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Hubbl Glass review: Those in Glass houses

The Hubbl Glass value proposition is a little fragile. 

Hubbl Glass Pink Product Image
Hubbl Glass
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
Device cost
From $1395
$1195
Features
4K QLED 55 or 65-inch television with in-built Dolby Atmos soundbar
Colours
Available in Black, Blue, Green, Pink or White
Brodie Fogg
Jul 05, 2024
Icon Time To Read8 min read
Photograph of the Hubbl Glass TV guide
Quick verdict: Hubbl Glass TV

The Hubbl Glass TV has potential. It's an okay 4K QLED smart TV for the price that offers a unique way to sift through the ever-growing number of streaming services available in Australia. But at launch, the few features the distinguish it from your LG, Sony and Samsung TVs aren't exciting enough to forego some basic streaming needs. It's not quite there yet, but it's a step in the right direction for Foxtel. With more app support and more premium features, Hubbl Glass and its bespoke platform could be strong contenders in the smart TV and streaming space. 

pro
Pros
pro An okay price for a 4K QLED TV with HDR
pro In-built Dolby Atmos soundbar
pro Successfully blends linear and on-demand television
pro Fun colours
con
Cons
con No PVR features for recording
con No payment plan like UK equivalent Sky Glass
con Locked ecosystem that doesn’t have some streaming essentials

Despite Foxtel enduring nearly a decade of Netflix in Australia, the Pay TV giant has struggled to make a smooth transition to the world of streaming. The company has managed to hold on to an entire generation of Australians throughout the on-demand shakeup but even Foxtel can identify its ageing demographic from a mile away.  

So what's an old media monopoly to do? How does it recapture the kind of audience Channel V would've pulled in by the droves in 2024? Is that even possible? How much would you have to pay Osher Günsberg to grow out those locks and change his name back to Andrew G again? Foxtel is hoping the answer lies with Hubbl

A three-pronged approach, Hubbl is three different things at once: Hubbl the streaming platform, the Apple TV-ish Hubbl Hub and the Hubble Glass smart TV. 

That last one, the Hubbl Glass TV, is the most interesting of the bunch and what we're reviewing here today. 

For our extensive thoughts on the Hubbl platform itself, check out our review of the Hubbl Hub streaming box.

From $1395 for the 55-inch model.

The Hubbl Glass smart TV is available in two sizes: 55 or 65-inch. It's available with express delivery through Hubbl's website or in-store at Harvey Norman

  • 55-inch Hubbl Glass: $1,395
  • 65-inch Hubbl Glass: $1,595

That's just the cost of the TV, mind you. Hubbl is advertising a smooth streaming experience across various apps but you still need to pay for each subscription you use. In theory, Stack & Save could net you a discount on your apps but at launch its savings (up to $15 per month off) only apply to Binge, Kayo, Flash, LifeStyle and Netflix. But those discounts are only guaranteed to last for three years.

Single View Billing, Hubbl's unique system that lets you subscribe to and cancel apps in one dashboard, only works for Binge, Kayo, Flash, LifeStyle, Netflix and Disney Plus. 

Picture of the White Sky Glass TV
Hubbl Glass TV
4K QLED display with in-built Dolby Atmos soundbar. Hubbl Glass is available in Anthracite Black, Ceramic White, Ocean Blue, Racing Green or Dusky Pink.
bullet 4K streaming
bullet Save up to $15 per month with Stack & Save
55-inch for $1,395
$1,195
Order now from Hubbl+ free express delivery

No payment plan?

Ahead of the Hubbl launch, one of the most exciting prospects was the potential for a payment plan for your TV. The UK equivalent Sky Glass lets you pay off your TV over 12, 24 or 48 months but there's no such option for Hubbl (unless you take up Harvey Norman's financing options.) Speaking to Hubbl prior to launch, one representative confirmed that payment options were "on the roadmap" and something the team was investigating locally. 

Hubbl Glass design and colours

Ever had a green TV?

