Binge vs Foxtel Now: What’s the difference?
Foxtel has had a rough introduction to the world of streaming, thanks mostly to the ill-fated and unstable Foxtel Now app. But now the Australian media megalith is hoping to leave all that behind, with the brand-new streaming service Binge. The brand-new streaming destination is set to become the new home for premium TV and movies, at a more competitive price. Foxtel recently revealed the new app via live-stream, putting months of speculation to rest. Now that we know more about Binge, how is it stacking up against Foxtel’s last app? Let’s compare the two side-by-side.
|Monthly price||$25 to $104||$10 to $18|
|Free Trial||10 days|
|Max. video quality||HD||HD|
Price and packages
Pricing is the key difference between Binge and Foxtel Now. The flagship feature of Binge is, in fact, its friendlier pricing model. Binge is priced to compete with Netflix and Stan, starting at $10 for one standard definition stream. Moving up the tiers gets you two simultaneous streams in High Definition for $14 per month, and four streams in High Definition at $18 per month,
That’s a huge improvement on Foxtel Now’s biggest issue: it’s exorbitant price. Foxtel Now’s pricing starts at $25 per month for the Pop + Lifestyle starter pack, but can quickly grow to $104 per month if you want things like movies and sports.
Binge doesn’t have sports, but then again, it doesn’t have channel packs at all. Your monthly subscription fee with Binge gives you complete access to the service’s library of TV shows and movies.
Foxtel Now offers 10 days free on any channel pack combination you choose. After that 10 days, you are automatically charged a minimum of $25, plus any additional costs you’ve racked up with extra channel packs.
Binge offers a longer 2-week free trial but the more transparent pricing model also means you won’t get a rude shock if you forget to cancel before the trial is up. The most you will pay after your free trial is $18, but you can cancel at any time and there aren’t any lock-in contracts (as there are with traditional Foxtel).
Technically, Foxtel Now allows you to stream on five devices at once. But it’s not as simple as Netflix and Stan make it. You need to register each of the five devices, and if you want to cycle one out, you need to boot one device off the Foxtel account to register the new devices. There are also other weird restrictions. For example, Foxtel Now only allows for the use of one free trial on a device. So if you want to use a second email address for another free days, Foxtel Now won’t let you do that on the same device you used last.
Things seems to be simpler on Binge. Depending on what tier you pay for, you get one, two or four simultaneous streams. We’ll know more about how that looks in action when we get our hands on the app.
Unlike Stan and Netflix, Foxtel Now restricts downloads for offline viewing to its Kids app. There’s no way to download shows like Game of Thrones under the safety of unlimited home broadband to watch in transit.
While downloads for offline viewing aren’t available at launch, Foxtel says it is “in the pipeline” for Binge.
TV shows and movies
Foxtel Now offers a huge suite of premium TV shows and movies. The issue is, many of them are locked behind paid channel packs.
The actual selection of Binge and Foxtel Now is actually quite similar. There’s premium drama from HBO (Game of Thrones, Sex and the City etc.) and AMC (The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy) available at launch. Binge is also getting a healthy dose of comedy thanks to Foxtel’s distribution NBCUniversal: The Office, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock to name a few. It’s also getting the eternally popular Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.
Next to HBO, Binge and Foxtel Now’s most sought after content might be its lineup of the trashiest of the trash: it’s reality TV selection. Keeping up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives series, Below Deck and more.
Premium drama from HBO, FX, AMC and USA Network are all very nice to have, but one thing Binge has over Foxtel Now is complete access to the movie catalogue at no extra price.
Foxtel’s deal with NBCUniversal extends to its Universal Pictures films. So entire series of movies, like the Bourne franchise, or the Jurassic Park series are all ready to binge. There’s also a new feature with Binge Foxtel calls ‘Binge Centre’. In a situation where Binge has an entire films series, it will get its own hub in the app. This allows you to easily navigate through the series and access special features, like deleted scenes, commentary, that sort of thing.
What else is different?
There are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Binge. Does Binge spell the end of Foxtel? Is 4K on the cards? Then there’s the overall UI and UX. The app is in good hands with the team behind Kayo, and no doubt an improvement on Foxtel Now, but we can’t draw any comparisons on that until we actually get some hands-on time with the service. Check back over the next week for an up-to-date comparison, and our first hands-on impressions when we get a chance to experience the app for ourselves.