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New IPTV service Foxtel Play now available

The new IPTV offering from Foxtel has landed on PC, Mac, Samsung connected TVs and Xbox 360.

Announced back in May, Foxtel Play is now live, offering over 40 channels of both live and catch-up Foxtel content without the need for a set-top box.

The Foxtel Play interface on a Samsung smart TV. (Credit: Foxtel)

The initial launch will see Foxtel Play available on PC and Mac, along with certain Samsung smart TVs. Additionally, the service will replace the Foxtel on Xbox 360 app, with current users being "grandfathered" onto Foxtel Play.

All Foxtel Play subscribers, including those coming across from the older Xbox app, will have Foxtel Go access, as well, allowing them to watch live, catch-up and on-demand content across mobile devices.

Foxtel Play allows users to subscribe per month with no lock-in contracts. You can alter the number of channels you get from month to month simply by adding or subtracting from that month's subscription.

For the first time via Foxtel, the modular content offering will be arranged via genre. The four channel packages are:

  • Entertainment: Fox 8, LifeStyle, Arena, You, TV1, Comedy, MTV

  • Drama: BBC UKTV, SoHo, FX, SF, Universal

  • Documentary: A&E, Discovery, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Adventure, BBC Knowledge, Turbo Max, History

  • Kids: Disney, Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Baby TV.

One package costs AU$25. Two packages cost AU$35, then it's three for AU$45 and all four for a flat AU$50. Sky News National, Sky News Business, Fox Sports News, Channel V and Channel V Hits are all included with any channel package.

There are also two premium packs available: Sport and Movies. These are AU$25 each, and can be added to the channel packs, but not bought alone.

  • Sport: Fox Sports 1, 2 and 3; Footy Play; ESPN and ESPN2; Euro Sport; Fuel TV; TVN; and Speed

  • Movies: Premiere, Action/Adventure, Family, Comedy, Drama/Romance, Thriller/Crime, Masterpiece, Showcase, World Movies.

Thus, the minimum spend per month would be AU$25 for a single package, and the maximum AU$100 for all available content.

The new interface design for Foxtel Play will now be the standard for Foxtel devices, and the new IQ3 device will sport a similar UI when it lands in 2014.

(Credit: Foxtel)

More functionality for Foxtel Play is planned down the road, including a recommendation system based on your watching habits. Xbox users will also see new functions as they transition to Play, including the ability to pause live TV for up to 30 minutes.

Although initially launching on Samsung smart TVs, the Play app will expand to other brands in the near future, including LG's smart TV range.

Speaking to CNET Australia, Foxtel's executive director of product Jim Rudder said that the company felt the time was right for Foxtel Play "with improving internet speeds around Australia, and the rise in popularity of unlimited data offerings from ISPs".

He also highlighted the success of Foxtel Go as an indicator of Australians' willingness to embrace content delivery across differing platforms. According to Rudder, Foxtel Go has gathered 350,000 registered accounts, with 1 million app downloads, since its launch in November 2012.