Later this year, Foxtel is expected to release their 5th generation set to box, known as the Foxtel iQ5. The big news from this next generation is that Foxtel plans to bring all channels to their IP-only customers.
While Foxtel has offered OTA boxes for a number of years, the selection of channels has been limited compared to satellite and cable customers. Thankfully that’s getting resolved in the next hardware and update.
TV Blackbox has confirmed the iQ5 details in a new post today who also shared quotes from the CEO of Foxtel Group who was speaking at the Business of Media Summit, recently.
“We started with the iQ4 in 2018. We can confirm that later this year, we will launch the iQ5, our first plug-and-play, fully IP-capable IQ set-top.
This will be the first set-top in the history of Foxtel that does not require an installer, does not require cable or satellite, and can be plugged in and operating within a few minutes.”Foxtel Group CEO Patrick Delany
Given where Australia is in terms of connectivity in 2021, it’s not surprising that Foxtel is focusing on delivering a simple, easy setup, to appeal to more customers. The device will offer streaming of both live and on-demand content from Foxtel’s catalog.
For those satellite customers, you should know the rear of the iQ5 hardware is expected to still contain the antenna connection.
One of my biggest outstanding questions is the quality that will be offered through iQ5. While the hardware will certainly be capable of outputting 4K quality for the interface and other streaming services like Netflix and YouTube, the quality of Foxtel content remains in 1080 today for Foxtel Now customers.
If you want to experience live sports in 4K, like the Formula 1, today, you need Foxtel via Satellite, but this seems like the perfect time for them to make the switch. Channel 444 is a dedicated UltraHD channel and content like the Bathurst 1000, NRL matches and even the US Masters could also benefit.