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Monday, 19 May 2008 10:31

Australian Foxtel HD pricing leaked

While it’s not official, the long awaited high definition content pricing for Australian pay television operator, Foxtel, has been leaked – and should launch soon. Australia is far behind the US when it comes to the provision of pay TV high definition television content, although some HD programming has been available on free-to-air TV for some time.

Gizmodo Australia, the local version of the gadgetry site that claims such an amazing a love of shiny toys that it’s unnatural (a bit like me, haha), has published a leak of claimed pricing for Foxtel’s upcoming HD pay TV service.

Gizmodo says a reader called David managed to get through to a now unavailable page on Foxtel’s website with all the juicy HD pricing details, with the page link diverting, in the address bar, to one that is “suspended”.

In addition, unless David is a dab hand at graphic design, there's a PDF document linked to at Gizmodo's site with all the Foxtel channels in SD and HD with associated pricing which looks extremely authentic, even claiming to be correct as of today’s date, May 19 2008.

There are two Foxtel HD channels, which cost AUD $9.95 each or $14.95 for the two, but as with any of these pay TV deals, you need to not only be subscribing to a specific package first to qualify to be able to watch Foxtel HD, you also need the new IQ2 box, which costs AUD $200 to upgrade to, and then $10 per month ongoing.

That said, the Foxtel IQ2 box is far superior to the original IQ box, letting you record “multiple programs” at the same time, coming with almost double the recording space of the original Foxtel IQ, and the ability to watch "Foxtel Box Office HD movies on demand - just press play and the movie starts" - although those movies will cost AUD $4.95 each, if the PDF is to be believed.

Whichever way you look at it, getting HD content on Foxtel ain’t cheap: the full platinum HD package with EVERYTHING plus two on-demand movies per month costs… AUD $130.95 per month.

Will Australians flock to it in an era of ever rising prices? Please read onto page 2.

For that much money, you’d better love your TV, and in an era of inflation, ever rising petrol prices, food prices and government welfare cutbacks… high definition pay television could well be one thing you might ask yourself if you really need right now.

After all, once you add up your monthly Internet cost, mobile phone cost, landline phone cost, food, clothing, electricity, gas, water, other entertainment costs, school fees, land taxes and mortgage payments or rent, tolls, insurances, car repairs or public transport costs and more…

You definitely need to love television to pay extra for it! :-)

Still... the high definition revolution is moving ahead at full steam, with millions of big, flat screen televisions in Australia set to display more content in HD than ever before.

While it will still be years before every program we watch will be broadcast/webcast/howevercast/downloaded in HD... the HD revolution is unstoppable and coming, if only eventually, to a screen near you.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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