Can I Get Free to Air Channels on Foxtel?
Is it possible to get all your usual Free-To-Air channels when you have Foxtel so you can enjoy all your favourite channels in one place?
The good news is yes, you can! But you’ll need the right equipment and setup (including your aerial/antenna). Plus, the method you use to do it will depend on the type of Foxtel box and system you’ve got.
In this blog, we’ll talk about the different Free-To-Air channels you should already be able to access through Foxtel, plus some steps you can follow to get more Free-To-Air options alongside your Pay TV channels.
Why You Might Want Free-To-Air + Foxtel
Foxtel or pay TV is great, but most viewers will agree that it doesn’t replace good old Free-To-Air TV. Here’s why you might want to keep both:
- More options – Believe it or not, there will be times you get sick of your Foxtel channels and want to check out what’s on Freeview
- Local content – Foxtel includes plenty of shows from around the world, but Free-To-Air TV has more local news and reality TV
- Convenience – When you can connect to both Foxtel and Freeview in one menu, you get all your favourite channels in one place with fewer cords, fewer remotes, and less equipment
- Recording features – Foxtel usually comes with some great recording and playback features that are also handy for Free-To-Air TV
What Are The Most Popular Free-To-Air and Foxtel Channels?
You can get some pretty good TV right now – both on Foxtel and Freeview. So, it’s not surprising that many viewers want the option of watching all the channels and easily switching between them.
Popular Free-To-Air Channels
Popular Foxtel Channels
Can I Get Free-To-Air TV Through My Foxtel Dish?
The process to get Free-To-Air TV through Foxtel depends on the type of box and setup you’ve got. Some Foxtel subscribers will already have most of the Free-To-Air channels available via satellite or cable by default.
In their community forum, Foxtel released a matrix showing the Free-To-Air channels available, depending on your Foxtel box, what state you’re in, and whether you have cable or satellite. To be honest, it’s a bit hard to read, so we’ve tried to make it a bit clearer here (note: the data may not be 100% up to date).
|Cable||Satellite (Eastern States, excl. Newcastle)|
|9HD||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes via MyStar2|
|SBS Food Network||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SBS HD||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes via MyStar2|
|ABC 2 Kids||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ABC News 24||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
How To Get Free-To-Air Channels With Foxtel
If you want to get any of the channels listed above that aren’t available by default, you’ll need to follow the steps specific to your Foxtel box below.
Foxtel iQ3 & iQ4
Satellite customers with the latest iQ3 or iQ4 boxes can easily get both Foxtel channels and most Free-To-Air programs in one place simply by plugging their digital antenna connection into their box. Here are the steps you can take:
- Plug your aerial/antenna connection from your wall plate to the TV antenna input on your Foxtel box.
- Use your Foxtel remote to open settings > Terrestrial Channels
- Select “Full Scan” and follow the prompts it gives you
- Check the channels – if the picture quality isn’t great, Foxtel recommends you contact your local TV aerial/antenna technicians to check your setup
Foxtel iQ & iQ2
Getting Free-To-Air channels can be a bit trickier with the iQ & iQ2 because you can’t connect your aerial/antenna to your box. These boxes don’t have the right tuners or connections for digital TV. While some FTA channels are broadcast to your box via satellite, many aren’t included (particularly HD channels).
To get these channels, you’ll need to connect your aerial/antenna at the back of your TV, just like you would do without a Foxtel connection. Unfortunately, this means the only way you can get all your usual Free-To-Air channels is if you use your TV remote to switch between Foxtel and digital TV. Here’s how you can do this:
- On your TV remote, press “Source”
- Keep pressing “Source” or use the arrows to navigate to the input you need (DTV is usually digital TV, while your Foxtel box is probably connected to HDMI 1)
- If you switch to Foxtel, you’ll then need to use your Foxtel remote to access your options and change channels
If all this switching around starts to get annoying, the best thing you can do is upgrade to the newer iQ3 or iQ4 box.
The MyStar box is mainly used in regional areas, and generally transmits (via satellite) some Free-To-Air channels. The box also has an aerial/antenna input, allowing you to plug in your antenna and get any additional local FTA channels you have reception for. This is good news for anyone in regional areas with poor reception because you might be able to get a better-quality picture for some FTA channels via satellite than your aerial/antenna.
Help! My Free-To-Air Channels On Foxtel Aren’t Working!
If you’ve been able to get Free-To-Air TV previously but it’s not working now, a few things could be happening:
- Frequency change – Sometimes the settings get switched around and the devices need to re-scan for the channels
- Licensing change – It’s possible that the TV channel you used to watch is no longer available through Foxtel (and since Foxtel doesn’t technically include Free-To-Air channels, they’re not required to provide them)
- Tech issues – Sometimes the tech plays up, whether it’s your Foxtel equipment, TV, cabling, satellite, or aerial/antenna
Any time you run into a problem with your Foxtel connection, the first thing you should try is turning everything off and on, then rescanning your channels. If that doesn’t work, try calling Foxtel for further instruction. Or just call an antenna technician who understands both Foxtel installations and aerials/antennas to diagnose and fix the problem for you. (That’d be us!)
What About Freeview and Streaming?
If you want to watch Free-To-Air TV and your setup doesn’t allow you to combine these channels with Foxtel on your TV, streaming might be a solution to consider. Just head to the Freeview website and stream the channels or catch up on any shows you’ve missed. This can be handy as a back-up option, and it’s free (which is a bonus) but there are some good reasons not to rely on it completely.
For more thoughts on streaming vs watching TV, check out our previous blog, 11 reasons to keep your digital antenna and reconsider paying for video streaming services.
Do You Need Help From a Digital Antenna Professional?
- It can get complicated – When you’re dealing with multiple tech equipment and cables, it’s easy to mix things up if you don’t know what you’re doing
- You need equipment – A professional will come with all the equipment needed to diagnose and fix any problems
- Safety – Electricals, rooftops, aerials/antennas, wall cavities… all things you should leave to a pro
- Save money – Because you’ll never have to worry about buying the wrong thing or paying extra to fix up your mistakes later on
- Experience – Sometimes (okay, often) even Foxtel won’t know what’s going on, but an experienced tech will probably know what to do
- Professional job and result – A professional will get it done properly the first time, leaving everything neat, tidy, and ready for you to sit back and enjoy your favourite shows
What’s The Process For Booking An Aerial/Antenna Service?
If you’re ready to get help, here’s what you need to do:
- Find a trusted local digital antenna professional to help you (we’ve got antenna pros located throughout Australia’s major cities)
- Let them know what your home setup is like, any specific issues you’ve been having, and what result you’re looking for
- They’ll come to your home and give you their recommendations and quote
- Then they’ll get to work, install everything you need, then clean up after themselves
- Then you get to sit back, relax, and enjoy your brand-new setup!
Book Your Foxtel or Aerial/Antenna Service
If you need help setting up your Foxtel service, getting Free-To-Air channels to work on your TV, or both, we can help. Call 1300 800 123 for a free quote or to book one of our Foxtel-savvy aerial/antenna professionals to come to your home.