One of the most immediately attractive features of the Hubbl Glass is its look. Not it's picture quality, the actual product design. Like smartphones, television design has become fairly hemogenous as we've strived for slimmer profiles and thinner bezels. With a few exceptions, such as the Samsung Frame,  you're not buying a television for the way it looks. But the Hubbl Glass makes me wonder: why not? Why not have a small selection of fun colours alongside your standard black TV set? Hubbl Glass comes in five flavours: Ocean Blue, Racing Green, Dusky Pink, Anthracite Black, and Ceramic White, and honestly, I could find a way to make any of the five work in my own home. The Dusky Pink is a genuinely lovely looking device. 

Granted, most premium 4K televisions simply don't have enough of a visible surface to warrant any flashy colours and it's probably a good time to point out that the Hubbl Glass isn't the most svelt screen on the market. At a depth of 447mm, it's a much thicker unit than the LG equivalent which sits roughly 57.5mm from the wall. 

That is partly down to the undercarriage of the Hubbl Glass where a full-length Dolby Atmos soundbar lives. 

What is Hubbl?

Hubbl is a new streaming platform from Foxtel. Previously known as Streamotion, Foxtel subsidiary Hubbl owns and operates multiple streaming services; Binge, Kayo, Flash and the newly minted LifeStyle app. The Hubbl platform is a streaming service aggregator that consolidates various streaming apps and offers unique discounts and single-bill options on two new devices, the Hubbl streaming box and the Hubbl Glass smart TV.

This review is specifically dedicated to the Hubbl Glass smart TV.

Hubbl Glass soundbar quality

The in-built soundbar is another way Hubbl stands out from the crowd.

Hubbl Glass in-built soundbar

Most major television manufacturers would much rather sell you a soundbar than throw one in for free, let alone manufacture a television where the soundbar and TV are one. That's exactly what Hubbl Glass offers.

Soundbar included, Hubbl's Dolby Atmos system offers a six speaker array. It's decent, there's no doubt about that. You can crank the volume up on your next Fast and the Furious marathon without sacrificing fidelity but if you're deadset on deciphering Vin Diesel's drawl, you could be out of luck. Just like its limited picture settings, Hubbl Glass doesn't offer much in the way of audio customisation past a few preset profiles. There are a few additional settings, like a binary toggle for making dialogue louder but, just quietly, it didn't make much of a difference when I first switched it on. 

Thankfully, I think I've settled on the right all-rounder audio profile for my needs but out of the box it may sound a little muffled. 

It’s hard to argue with what is essentially a free soundbar, however. While I've heard better integrated speakers on pricier TVs, Hubbl Glass sounds better than you’d expect for the price.

If only I could tinker with the Hubbl Glass's EQ settings a little more, I might be able to score it a weeny bit higher for audio quality. Alas, I'm just a common fool who shan't be trusted with such precious decisions. 

Hubbl Glass image quality and performance

A decent 4K QLED panel that falls behind the major movers and shakers.

Photograph of the Hubbl Glass TV playing Sand Land on Disney Plus

I've got no complaints about the image on the Hubbl Glass. The quality of its 4K QLED panel isn't in question. In fact, 4K streams of Foxtel fare like Kayo and Binge plug along at an impressive clip without much of an issue (though I am one of the lucky ones on NBN 1000.)

The user interface doesn't make a great first impression. It's muddy and honestly pretty slow by smart TV standards in 2024. But once you're up and streaming, there aren't many criticisms you can level at the TV for what it advertises on the tin. 

It's still not exactly a premium experience and there are a number current televisions within the Hubbl Glass's price range that offer comparable specs (or for a little more, much better,) and I just can't help but feel like this one took a little too long to get to market. It is, after all, the exact same TV that Sky launched in the UK back in 2021.

