Review: Foxtel play on Xbox one

Those of us who live in the digital world will look at the prospect of having a satellite installed on the roof as antiquated. Thankfully there is an option....

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Those of us who live in the digital world will look at the prospect of having a satellite installed on the roof as antiquated. Thankfully there is an option.

Foxtel PLAY on the Xbox One was released last month and allows customers digital only experience and access to living and pre-recorded content.

As a Motorsport fan, Foxtel became a must in 2015 and Play was the easiest way to achieve that.

While you can watch Foxtel Plat on your mobile, your tablet or your PC, where you really want it, is the largest screen in your home.

Rather than get a Foxtel iQ3, you can use that other really powerful box that’s already connected to your TV. Your Xbox One also has that neat snap mode which means you can multitask. Watch Foxtel and play a game at the same time, its a nice place to live.

There is just one problem though.. One very big problem. The quality of Foxtel PLAY on Xbox One is only a lousy SD.

Watching fast moving action and sweeping pans, like that of Formula 1, really highlight the restricted picture quality. If your watching a sitcom, this won’t matter as much, but you’ll watch frustratedly in the knowledge 1080 is possible and that’s why you invested in a HDTV.

After watching gorgeous streaming 1080p movies from Xbox Video, you know the console and your connection can handle it, which means the issue is at Foxtel’s end.

If this is an infrastructure problem, then upgrade it. If this is a business decision to have the best experience (HD) only available from their hardware, then change it.

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With that out of the way, let’s talk about the app itself. In terms of design, the app is really well structured. It provides a nice top level access to live vs on-demand content, as well as an opportunity to resume your last channel.

Sitting down with my wife to see ‘what’s on’, we settled on an episode of Selling Houses Australia. Sadly the playback buffered. Once, then twice, then again within a 10-15 period. It seemed to get progressively worse. It’s hard to know the cause of the issue, but it needs to playback flawlessly. If you’ve convinced your family that all roads lead to the Xbox as the device to power the TV, that won’t go far the minute buffering happens.

While switching channels remains more delayed than an OTA broadcast, the benefit here is the on-demand. There’s not every show you like, but there is an account extensive catalogue. If you can’t find what you want, the Netflix app isn’t far away.

One of the best features is the channel guide where its clearly indicated which channels are part of your subscription and which aren’t. This saves you the annoying experience of changing channels only to be told you can’t watch it.

Overall the Foxtel PLAY on Xbox One is the easiest, fastest way to get the Foxtel live and on-demand content to your TV. But only when they upgrade the stream quality to HD can’t I recommend it. If you have Foxtel and get a couple of play devices to use it on, then try it out, you’re not paying extra. Just don’t sign up for Foxtel, thinking this is going to be amazing, because right now, it’s not.

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