Speak or wave your hand and Kinect’s motion and voice sensors will play, pause, fast forward and rewind what you’re watching.
It’s definitely a life-improving first: no more looking for a lost remote control, because you are the remote control. Microsoft has combined its Kinect controller with the Xbox Live service, enabling you to control Foxtel on Xbox, as well as ABC iView and SBS On Demand with your hands or voice. Speak or wave your hand and Kinect’s motion and voice sensors will play, pause, fast forward and rewind what you’re watching. This is pretty cool, but there’s more to Foxtel on Xbox than the Kinect addition.
The internet-based service is a way of getting some of the best of Foxtel channels without the installation costs, a dish on the roof or long-term contracts. Being a parochial West Australian living in Sydney means I don’t get to see my beloved West Coast Eagles play every weekend; I could opt for a Foxtel subscription, but I have little interest in all the channels so my solution has been to adopt Foxtel On Demand via Xbox.
You pay for the service by credit card and the base package costs $19.95 – additional services cost from $10 a month.
Reasons to get Foxtel on Xbox:
- No installation costs.
- No dish on the roof.
- No long-term contract. You can cancel your subscription anytime.
- If you're a BigPond Broadband user, the on-demand services are unmetered (they don’t add to your monthly ISP bill).
- Add Kinect and you don’t need a remote control.
- The 36 channels include the most popular ones and, if you’re a sports lover, particularly AFL, you get to see your team play every weekend.
- It’s cheaper than Foxtel cable.
Reasons not to get Foxtel on Xbox:
- Its 36 channels are a fraction of what’s available on Foxtel cable and some individual programs are not available due to licensing issues and some AFL matches are not broadcast.
- Not all areas are covered. Check that it's available in your area by entering your postcode at tinyurl.com/44mqmhf.
- If you use another carrier, for example Optus, you can still use the service but you’ll use about 800MB of download quota an hour.
- You need an Xbox 360 – earlier Xboxes won’t work.
- You can’t record programs.
- You can’t access the Xbox 360 remotely as you can with a Foxtel IQ box.