If you like the idea of skipping on a hardware box from Foxtel, but want the content streamed to your over the internet, there’s great news. The Foxtel PLAY app for Xbox One is now available, for free, in the Xbox Store. The app features the live channels, EPG and catchup content if your subscription allows for it. Unavailable content is clearly marked with a key icon to indicate your plan doesn’t support it, this hasn’t always been clear, often displaying an error message only after you switch channels.
Streaming Foxtel content to devices is great while you’re mobile, but if you’re at home and want to settle in for an extended session in front of the big screen, you can’t ask your family to crowd around a tablet or phone. With other streaming services like Netflix already on the Xbox, it’s an important step forward for Foxtel’s device support.
The stream quality starts out pretty low, but does that so it can start quickly, within a few seconds, and then as the bandwidth permits, the quality scales up. It’s important that a stream being provided to the Xbox is in HD, as the display it’s connected to is increasingly growing in size. For it to be a comparable experience to the quality you’d get from a satellite dish on you’re roof, you’ll need a solid ADSL2 connection.
In the time we’ve been using it, there has been some buffering, so hopefully that improves as that’s a rapid way to reach frustration, especially if it happens in the middle of a live event like AFL or V8SC.
The timing of the Foxtel PLAY app for Xbox One couldn’t have been better for motorsport fans, with the next round of the Formula 1 championship happening this weekend in China. Foxtel Sports will stream it live, while Free-to-air will miss out again.
It is worth pointing out that some Foxtel subscriptions include streaming components and that’s Foxtel Go, Foxtel PLAY is streaming only, a subtle difference but important. On the desktop, the Go and PLAY apps are identical, but you can’t use one subscription type on the other. This means the Foxtel PLAY app on Xbox One, won’t work for Foxtel Go users.
Also if you’re a fan of Sky News, you can grab the app and watch on your Xbox One, even if you don’t have a Foxtel subscription. If you’re concerned about the data used while streaming video content for hours on end, Foxtel says the amount of data consumed while watching Foxtel Play can vary by device, but the maximum data required per hour is 1310MB, or 1.31GB. It’s a good thing Telstra just increased our data caps.
Grab the app now from the Xbox Store.