Foxtel iQ5 brings 4K Streaming and more

In a virtual event today, Foxtel presented their latest set top box for Australian homes with advanced features and changes in how we use the platform. The iQ5 is a slim, two component product that provides all 100 channels while also providing access to streaming services like Netflix. The top component is the heart of the iQ5 which can be used on its own, while the bottom component is the storage for your recordings.

So, what’s new?

The key change from Foxtel in the iQ5 is the ability to purely stream every Foxtel channel, including the 4K channels such as sport. This means you won’t need a satellite mounted to the home to use that feature. It also results in a self installation process, COVID safe but also at your own convenience. Setup of the iQ5 looks to be as simple as installing an Apple TV or Google Chromecast and once it’s up and running it has similar capabilities.

The new Foxtel remote carries a voice button to ask for your favourite channel or to simply quote your favourite movie to begin streaming it immediately. Unlike previous streaming boxes from Foxtel and others, the iQ5 has a 1TB storage drive so nothing is missed, whether you pause a live show or record an entire season of The Block.

iQ5 without the storage connected

Internet only? Not quite…

For some homes streaming, let alone 4K streaming, might be an impossible ask and Foxtel has maintained two satellite inputs on the box and also a free to air broadcast antenna input. The multiple inputs for Satellite mean you could still watch something while recording another show but the antenna input signals something else. We confirmed with Foxtel today that the iQ5 will not stream the current free to air channels. If you want to access the free to air channels you would need the satellite or TV antenna connected to the iQ5. This is a disappointing feature as many homes will still require an antenna on the roof and not just a strong internet connection.

Foxtel were keen to mention that Netflix comes on board the iQ5, with a dedicated button on the remote. Amazon Prime Video will soon also be available on the iQ5 along with many free to air streaming and catch up apps like SBS on Demand.

One other advantage of having a Foxtel box with internet streaming is that you could move the iQ5 to another room if your viewing habits changed without needing to worry about satellite connections but if you want to have two iQ5 boxes you will need to pay the additional $25 per month just like the current iQ arrangements. We also asked that given the iQ5 only needs an internet connection to access channels whether it could be taken on holidays or even a friends house, Foxtel didn’t say it wouldn’t work but advised that isn’t the intention of its use.

When can you have it?

Users of the iQ4 will be receiving an update later this year to support these additional features and the remote can be upgraded at a cost also. For new customers, the iQ5 will be the norm which also reduces costs from Foxtel of satellite installations. For existing customers still on iQ2 and below, iQ5 will be a priority upgrade.

The iQ5 will be available from early September and we’ll bring you a full review shortly.