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EXCLUSIVE: Foxtel To Launch New iQ5 Box & Major iQ4 Software Update

Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany will next week roll out a brand-new Foxtel dual band Wi Fi 6, iQ5 Smart Media Device in what will be a staggered launch for the streaming network due to component supply problems.

The new iQ5 is a cutting-edge cloud based streaming box that ChannelNews exclusively revealed earlier this year.

Users currently on the Foxtel cable network will be able to upgrade to the new Wi Fi 6 enabled voice activated streaming box that is capable of high-speed IP delivery of content.

Wi Fi 6 is the latest Wi Fi streaming technology with routers currently on sale at JB Hi Fi, the technology allows more devices that ever before to be attached to a network with minimum disruption to the network and the streaming of content.

Manufactured by CommScope, the owners of Arris, one of the most popular networking Companies in the USA alongside Netgear and D-Link, the new box allows Foxtel customers to run not only their content streaming but manage home automation devices from one box.

Foxtel is also set to release new software that turns an iQ4 box into an Internet only Wi Fi broadband box eliminating the need for a cable service.

According to Foxtel sources the roll out of the new box will not be rushed as there is limited supply due to the global shortage of components, this is a problem that is plaguing TV manufacturers and brands such as Samsung, LG and the likes of Apple who is set to release their new iPhone 3 on the 15th of September.

The new Foxtel iQ5 Smart Media Device is a compact UHD IP device with far-field microphones, speakers and DSP (Digital Signal Processing) that enables the integration of voice assistants into the TV experience.

At this stage and due to supply problems, the box will not be sold in retail stores.

The iQ5 allows voice-controlled services in the home to be displayed on a TV enabling the voice control of multiple video services.

Inside the box is a high performance Vulkan graphics card and video decoding that is capable of delivering 4K UltraHD/High Dynamic content and OTT video services.

Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 provides reliable video streaming over wireless even when there are multiple devices running in a home.

Technical specifications.
Video
• 4Kp60 10-bit UltraHD video decode and resolution
• HDR10, HDR10+ (option), HLG, and Dolby Vision (option) formats supported
• AV1, HEVC, MPEG-4 AVC, VP9, and VC-1 video codecs
• Wi-Fi 6, 802.11ax, 2×2, Dual Band Selectable
.• DRM pre-integration with Microsoft® PlayReady®, Widevine®, and CommScope SECUREMEDIA® DRM
• Compliant with OTT services: Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and others
• Bluetooth® 5 Low Energy and IR (optional) remote control interfaces

Smart Assistant support
• 2 microphones, 2 x 7W speakers, passive resonator, smart amplifier and DSP for voice-visual assistants.
• Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and other 3rd Party assistants.

Delany recently admitted what SmartHouse exclusively revealed back in 2015 that the “The IQ3 [set-top box] was problematic, if not a failure, and it was the same with [former streaming service] Presto, and that was because everyone was focused on fixing and driving Foxtel.”

These days Delany is focused shifting Foxtel cable customers to a new generation service that allows the network to cut costs while providing customers with a new level of capability in the home.

He admits that there is a Foxtel of old and that his job now, is to transform the business to be a cutting-edge streaming Company, that leads with sports and movie content that is delivered over an IP network instead of old legacy networks that the business was forced to use in the early days of Foxtel.

it does not want to be depicted as a traditional pay TV business anymore.

Right round the world consumers are moving to content streamed over an IP or broadband network.

For example, Foxtel customers with an iQ5 account will be able to watch the same Foxtel content on a tablet, mobile, PC or a Foxtel Now box that they can take away to a weekender or holiday home.

The Companies Kayo Sports and Binge, have both proven popular with consumers amassing 1.05 million and 733,000 subscribers respectively, these services are delivered over an IP or Wi Fi network similar to what upgraded iQ4 and iQ5 box customers will be able to experience in 4K or Ultra High Definition.

Currently the business has 200,000 plus cable TV subscribers who will be able to move to the new set-top box.

For Foxtel the move means the elimination of physical infrastructure and customers will not have to wait for a contractor to install the iQ5. It will be shipped directed with consumers able to activate the device similar to a mobile phone or logging into a Samsung or LG account on a TV.

“It allows us to really dramatically reduce cost,” Delany explains. “Rather than giving everyone a disk drive, you can put everything in the cloud. Instead of having to call centres, you can do everything digitally.” Delany said.

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