on Foxtel Now as well? If so, that would be awesome. I love watching shows like Planet Earth II on Netflix 4K HDR – you really notice the difference.

    • There was information “leaked” in papers last week that Foxtel were developing a new streaming platform capable of streaming sport and other content at 4k as a replacement for Now. They announced that they will be moving from cable to satellite capable of UHD before. It would seem fairly obvious that they will need to upgrade their streaming platform to UHD to compete against Netflix.

      • Cable is more than capable of handling UHD. They’re moving away from cable for cost reasons (and for simplification).

        While I’m sure they’ll introduce UHD streaming at some point. It’d be interesting to know how many UHD subscribers Netflix and Stan actually have – neither publishes that information.

  12. We still have old Austar boxes (2nd generation I think) and have been customers for over 20 years…I rang to ask about IQ3 boxes, they couldn’t even give me a good deal despite being long term customers…our old boxes are starting to do strange things so will have to upgrade at some stage but not for over $300 per box plus what we pay monthly…if only my husband was more tech savvy and could watch Netflix etc then I would tell Foxtel where to shove their service….

    • You might try complaining to Foxtel about those”strange things” the existing Austar box is doing. I too had old Austar box, had become just an heap of junk. I rang Foxtel to complain, they sent a technician who simply walked in the door took one look at box and replaced it, no cost. The technician stated the old box was outdated and doing strange things was common I have now had the IQ3 box for a number of months, never had charge applied to my account. Can’t hurt to try.

  13. This will do nothing to improve their numbers, there are a few people who will add the 4K option to their premium service but people who can afford those packages don’t even have time to watch a TV so their kids will just watch Disney and Nic in SD for $139 a month.

    This is also an attempt to con city folk to drop their cable connections for a dish which they are trying to force on everyone. It won’t work, if Foxtel wont deliver on the existing cable, the customer just wont bother.

    Adding $3 to the basic pack with no improvements to the great unwashed will just send Netflix subscriber numbers even higher.

    I have a couple of channel packs and will definitely be dropping at least one pack to recover the price increase.

    • They’re including the 4K channel with the Platinum HD and Sports HD pack, no extra just for 4K. See the links in the article

      Like Netflix and Stan, it seems Foxtel will continue to charge extra for HD

  14. So all Foxtel subscribers being slugged to roll out 4K for a very exclusive few?
    It would be acceptable to me if the monthy $10 HD charge was dropped to compensate.
    Not to mention the appaling and very much downgraded customer service which we still pay top for. Foxtel customer service was one of the better ones around up until a few years ago until it all got moved to South Africa. A huge discredit to Foxtel.
    And why is UKTV still only SD??
    Looks lile we will be dropping the Entertsinment Plus channel pack to compensate for the price rise.

    • Agree. Again, this time with a price rise, or previously with the times they discontinued channels, they are forcing subscribers to confront the overall value of the offering (which includes the inflexible customer service) – and it’s simply not adding up. They’re not looking at the market and what’s available elsewhere for less. To compensate the price rise I’ll be dropping down to the basic package (saving me $20 a month) – the first time I have ever had the lowest package option in a 20 year subscription. At what will soon be $29 a month I’m not even sure that is worth it anymore.

  15. I was hoping this news was going to be about increased flexibility of the customer self-service options (eg: ability to downgrade channels on the website, not just upgrade), more diversification of content, or perhaps unbundling of the package structure to provide cheaper tier additions. Sadly not. I imagine 4K may be great news if you like sport and mainstream entertainment – and have a gigantic 4K TV – but there’s nothing here for me, only a price rise for nothing extra. Um, yay?

  16. So all subscribers are stuck with a cost increase on their basic package to offset the 4K channel for those people who can already afford Platinum or Sport + HD. Doesn’t sound fair to me. Why not charge a premium for 4K like they’ve done with HD for all this time. Seems like a double standard. The people who can afford top tier Foxtel win, and those who can’t lose out.

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