COMMENT: Under threat Foxtel has rolled out their new Presto subscription TV service days after the Company mounted a lobbying campaign to try and convince someone in Government to try and stop Netflix, from taking subscriptions from Australians who are using their Xbox to access the US Companies content, which is seriously superior to what Foxtel is dishing up on their new service.
Foxtel’s new service which goes live on March 13, it is not available for Android device owners.
The service is more back catalogue than new movies and when you do want to watch a movie weeks after it has already been on sale at Blockbuster the cost is $5.99.
For years Foxtel has been stinging Australians for their content services now they want to compete online with a service that is no different than what Quickflix, Fetch TV, Google, or Apple is able to offer.
Presto is a standalone service that can be used without a Foxtel TV subscription package it is being delivered by the same Company that took the BBC programs from the ABC and now ask consumers to pay for the privilege of watching programs that for decades were free.
Foxtel is also charging for the rights to get HBO’s Game of Thrones and if you watch it on Presto you are also up for the cost of bandwidth.
One thing is certain with this service and that is that consumers will not get first run movies or the hot new movies coming out of cinemas.
Foxtel’s biggest fear is Netflix a US Company that offers a significantly superior service to Foxtel. Recently Foxtel used News Ltd publications who also own 50% of Foxtel to spruik the notion that Netflix should stop taking subscriptions from Australian consumers however Netflix has assured me that this is not going to happen.
To get access to Netflix services like Hulu, HBO, NBC, MTV, iTV, BBC and heaps more content than what Foxtel offers will cost you around $13 bucks a month – $8 for the Netflix account and $5 for the magic of an Unblock-Us account to make it all possible.
The first step in setting up a Netflix account in Australia is to get a VPN. Without one, you’ll be constantly met with a message on the Netflix home page that the service isn’t available in your region yet.
There are plenty of VPN services to choose from online.
Some work through the browser to offer immediate access to content. Others change the DNS settings on your device or router to tunnel all your internet through, allowing you to access the service through third party devices like an Apple TV, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
A good place to start is by using a service that’s free or offers a free trial.
Browser-based options like Mediahint or Hola will let you access Netflix on your PC or Mac effortlessly without paying a cent.
Simply download the extension, follow the instructions and you’re good to go.
Even the SMH said that Quickflix has a few key advantages over Presto. Foxtel’s offering costs an extra $5 per month but only includes movies, not TV shows.
Presto also lacks DVD/Blu-ray deliveries and is available on fewer devices – only Windows, Mac and iPad (Android to come). If you’re catering to a wide range of gadgets, including home entertainment gear, then Presto might be a non-starter in your home.
What you do get from Presto is Foxtel movie channels including Premiere, Comedy, Romance, Thriller, Action, Family and Masterpiece which get very few viewers at the best of time.
Shortly Google will launch a $35 Chromcast service. The Chromecast has become a popular little device according to Sundar Pichai, head of Android and Chrome, he said recently that Chromecast has sold “millions” of devices with the device set to be released in Australia shortly.
All you do is plug the $35 dongle into a spare HDMI port and outlet, set it up with your smartphone, and you can suddenly stream supported media from your Android or iOS device wirelessly. The fact that it worked with iOS devices is a big plus.
Users can access a lot of the same movie content that Foxtel is trying to sell with the big advantage that users also get access to tens of thousands of Play Store Apps and new Chromecast apps.
Shortly consumers interested in an entertainment box will be able to get access to an offering from Fetch TV the content is excellent and the interface significantly superior to what Foxtel dishes out on their iQ HD boxes.
The bottom line is that Foxtel is an expensive content Company to do business with and while their recent numbers have been propped up by Telstra adding a cheap version of Foxtel to their T Box the service is nowhere near what Netflix delivers.
And if their current iQ HD box which does not allow attached storage, is only 500Gb and has a woeful interface that is more 2000 than a 2014 design is anything to go by this Company has a long way to go in a world where they go from having a monopoly to suddenly having to compete.