It's been one of the worst-kept secrets in IPTV that Optus and Fetch TV have been in talks to deliver its IPTV service to customers. The Fetch STB will be available to Optus customers later this week, but what will you get?
Labelled as Optus MeTV, it's available to all Optus fixed and mobile customers; pricing starts at $9.95/month, which can be credited back if you sign up to Optus' $109 Fusion home bundle. The starting-at-$9.95 pack includes the FetchTV box and a 30 movies per month subscription via access to Fetch's Movie Box service. The kicker there is that it's a 24 month subscription; the minimum cost of the service would be $289.30, including $15.50 delivery fee and $35 setup charge. While the Fusion pack does credit you the difference, over 24 months you'd be spending quite a bit more again; the terms and conditions notes that the minimum cost there is a hefty $2686.45.
Those a little further away from the exchange may not be eligible, as you'll need a minimum 3Mbps downstream connection to get the service. There's also a minor sting in the tail in the terms and conditions; while the data usage for Optus is technically "free", it's noted that it's charged back to your account, and if you're on the cusp of going over your usage allotment you may end up shaped anyway. The credit back happens every fifteen minutes according to Optus, which means you'd have to be a little unlucky to get shaped -- but it is possible. Customers with an Optus mobile but another broadband provider can get the service, but won't get any data relief in that case.
Optus is also offering additional subscription packs; $6.95 per month will buy you one pack from the Kids, Music TV or Factual choices, with foreign language channels on the horizon. They're available on a month by month basis, but you'll have to still have the basic Fetch service to bolt them on to. Kids includes BBC and ABC for kids content, Factual houses content including offerings from BBC and National Geographic, and Music (from a brief glimpse) includes Moshcam. Optus' expectations are that series made available in the pack will have a choice of around 20-odd episodes, but only four or so at a time would be available to actually watch.
On the smartphone front, there's an Optus MeTV with Fetch app; this isn't a remote watching facility, but an on-the-go guide and remote recording facility for the Fetch TV box, as well as a remote for it when you're near the box itself.
The app won't be available until late November, but the Optus MeTV service launches later this week. [Optus]