I tried Foxtel Play a couple of years ago after dumping my satellite service because I felt I wasn’t getting much value out of it. Living in the country the internet was slow and expensive and although Foxtel Play had a setting on my Samsung TV for lower quality it defaulted to the high setting whenever the TV was turned off and blew my allowance download allowance too quickly.
Two years later I have the NBN with a cheap bundle and lots of speed and I have been able to use Stan, Netflix and Presto for quite some time. Enter the latest incarnation of Foxtel Play with bundles starting at only $10.00. The main thing I missed from the past were the Lifestyle Channels, which I can now get for only $10, so when they put out an app for the Telstra TV box I thought “why not?” Better still as a Presto user they gave me 3 months at $15 for both the Movie and Pop bundles.
The new app on Telstra TV is a welcome improvement with much better fast forwarding (although you still can’t watch the progress) and ease of operation. Although the continue watching section holds around 5 selections it frequently loses a recent viewing and I have to use search to find it.
So how does it compare to Stan or Netflix? Purely on SVOD it comes a distant third. The same for price. I know they say they have premium content but so do Stan and Netflix which are $10 for the lot.
The biggest problem I have with Foxtel Play is it seems stuck its linear format. Too many shows are being streamed live and not enough are Streamed Video On Demand. You can’t record live streaming and the days of sitting in front of the TV to catch a show when they air it are well and truly over. The catchup sections don’t have enough full series with many having only one season or part thereof. I don’t find this on Netflix or Stan. They offer all previous episodes. On Foxtel Play I find too many shows that have the third or second season but no previous ones. This means I cannot view these shows until Foxtel puts them back.
As an example I watched From Dusk Till Dawn on Netflix but they only had the first season. Foxtel Play only have season 3 from episode 6. Who knows when I can watch season 2. I found this common for many of their shows.
There is no doubt Foxtel Play has a lot to offer albeit at a lot higher price but it falls flat as a SVOD alternative to their competitors. I don’t understand how they couldn’t come out with a lot more content and seasons on demand after advertising their intention to get customers from Netflix and Stan. Even their Binge channel is only on live.
I hope over the next 3 months when my discounted subscription ends that they figure out why Stan and Netflix have been so successful. They will never be able to compete on price but the successful services offer complete seasons on demand. I don’t have to wait for previous seasons to come back on Netflix or Stan and I shouldn’t have to on Foxtel Play. BoxSets are not a great bonus they are the standard form of streaming that should now be available.