Foxtel has unveiled its much-anticipated puck device, the Foxtel Now box, a simple plug-and-play device that provides access to Foxtel Now in HD, along with free-to-air channels via a built-in free-to-air tuner, and access to SVOD apps such as Stan, as well as free-to-air streaming apps, including ABC iview, PLUS7 and tenplay.
The box features built-in Chromecast functionality allowing viewers to ‘cast’ movies, music and photos from Android or iOS mobile devices, PCs or Macs straight to their TV. The Foxtel Now box offers customers access to a world of content, games, music and apps from the Google Play store as well as the ability to stream at 4K quality with compatible apps.
Inputs and outputs include an RF in, Ethernet, SPDIF for audio, USB port and HDMI out. The unit’s remote control unit comes with in-built microphone for future voice-activation features.
The Now Box itself is Android-based and, while capable of running apps from the Google Play store, apps available through the device will be “curated” by Foxtel to prevent the use of apps which might allow access to pirated content. Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh says the company is committed to keeping the Box as an open platform. While Australian streaming service STAN is part of the initial offering, Tonagh says the company is still negotiating with Netflix as to its participation.
Tonagh said, “After the success of Foxtel Now, we’re delighted to lift the lid on our incredible new Foxtel Now box. The sneak peek we shared at the Foxtel Now launch a few months ago created a huge amount of buzz and we are excited to announce the box’s arrival so quickly. Foxtel Now has already proven to be a hit with customers, offering the most flexible and affordable way to experience the best choice in live sport, new movies, TV and complete seasons. With today’s launch, that experience gets even better.
“For the first time, Australians can watch Foxtel on their TV with a Foxtel designed set top box that is completely powered by the internet offering a no lock-in contract, affordable and flexible way to see Foxtel’s exclusive content both locally produced and from the world’s best entertainment brands. Self-installation is easy removing the need for a technician. Simply bring the box home and sign up to Foxtel Now to start watching.”
Consumers can purchase the Foxtel Now box for AUD$99 starting Friday November 10. It can be ordered directly from Foxtel at www.foxtelnow.com.au or via Foxtel’s eBay store. It will also be available via www.kogan.com, as well as other outlets in the lead up to Christmas.
Foxtel Now is Foxtel’s SVOD service allowing viewers to stream Foxtel in HD, live and on demand. There are five entry level packs to match viewers’ interests including Drama and Pop packs priced at $15 per month each or $25 for both. Lifestyle, Docos and Kids packs are available at $10 per month each. Foxtel Now’s Movies pack is available for $20 per month in addition to an entry level pack and the Sports pack is available for an extra $29 per month.
Foxtel Now box specifications:
- VIDEO: 4KP60 UHD 10-bit HEVC (SD or HD, up to 1920 x 1080; 4K P50/60 UHD up to 3840 x 2160)
- OUTPUT: Video – HDMI Tx 2.0 with HDCP2.2; Audio – SPDIF
- STORAGE: 8GB System FLASH (NAND)
- MEMORY: 2GB RAM DDR4 RAM
- INTERFACES: DVB-T, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11 ac WiFi 2.4 Ghz / 5 Ghz,
- WEIGHT: 0.270 Kg
- DIMENSIONS: 104 (bottom) x 83 (top) x 72 (height) mm
Remote control specs include:
- COMMUNICATIONS CHANNELS: Infrared, Bluetooth
- DIMENSIONS: 145 x 44 x 14mm
- INTERFACES: 13 Keys – Power, Mute, D-pad (up/down/left/right/OK), Back, Home, play/pause, Search, Volume up, Volume down
- ACCESSORIES: 2 x AAA batteries
- An internet connection is required to access Foxtel Now, the Google Play Store and to set up and use the Foxtel Now box
- A Foxtel Now account is required to set up and access the box and a Foxtel Now subscription is required to watch Foxtel content.
- A Google account is required to download apps from the Google Play Store.
- Free-to-air channel viewing requires a TV aerial to be connected to the Foxtel Now box.