Here are a few competing TV brands in a similar price range to the Hubbl Glass:

Model
Type
Size
Frame rate
HDMI 2.1
Price
TCL C655 QLED TV (2024)QLED 4K HDR10+55-inchUp to 60Hz3x HDMI 2.1$781
Hisense Q6 QLED (2024)QLED 4K HDR10+55-inchUp to 60HzNo$795
TCL C655 QLED TV (2024)QLED 4K HDR10+65-inchUp to 60Hz3x HDMI 2.1$971
Hisense Q6 QLED (2024)QLED 4K HDR10+65-inchUp to 60HzNo$995
TCL C745 QLED TV (2023)QLED 4K HDR10+55-inchUp to 144Hz1x HDMI 2.1$1,195
Hubbl GlassQLED 4K HDR1055-inchUp to 60Hz3x HDMI 2.1$1,395
LG QNED81 Smart TV (2024)QNED 4K HDR 10 Pro55-inchUp to 60HzNo$1,433
LG QNED86 TV (2024)QNED 4K HDR 10 Pro55-inchUp to 120Hz4x HDMI 2.1$1,447
TCL C745 QLED TV (2023)QLED 4K HDR10+65-inchUp to 144Hz1x HDMI 2.1$1,495
Hubbl GlassQLED 4K HDR1065-inchUp to 60Hz3x HDMI 2.1$1,595
LG QNED81 Smart TV (2024)QNED 4K HDR 10 Pro65-inchUp to 60HzNo$1,870
LG QNED86 TV (2024)QNED 4K HDR 10 Pro65-inchUp to 120Hz4x HDMI 2.1$1,895

Many of your mainstream alternatives offer a few extra bells and whistles too, like a high refresh rate of 120Hz or higher, which PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X owners are going to want. Sure it's not the sort of thing Hubbl's major demographic will be too concerned with but let's not get lazy, it is still a $1,395 television at minimum. Whether the regular punter cares or not, they could be getting better gear for a fraction more and in some cases comparable gear for a lot less. 

All of the televisions listed above also use some version of Android TV, which puts them on a level playing field when it comes to app compatiblity. The same can't be said for Hubbl.

Hubbl software and streaming apps

Promising features in a limited ecosystem.

Hubbl Stack and Save

The biggest thing holding back is the operating system at the centre of everything. This isn't limited to Hubbl Glass, you can pay $99 for the Hubbl box and get the same experience. Hubbl OS is a bespoke platform and experience you can only get through Hubbl devices and is made up of a few unique selling points: Universal search and recommendations across all your streaming services, Stack  & Save discounts for streaming apps and Single View billing.

Those three features are generally nice to have. Hubbl's ad-free aggregation of streaming services is clean and simple. It's meant to take the stress out of streaming for those who have been too scared to jump in. Similarly, Stack & Save and Single View Billing serve to tackle two major pain points with streaming: the growing monthly costs and managing all your logins and accounts. Stack & Save will give you tiered discounts when you sign up to multiple streaming apps (up to $15 per month off when you sign up to five services) and Single View Billing lets you start and cancel streaming subscriptions all within Hubbl's UI, kind of like Optus SubHub.

What a dream. Well, almost. 

Stack & Save only applies to Hubbl's own apps and Netflix. So in order to get any discount you need to be subscribed to at least two Hubbl apps (Binge, Kayo etc.) Single View Billing only works with the same list of apps and Disney Plus. Stan, Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, and Paramount Plus subscribers get none of Hubbl's most desirable benefits. 

For former Foxtel devotees, the mention of a loyalty discount might induce flashbacks to a better time. That's what Hubbl gets right. Even if it is a limited selection, Stack & Save and Single Billing are still unique ideas that could only get better if other third-party providers like Stan and Apple TV Plus eventually come to the table. 

The Hubbl and Hubbl Glass also take care of the hardware side of things. Mostly. Foxtel iQ box customers will sorely miss the ability to schedule recordings for linear programming. It might seem silly to on-demand natives but a decent PVR feature is still the only way to stay up to date with certain news programs and select soaps like EastendersIf my dear Nan were still around today, she'd be guarding her Foxtel iQ5 hard drive for dear life. It's not like the Hubbl Glass doesn't have the space for some onboard storage. The built-in soundbar makes it a thicc unit with plenty of free space for a terabyte or two of storage.

