Foxtel looking for more unmetered ISPs for new On Demand service

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Foxtel is open to discussions with all ISPs to deliver unmetered content on its new On Demand internet TV service. At launch, only Telstra is offering unlimited downloading, though this is not an exclusive agreement.

The new On Demand pay-per-view download platform was launched in Sydney today, with Foxtel offering its IQ2 subscribers the ability to download movies and television programs to their set-top box via an Ethernet cable connected to their home modem or router. Currently, Foxtel is not providing any wireless support for this service.

According to a Foxtel spokesperson, all content will be on a user-pays basis, with no free content being offered now or in the near future. This spokesperson also confirmed that there will be no sport, the traditional magnet for Foxtel, provided on this service.

As with all internet TV solutions, the question of download limits and charges is prevalent. Telstra has agreed to unmetered downloading through its BigPond division, and others may soon be on board too.

“Our unmetering agreement with BigPond is not exclusive,” the spokesperson told Current.com.au. “We are open to discussions about unmetering with all ISPs as unmetering only benefits our subscribers and those using the On Demand service.”

To receive Foxtel On Demand, subscribers with IQ2 boxes must connect the box to a modem or router with internet service via an Ethernet cable. Programs can then be downloaded, with TV shows costing either $1.95 for some children’s shows or $2.95 for all other shows. General release movies are priced at $3.95, whilst new release movies are $5.95.

A good feature of this service is the ability for viewers to watch programs as soon as they have started downloading, rather than having to wait until the download is complete, as with some other providers.

Some of the TV shows listed by Foxtel as being ready for downloading including Mad Men, Summer Heights High and Ice Road Truckers. New release movies include Hot Tub Time Machine, Date Night and Kick-Ass.

Users do not get to keep their downloads, nor are these files extractable from the set-top box, with viewing limits currently set at 48 hours for movies and 10 days for TV episodes.

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