Foxtel’s latest set-top box, the iQ5, is a really fundamental switch in approach for the company, with the hardware designed for internet-streaming, as part of a new IP-first strategy. The new IQ5 was announced back on September 7th and is now winning awards for its design.
Foxtel IQ5 has won the Product Design category of the 2021 Good Design Awards, in recognition for outstanding design and innovation.
With the 5th generation set-top box from Foxtel, they appeal to all homes with internet connectivity, removing the criteria to have a satellite installed. With the NBN now basically complete across Australia, our country now has the internet speeds necessary to power great video experiences. For those looking to stream 4K content, Foxtel recommends you have a minimum speed of 25Mbps for Ultra HD content, which shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of users (if not there’s always Starlink).
This change may sound like a subtle one to the casual observer, but by offering an Ethernet port in the back or WiFi in the device (along with satellite connection for existing IQ users), Foxtel can now be enjoyed by more Australian homes and particularly those renters where permanent installations were not possible.
Connecting the iQ5 set-top boxes to the power, internet and tv takes just seconds and unlocks a combination of live and on-demand content all in one place. Gone are the days of delay between purchase and enjoying your favourite movies, TV shows and sport. Once you get the IQ5, the setup is plug and play, allowing customers to be streaming up to 50,000 hours of Foxtel content within minutes, with no cable or satellite installation required.
When it comes to design. the chassis is finished in a stylish matte-black and the curved edges and efficient size, makes the design feel modern and approachable compared to the large rectangular boxes in years gone by. There are an array of ports on the back to provide great functionality and a new modular design means the 1TB hard drive is encased in a chassis with the same dimensions as the IQ5, allowing it to be stacked. Once connected, these two look like they were made to be a single, very capable.
Given many other set-top boxes expect customers to simply hang an external hard drive off a USB port, this is a far more elegant solution and something you wouldn’t mind being on show in your entertainment unit.
Foxtel didn’t forget about the software either, with the IQ5 UI enhanced for 4K quality and a built-in recommendation engine ensures you always have new suggestions based on your viewing history. There’s also a global search which can also be accessed through voice commands in the updated Foxtel remote control.
The sleek new device launched in September for subscribers and will become more widely available later this year.
As the highest honour for industrial design in the country, the Good Design Awards are internationally recognised awards for design and innovation. Foxtel’s iQ5 device is among the winning technology that demonstrates excellence in professional and purposeful design.
“The small footprint, clean ‘minimalist’ design and modularity of components make this a well-conceived and executed product. The plug and play hard drive upgrade is the stand out feature here. It’s an interesting approach to simplifying technology for the mass market. Well done.”
The Good Design Awards Jury
“Receiving an Australian Good Design Award is testament to embedding design excellence at the heart of a product, service, place or experience…The importance of embracing good design principles is now more important than ever as many businesses around the world have had to completely re-think their business strategies to remain competitive. The standard of design excellence represented in this year’s Awards is the best I’ve ever seen in my 25 years of running these Awards”.
Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia