Australian pay-TV provider FOXTEL has partnered with Korean electronic firm Samsung to stream up to 30 premium channels to the latter’s Smart TVs, without using a set-top box.
FOXTEL commissioned Stockholm-headquartered app developer Accedo to develop the ‘FOXTEL on Internet TV’ application for compatible Samsung Smart TVs (2011-2012 models), with varying packages available.
The application offers Australian viewers direct access to a selection of 30 live FOXTEL channels, including: FOX8, Discovery Channel, ESPN, UKTV and Showtime, as well as FOXTEL’s 8 live Olympic channels and the latest results from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Packages start at AUD 19.50 (US$ 19.96) per month for the ‘Get Started’ bundle, which includes FOX8, Lifestyle You, MTV, National Geographic, Nickolodeon, TV1, Discovery Channel, Fox Sports News, Channel [V], Cartoon Network and Sky News National.
A range of additional packages are also available, including a AUD 10 sports package, movie and entertainment packages for up to AUD 15 each, and the full Olympics package with all eight dedicated Olympics channels, costing a one-off fee of AUD 50.
While many users will be excited by the possibility of losing their bulky set-top box, there are some downsides to the service, beyond the limited channel lineup: it only provides standard-definition content, it requires a minimum Internet connection of 2 Mbps, and will count towards service usage caps unless the user is a BigPond customer.
FOXTEL recently completed a merger with fellow pay-TV provider Austar, creating a national pay-TV service under the Foxtel brand that will serve 2.2mn households – more details here.