Foxtel has announced the brand new IQ5 set top box, which offers plug-and-play streaming. This latest revision, includes opens up Foxtel access to people who may not have been able to get cable, or want satellite.
The device itself is smaller than previous STB from Foxtel, and is easy to setup thanks to colour coded labels on the rear ports. There’s Ethernet, HDMI, Optical Audio, USB, OTA Aerial, Satellite connector and IQ5 supports Dolby Atmos.
The actual IQ5 is fairly thin, but does pair with a detachable 1TB hard drive for those who wish to record live TV.
The IQ5 features access to 50,000 hours of content, including on-demand and live UHD Streaming.
When it comes to software, expect the IQ5 to learn what you like and make recommendations for new content to watch.
There will be access to live and on-demand content, and everything from sport to entertainment. From the new home screen, there’s dedicated sections for TV Shows, Movies, Sport and Kids.
The iQ5 can be connected to Satellite, but also the NBN, via an ethernet port. Foxtel says you’ll get the best quality whichever way you connect.
Along with the Foxtel content, there are also apps available on the IQ5, including Vevo, SBS On-Demand, ABC Iview, Netflix and Amazon Prime by the end of the year.
“We are embracing a streaming-lead future for Foxtel. Want to create more reasons for existing customer to love us, more reasons for new customers to join us. “Foxtel Group Patrick Delany.
Also announced was a future update to the existing iQ4 STB, which will enable IP-only content-delivery.
The IQ5 looks like a really positive move by Foxtel, delivering hardware that’s reflective of where most Australian households are moving – online. The removable HDD was a surprise, but some will certainly welcome this. It’s a tidy solution, rather than hanging a USB HDD from the back of it, like most STB.
There was no mention of WiFi, but it would surely support wireless connectivity.
My only gripe with what we seen is the remote. While familiar to existing Foxtel customers, it doesn’t match the modern design of the STB. It is now voice activated, as many remotes are in 2021, which will help you jump straight to content. It will be interesting to see how integrated this voice search is, if it reaches into all apps.
With streaming now established as Foxtel’s future, this opens the door to more 4K channels and on-demand content coming our way, leaving behind the restrictions of broadcast TV which still has far too much content still in Standard Definition.
The new Foxtel iQ5 device will be available to select Foxtel subscribers from early September. The new set top box will become more widely available later this year.