Foxtel has launched a brand-new interface and what a difference it makes to the performance of their iQ set top box, it’s faster, more responsive and the integration of Netflix makes a massive difference to both the iQ4 and when watching Netflix content.
I have been a harsh critic of the iQ box in the past primarily because of poor performance and slow management of content but all this has gone away, because I suspect that the new interface has been specifically designed to work with a new processor built into the iQ4 box.
If you haven’t upgraded to this box yet you should as it’s a massive improvement over prior boxes and is capable of delivering Ultra High Definition 4K content.
For those of you who are big fans of streaming movies and love your sport Foxtel has finally bought together the ideal solution wrapped around a content management system, that’s as good as any other.
It also eliminates the need to toggle from a TV app to Foxtel content and the inclusion of Netflix content is seamless.
It took new management at Foxtel to finally iron out some of the problems that Foxtel has faced in the past and maybe that is because Telstra is less involved in the Company.
There is also a brand new remote that now has four bright orange buttons that take you instantly to Movies, Sport, TV Shows and direct to Netflix.
A click of the home button takes you into a whole new content world.
In the Movie section the images of the latest movies are larger and the 7,500 movies available are displayed in a way that it is easier to navigate and retrieve information on the movie and the cast.
Foxtel and Netflix content are listed side by side however when you do go to a Netflix movie you are going to have to press the back button to go back to the combined menu and search function.
You instantly know many movies are listed for a given actor and you can easily stroll through a database of content from both Netflix and Foxtel without having to jump into a new location to find content to watch.
You can either stream or download the content and what I found was that movie downloads were significantly faster via the new interface than with the prior content management system.
There is now a distinct smoothness to the whole universal interface, which delivers a significantly better viewing experience.
For those of you who have a lot of recorded programs the new Library is a big improvement because when you open it you now know how many shows you have recorded and which ones you have watched.
The listing on the left of the interface highlights your TV Shows, Movies, Sport or Kids programs, there is also a listing of Scheduled and Rented Shows that are sitting in your private library.
For example, if you record NCIS from free to air channels you now know instantly identify which episodes you have watched, however you are going to have to get use to the content being listed vertically Vs horizontally.
While movies are listed horizontally it’s a bit of a pain having to scroll up and down the library listings.
A sub menu allows you to instantly access a world of League, AFL, Motorsport, Crick or Rugby content configured into sub menu’s.
For instance, in the League section you can instantly get information on your favourite team while also being able to set up a recording of your most important games.
There is also a listing of Up and Coming Live Games as well as a listing of all Last Round and Upcoming Round games.
This is an incredibly well thought out and is a structure that is also highly functional and practical.
This is a major step forward for existing Foxtel customers and for new customers who want a one stop solution to managing the vast array of what is now combined Foxtel and Netflix content.
Foxtel is an Australian Company that is now delivering the biggest array of content I have ever seen in one spot. Then there is the added advantage of the new remote which with one simple click takes you into the category you want to search including Netflix.
Getting access and finding information about the vast array of content has been made significantly easier. For those of you who already have a 4K iQ4 box you now have the best of both worlds a superfast and easy to navigate interface and a box that delivers the best picture experience in Australia.
On the flip side several icons especially in the Library section are not loading each and every time but I suspect that this can be fixed quite easily. I would also like the option of viewing my content vertically or horizontally.
Is it worth the money, at $58 a month plus a free six month subscription to Netflix you would be mad not to take up this offer, it’s like going to the movies one night and watching a big game sporting event the next night and these two events alone are going to cost you more than $58 leaving the rest of the month one big entertainment freebie.