We hear for you


Another convenient (and mildly concerning) feature of the Hubbl Glass is the onboard far-field microphone on the TV itself. The smart TV comes with the same Hubbl Voice Remote as the Hubbl box, but Hubbl Glass has an additional mic on the television set. That's useful in two ways: one, you can use voice commands to browse and play content without the remote and two, you can tell Hubbl to find your remote and it will activate a high-pitched beeping sound from your remote. Super handy. Potential privacy concerns aside, that's a neat use of voice control and you can ask Hubbl some pretty specific requests (e.g. "show me movies starring Ryan Gosling") though it can be a bit hit and miss with both the commands it accepts and the results it delivers. 

There's a big mute button next to the power button that you really can't miss so if you don't love the idea of Foxtel lurking in your living room, you can always switch the microphone off. That said, there's not much in the privacy policy to be worried about and Hubbl claims that voice commands are "stored anonymously to action the command and for troubleshooting" and not linked to any personal information. 

Streaming service
Starting price
Stack & Save
Single View Billing
More information
$10/mth
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
$25/mth
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
$8/mth
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
$8/mth
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
$13.99
conNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
  • Netflix
  • Disney Plus
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • YouTube
  • Apple TV Plus
  • Kayo Sports
  • Binge
  • Flash
  • ABC iView
  • ABC Kids
  • SBS On Demand
  • 7plus
  • 9now
  • 10 Play
  • LifeStyle
  • Stan 
  • Paramount+ (available soon)
  • Optus Sport (available soon)

Is the Hubbl Glass worth it?

A decent smart TV with a built-in soundbar that's held back by the very platform at its core.
Photograph of the Hubbl Glass Smart TV in action

The Hubbl Glass smart TV is easily the most interesting part of the whole Hubbl affair. To recap: it's a 55 or 65-inch 4K QLED smart TV with an built-in Dolby Atmos soundbar that's available in a fun range of colours at an attractive price (even more attractive after being discounted post-launch.) The Hubbl operating system is well-organised and incorporates free-to-air programming nicely. Those are all genuinely nice aspects of the Hubbl Glass proposition, but once you look past those basics, things start to get a little foggy.

The Hubbl OS might be clean but it's also limited by the partnerships Hubbl has in place. There's no app store like there is with an Android-based smart TV (as seen in most major brands) so if Hubbl doesn't have your streaming service of choice, you're out of luck. 

The TV itself is fine but part of the appeal in the UK is buying it on a payment plan over 24 or 36 months with no upfront cost. If you could take the $1595 price tag of the 65-inch Hubbl Glass and split it up over 24 months, you'd be paying around $67 per month, no strings attached. That flexibility would go a long way in the current economic climate. 

If you're already a Foxtel power user, the Hubbl Glass might be a good replacement for your Foxtel iQ5 box that could, ultimately, save you some money in the long run thanks to Hubbl's Stack & Save feature, which gives you a discount of up to $15 per month if you sign up for five eligible streaming services at once. 

You would be giving up the Foxtel iQ5's PVR (Personal Video Recorder) feature which is popular amongst that crowd but most things are available to stream on-demand these days anyway. 

Hubbl Glass might not be the crystal clear path to the streaming world that Foxtel hoped for but it's a step in the right direction. With a little more polish and some fresher hardware, Hubbl could be a real contender in the neverending battle for Aussie eyeballs. 

Picture of the green Sky Glass TV
Hubbl Glass TV
4K QLED display with in-built Dolby Atmos soundbar. Hubbl Glass is available in Anthracite Black, Ceramic White, Ocean Blue, Racing Green or Dusky Pink.
pro 4K streaming
pro Save up to $15 per month with Stack & Save
From
$1395
Order now from Hubbl+ free express delivery
Hubbl streaming box
Hungry for more information on Hubbl?

We've answered all your questions about the new Hubbl streaming box and Hubbl Glass Smart TV in one place. 

Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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