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Foxtel Spruiks 4K Channel, But Says No to 4K Streaming

A mockup showing Foxtel's 4K service
Sean Fang Fri, 17/08/2018 - 17:32

Foxtel has announced that it is launching a dedicated 4K/Ultra HD channel that will broadcast Ultra HD content 24 hours a day, including Australian men’s international ODIs and T20 matches and every men’s Test match in Australia.

The 4K Ultra HD channel, channel 444, will broadcast a mix of content including movies, documentaries and of course, sports, including live sports. Foxtel also promised more 4K channels are in the works.

Channel 444 will be free to all subscribers who currently subscribe to the Sports+HD pack (or the Platinum pack that includes all the channels), but they will need to get their hands on the new IQ4 set-top box. New subscribers will all automatically receive the IQ4 set-top box, and so as long as they have the Sports+HD pack, they will be able to view the Ultra HD channel (the Foxtel website is currently being updated and while orders still refer to the IQ3 box, all orders will receive the IQ4 box). Of course, viewers will need to have a compatible Ultra HD television set in order to view the Ultra HD content.

Unfortunately, Foxtel has not made the channel available for cable subscribers, as Foxtel's cable network is in the process of being phased out. Also not available in 4K will be On Demand content, and Foxtel Now subscribers will also miss out on being able to access channel 444. In Foxtel's official FAQ for the new 4K channel, the company says the decision not to enable 4K streaming, despite Netflix and Stan already offering this feature, is to ensure customers receive a "consistent 4K delivery", something they could not guarantee for Internet speed dependent streaming.

However, Foxtel did not rule out eventually adding 4K content to its On Demand library.

Foxtel subscribers will be able to access channel 444 starting October.

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