FOXTEL ‘Next Gen’ Interface with NETFLIX rolls out to customers as VOICE SEARCH looms

Foxtel is moving forward with the 'Next Generation' upgrade as a large number of customers receiving the new features this week.

The new update features a completely redesigned interface for IQ3 and IQ4 boxes and is designed to put an increased focus on Foxtel's expanding library of On-Demand content.

The upgrade also integrates Netflix streaming content into the Foxtel Interface, with SBS On Demand programming to be added in coming months. Customers will also be able to access Netflix content via a dedicated button on the freshly designed remote.

In a recent interview with the TV Blackbox podcast, Foxtel CEO, Patrick Delany explained why the company had moved to embrace Netflix content;

"Netflix is Australia's favourite streaming service by a long, long way. They're investing a lot in content. Why not make it easy for our customers? and that's where the partnership talks started."

“The next wave is SBS. The reason we did that is those guys are innovative. They do a lot with very little, and they're clever. Handmaid's Tale, and some of those shows, are the type of shows that our customers also like.”

The new Foxtel remote featuring Netflix and Voice Search button.

In addition to the Netflix button, the new remote control also includes a rather prominent microphone button leading to speculation Foxtel could soon integrate voice search.

While Foxtel has been keen not to confirm details, Delany hinted too TV Blackbox about the potential integration with other smart-home devices;

"There is a microphone there; the world is being led by voice." "It goes to the whole voice control thing and how algorithms and Google works and everything else, all of our partners." "Keep an eye on that microphone button for the future."

160,000 Foxtel customers will receive the update this week, putting the total number of customers with the new software at 230,000.

The upgrade will be progressively rolled out to all iQ4 customers over the next three weeks. The iQ3 roll-out will begin in September with all iQ3 customers expected to have the upgrade by November.

Despite increased competition, and a challenging economic outlook, Delany remains passionate about the ability of Foxtel to deliver premium content to its customers.

"Foxtel is the best of TV, the very best from every provider we can find. And now we are the best in On-Demand, with the best range of full-season catalogues with every episode in one place."

"We now extend that selection by putting Netflix and Foxtel together."

"Foxtel content got a record, 219 primetime EMMY nominations (this year). I think Netflix might've been 100 of them. You get the best television in the world; we bring simplicity; everything's simple through one remote.”

"Foxtel's not necessarily affordable for everyone, but if you can, it’s the best of TV in one place."

The full interview with FOXTEL CEO, Patrick Delany can be listened to in the TV Blackbox podcast.