Foxtel to remove On Demand on older IQ boxes

Bad news for customers with iQ1, iQ1.5 and iQ2 set-top boxes.

Foxtel will retire its On Demand service for older set-top boxes iQ1, iQ1.5 and iQ2 in early 2021.

Customers will no longer be able to download content from the internet, but can access titles via catch-up service Foxtel Go on other devices.

iQ2 was enabled for internet in 2010.

“With the launch of the New Foxtel Experience in 2019, we have seen On Demand use grow by over 80% on iQ3/4s this year. For the older generation iQ1 / iQ.15 / iQ2s there has been no growth with customers preferring to watch Live / linear TV and record and only 3% regularly using On Demand,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“In these circumstances, and given the limitations of older boxes, we have decided to prioritise On Demand investment in iQ3 / iQ4s. To ensure that our regular On Demand users on iQ1 / iQ1.5 / iQ2’s aren’t left behind, we’ve been proactively migrating them across to our latest set-top boxes with a range of upgrade offers.

“Shutdown activity has commenced for the On Demand platform on iQ1 / iQ.15 / iQ2s. So far, we have been retiring the On Demand platform for boxes which were not IP enabled (i.e. couldn’t use On Demand) as well as those customers who are IP enabled but haven’t connected to On Demand in the last 6 months.

“From January 31 until April 2021 we will finalise the retirement of the On Demand platform for all remaining iQ1, iQ1.5 and iQ2 boxes.

“This change does not affect ability of 1Q1 / iQ1.5 / iQ2 customers to watch and record Live TV – overwhelmingly the main way customers use this older generation of boxes. On Demand content can still be accessed after the shutdown via Foxtel GO, on a compatible device.”

17 Responses

  1. @Walt, I have to disagree that “cable” is old tech! Modern Fibre estates (like mine) use an FTTP provision, direct to the house, and this gets me Internet, TV OTA channels, encrypted Foxtel signals, and phone. “Satellite” on the other hand came in in 1965..

  2. While I hardly use the On demand with my IQ2 at the moment due to the drama of the powerpoint/internet connection, this news still annoys me. Is Go free for satellite IQ subscibers?

    All very well for offering to update to an IQ3 or 4, but what about the hundreds of hours of content on the STB harddrive? As my name says, Ive got heaps stored and dont want to lose it.

      1. Foxtel only advertises their deals for “new customers” only, usually with free installation. Existing customers have to ring up, complain and negotiate.

        My IQ 1.5 sometimes crashes playing back Fox One files. I’m guessing 20 year-old technology has reached its limit. I doubt they would run modern video codecs anyway. Can stream on a laptop, and plug the laptop into the TV if required.

  3. Have had an an IQ4 for over 12 months and it has been faultless. My wife still has an IQ2 which has also been great but I could never go back to an IQ2. The only drawback with just about all new equipment these days is the lack of connection options on the rear of them. Take a look at the rear of an IQ2 with its plethora of connectors then look at an IQ4, just HDMI.

    1. Yes, manufacturers are gradually standardizing to HDMI because of increased HDR content and Dolby Atmos sound.
      To get some idea of the technology issues facing consumers this year read some forums about HDMI 2.1 which is really only useful for PS4, Xbox X gamers or those with 8K TV’s.
      TV manufacturers are introducing new tech and video formats every year, like it or not, holding onto a TV for 8-10 years is going to limit viewing options.

  4. This story could really open up the pros and cons of staying loyal to Foxtel.
    In my opinion Foxtel will need to become a dedicated global streaming service sooner or later, even a satellite service will require some expensive maintenance and technology updates, the global streaming boom is an obvious commercial success story if you provide the right content.
    Foxtel needs to think outside the box it has existed for many years exploiting its pay TV monopoly until recently.
    As far as Foxtel’s obsolete set top boxes are concerned they should upgrade them for free to keep loyal customers happy, these boxes will probably be gone in 5-6 years anyway.

    1. well said the new boxes with blue tooth is hopeless and theres alot of bugs with the new boxes foxtel should have one price its to expensive and out dated with ads I am hoping hbo max comes to Australia and foxtel gone

      1. I just had a look at the HBO MAX movies and shows and it’s quite the list ,I got tired scrolling down the screen ,I highly doubt we would get the same as the US here in the leper colony.

  5. If Foxtel are moving to being Satellite then we will only have a couple of years with them as we are in a Unit that has cable connected not sure if Foxtel or strata will have a dish put on/in.

  6. I have IQ2 and use it, especially if I have missed something or it didn’t record. You had the option to still download a Foxtel show that had aired with no further repeats. So that will be a shame. I prefer IQ2 and my elderly mother would be lost with iQ3, far too overwhelming.

  7. We have the iQ2 and use the On Demand feature a bit, so will need to look at upgrading. The article read “To ensure that our regular On Demand users on iQ1 / iQ1.5 / iQ2’s aren’t left behind, we’ve been proactively migrating them across to our latest set-top boxes with a range of upgrade offers.”

    So far we haven’t been contacted so I hope when they do we don’t have to pay for the upgraded box.

    1. I received the email and I am a Foxtel from Telstra customer. I’ve never been offered the migration to a newer box. Through the messaging app with Telstra I expressed my disappointment. I got offered 50% to upgrade to IQ4. I held firm and got all charges waived. I was genuine in my threat to cancel. See how you go.

    2. I wasn’t contacted at all – the On Demand feature just disappeared. They just don’t want to support the older boxes anymore, and in one article I read they claimed uptake of these older boxes was so low they couldn’t rationalise keeping them. As if anyone has been offered an IQ2 in the last 5 years anyway. And apparently they consider us a bunch of luddites who don’t use On Demand or Pay Per View. It’s nonsense.

      Anyway, not being aware that they were removing our access to On Demand, I called to find out what was happening and was told my box was outdated (it still works flawlessly) and I was being offered an IQ3 for the low, low price of $100 plus a $35 service charge.
      When I told her they’d either be sending me a free box or I would walk, I was offered an IQ4 for free, incl installation. Great!
      Then came the “oh sorry, you can’t have a satellite on your building…

  8. This does sound like a very thinly veiled ploy to have people change boxes to iQ3 or iQ4. But that aside, if it is getting used less it’s probably because the operating system and search is so laborious more than any other reason. I still have the iQ2, it’s a solid unit that does the basics well. I had the iQ3 for a short time and changed back as it was so buggy and frustrating to use. My understanding is that it will be phased out completely within two years (along with cable transmission) which is understandable, it is old tech now and satellite is much cheaper for Foxtel to operate, but taking features away doesn’t really seem necessary to me. Maybe they could concentrate improving their television offering instead?

  9. When I had an IQ2, I would have to restart the box almost every time I wanted to use on demand. If I was recording at the time, and couldn’t connect to the internet, then I’d just leave it. Hardly ever used the service on IQ2 as a result.

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