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New IQ hardware from Foxtel will embrace Netflix & Stan

NewsKevin Perry

Can Foxtel rebuild & re-market the iQ3?
Image - Foxtel

Foxtel has two new pieces of hardware on the way, and both devices are being designed to embrace the pay-tv giant’s key competitors.

Responding to criticism of the IQ3, Foxtel is now focused on delivering an ‘effortless’ experience for customers.

The new set-top box jokingly referred to as the 'IQ6s' within Foxtel is currently in the early stages of development and will be built on an 'open platform' to provide access for Subscription Video OnDemand (SVOD) competitors including Netflix and Stan.

The new box will also feature access to popular catch-up services including ABC iview, Nine Now and Plus7, and streaming music services such as Spotify and Pandora.

While the ‘IQ6s’ will be designed to target high-end Satellite and Cable customers, Foxtel is also preparing to release a low cost ‘puck’ device to access Foxtel Play. Foxtel recently confirmed it would lower the pricing of Foxtel Play to compete with SVOD rivals

The puck is also being developed on an "open platform" to provide access to a wide range of additional services such as ABC iview and Netflix. The product is believed to based on a similar Roku design that's currently used by Telstra. Foxtel Play is not currently available via the Telstra TV device despite Telstra owning a 50% stake in Foxtel.

Foxtel’s CEO Peter Tonagh confirmed the new direction at a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, as reported by AFR.

"Our customers also want access to content that we don't own or don't license ... If our customers want to have Netflix, then they'll be able to have Netflix on our box,"
"The reason we do that ... what we've done through the whole history of Foxtel, we've offered Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC and SBS for people to view on our set top boxes ... the reason we do that is not because there is a commercial benefit for us, but because it provides a much better experience.
"We intend with our next set-top box to have a much more open platform."

Foxtel is intending to launch the new puck device before Christmas, while the new IQ set-top box is unlikely to be available before 2018.

Foxtel has recently issued new software update, eliminating many of the priority issues with the current troubled IQ3 box, an updated version of the IQ3 device with faster processers is expected to be launched next year.