TV Set-Top Boxes Australia Timeline

NameLaunch DateComments
1. Foxtel1995Foxtel Set Tops In 2004, Foxtel (Live stream+Free to air) switched from analog to digital technology, then in 2005 launched iQ set-top boxes, with iQ2 enabled for Internet streaming in 2010.
On 7th September 2021 the iQ5 was launched, accessible via satellite cable and NBN modem.

Internet Streaming In 2013 Foxtel Now, launched as Foxtel Play, provided an IPTV video streaming service.

In December 2021,

  • Subscribers to Foxtel Set Tops via cable and satellite were 1.78 million.
  • Subscribers to Foxtel's Internet Streamed products were Foxtel Now (219,000), Kayo Sports (1.03 million), and Binge (1.04 million).
2. Optus1995In 2004 Optus switched to digital using Foxtel iQ set-tops, see above. However, with the NBN, Optus support ceased.
In its place since 2012 Optus became a major onseller for Fetch live stream TV.

Fetch TV Set Tops originally launched in 2010 using iiNet as its ISP. Based in Sydney, owner Astro Malaysia, it provides customers with a Fetch Mighty (m616T) set-top box with Fetch Mini also available, rivals to Telstra/Foxtel TV.
And in 2022 it is also available through RSPs Dodo, iPrimus, Aussie Broadband and Internode, though not currently through TPG.

In 2019 Fetch TV's customer base was estimated at about 760,000.
Streaming services include US YouTube and Australia Catch-up TV

Internet Streaming Since 2015 subscriber-paid on demand services in Australia have included
  • The Australian company Stan (2.4 million subscribers in 2021)
  • and the US companies
    1. Netflix (6 million)
    2. and Hayu reality television (no stats)
    3. and Amazon Prime (2.9 million)
    4. and since November 2019 Disney+ (2.6 million)

As well as Foxtel and Fetch TV, these also run on

  1. Set-tops Telstra TV (launched 2015), or Foxtel Now (launched 2017), direct rivals to Fetch TV above. Telstra TV was based on Roku, the original Netflix streaming device first built in 2007.
  2. Smart TVs: including LG & Samsung TVs, plus the following three major devices below Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast / Android TVs
  3. Computers: Windows, Mac & Google Chrome
  4. Mobiles and Tablets: Google Android, Apple iPhone & iPad
  5. Game Consoles: Sony Playstation (PS4 & PS5), and Microsoft Xbox (One & Series X & S)
3. Apple TV2007Set-Top Box developed by Apple.
In 2016 Apple TV app released for iPhones, iPads and in 2019 the Mac.
In 2019 Apple TV+ launched, a video service running on devices similar to Disney + above.
4. Fire TV2014Set-Top Box developed by Amazon.
5. Google Chromecast 2020Set-Top Box using a modified Android TV operating system. Android TV is successor to an earlier Google TV platform in use 2010-2014. Both operating systems are deeply integrated with Google TV video service.


According to Roy Morgan research surveys, the actual viewer totals are much higher

January 12 2021
New data from Roy Morgan shows Australians consumed subscription TV services at an astonishing rate during 2020 as Australians endured a nation-wide lockdown from late March until late May and Victorians experienced a second, and longer, lockdown soon after.

17.3 million Australians (82.1%) watched a subscription TV service in an average four weeks, up 2.4 million (+16.2%) from a year ago. During the last 12 months Australians have spent a lot of time indoors as smoke from summer bushfires a year ago soon gave way to COVID-19 restrictions that kept people largely at home for weeks and months on end.

All the major subscription TV services have been big winners during 2020 with large increases in viewers for Netflix, Foxtel, Stan, Disney+ and Amazon Prime in the three months to September 2020 compared to the same three month period a year ago.

Netflix is by far Australia’s most watched subscription television service, with 14,168,000 viewers in an average four weeks, an increase of 2,265,000 viewers from a year ago (+19.0%). Over two-thirds of all Australians aged 14+ (67.2%) now watch Netflix in an average four weeks.

Foxtel experienced even faster growth across its services this year and now has a total of 7,748,000 viewers of either Foxtel, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports or Binge in an average four weeks, up 2,363,000 viewers from a year ago (+43.9%).

Also growing viewership strongly during 2020 have been third-placed Stan which grew 1,562,000 (+46.4%) to 4,928,000 viewers, Amazon Prime which was up 2.158,000 (+190.2%) to 3,293,000 viewers and newcomer Disney+ which now has 2,870,000 viewers after being launched in late 2019.

This new data comes from Roy Morgan Single Source, Australia’s most comprehensive consumer survey, derived from in-depth interviews with around 50,000 Australians each year.


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