We go hands on with the Foxtel Go app for the holidays

With all the hype around Netflix, Stan and Presto, it’s often easy to forget there are other existing brands in Australia providing fantastic streaming services. SBS On Demand has an incredible array of content – some of which is exclusive to its system (and very hard to find elsewhere) – and ABC iView has been a leader among domestic streaming services for some time now. All the major networks offer something, but of that, SBS and ABC are certainly the most superior.

With all these services provided free of charge, Foxtel’s streaming app “Foxtel GO” is rarely uttered in the same breath. But in advance of our time off, we recently got the chance to try it out for ourselves, and can safely say it’s one of the best streaming apps on the market. The service is available exclusively to Foxtel customers and can be downloaded onto your Phone, Tablet or onto devices like Telstra TV and the Sony Playstation. The service offers up to 78 channels of Live TV – depending on your subscription – alongside a string of on demand TV programs and movies.

It’s the result of a company have who have been working hard to fight the trend of the public utilising free streaming services or illegal downloading in lieu of a Foxtel subscription. Can you imagine how much stronger their subscription base would be if Game of Thrones was *only* available on Foxtel. But I digress…

The plus side is that it’s forced them to be innovative, and the Foxtel Go app is one such way. By combining live TV (with the ability to rewind up to half an hour) with an impressive array of on demand film and TV – including entire seasons, or Box Sets, of some of subscriptions TV’s finest programming – there is endless entertainment to be found using the app.

In terms of accessing that entertainment, the interface is easy to get your head around, and it shouldn’t be too hard for anyone to access whatever they need to. The only thing that is misleading is just how much content they have available through the app. On first glance, it doesn’t seem like much – but then you only have to go into the alphabetical movie listings, or search in detail through the on demand TV additions, to realise that this is one of the most jam packed apps on the market.

Unlike plenty of other apps out there of similar ilk, I can’t say I’ve had a single problem using Foxtel Go. It jumps between series with ease, and the UI has been engineered perfectly. Everything makes perfect sense and I haven’t had it crash once – though I am using one of Apple’s newest phones in testing the service. There has been the odd service interruption while on Wi-Fi (not sure if it’s my problem or theirs… most likely the former), but it’s easy enough to go out and back into the channel, and just rewind to where you are. The 30 minute live rewind is a godsend… especially if you stumble across a program you like, after missing the first 20 minutes.

When using on the Telstra 4G network, I experienced no interruption of signal even when on the train. I didn’t travel far outside the city, but this remains impressive. Foxtel Go content is unmetered with Telstra BigPond Home Broadband services, however it is metered on the mobile 4G network – so keep that in mind when streaming on the go. And this really is the only limitation of this streaming service – and most others. The expensive GB that mobile companies provide makes the on the go streaming model a c complicated one. But really what makes this service really exciting – as it did when it was first serviced to consumers – is that it means you no longer have to have someone come over to your house to install Foxtel. If you’ve got internet at home, you can watch Foxtel on your TV… albeit with some channel and service limitations.

Foxtel Go was provided complements of Foxtel and tested on a loan of the new Apple iPhone 6S Plus, provided by Apple and on the Telstra network. All opinions are of the writer. This is not paid content.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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