Foxtel to give away iQ boxes, launch thirty new channels and offer TV downloads

Pay TV re-vamp includes free digital video recorders for new Value Pack subscribers

In a gargantuan effort to maintain its user-base and attract new subscribers, pay television provider Foxtel will give out iQ digital video recorders to new customers, as well as offer thirty new channels and a digital download service that allows subscribers to watch TV on their PCs.

The Foxtel.com.au Web site is spruiking the new deal, which was announced in conjunction with new pricing schemes and iQ plans. To qualify for a free Foxtel iQ set-top box, users must purchase an iQ Value Pack; these range in price from $72 per month for the Family iQ pack to $120 per month for the Platinum Pack. If the bundled packs aren’t appropriate for your viewing needs, you can still tailor a plan starting at $42 per month — although you’ll need to shell out $100 as a flat upgrade fee to the Foxtel iQ set-top box plus an extra $10 per month for the iQ set-top box with the custom plan.

The thirty new channels include programs aimed at women and children, on channels such as Lifestyle YOU and KidsCo, to more movie-only channels covering different genres such as Showtime Comedy and Showtime Drama. Some channels will only be available in standard definition, whereas a selection of new channels will be available in high definition — such as the newly announced Starpics HD movie channel, which showcases a series of movies starring one particular actor or actress. The new Fox Sports HD 2 and 3 channels will also be available in high definition resolution.

The Foxtel Download service was also launched under the ‘Foxtel Next Generation’ moniker, allowing any Foxtel subscriber to download television programs that have previously run on the network. With content from 38 Foxtel channels available on this service — in addition to Foxtel’s Box Office movie-on-demand — Foxtel Download allows its users to watch content away from the television by downloading an Internet-connected video player onto their PC and selecting content from the channels they pay for. Rather than implementing a streaming service Foxtel has made the videos time-sensitive; once you’ve downloaded the shows they can be viewed for up to a week following the initial viewing, while Box Office movies are time-sensitive for viewing up to two days.

The new Foxtel Next Generation upgrades will kick off from 15 November 2009, and the Foxtel Download service will be enabled for existing subscribers from 1 October 2009.

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