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Hubbl review – the platform that makes the best content easier to find

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The Hubbl box is an intelligent platform that does a great job in bringing the best content to the surface, so you spend less time scrolling and more time watching. There are few things missing but the good news is it’s only early days and it will definitely improve over time.

Hubbl is here! This new platform wants to become your one-stop entertainment destination for movie, TV shows, sport and news.

It does this by combining popular streaming services with Foxtel’s own apps along with free to air catch-up apps and, if you have an antenna, broadcast TV channels.

Hubbl is available as a standalone box ($99) or as a TV called Hubbl Glass (55-inch $1,595 and 65-inch $1,995).

This report is focused on the Hubbl Box and the service’s operating system and performance.

We will be reviewing Hubbl Glass in the coming days.

Hubbl can do a lot of things your TV operating system can’t – but it’s not perfect.

It’s also incomplete with some of the most popular streaming apps like Stan and Paramount+ not yet available.

We believe the release of Hubbl was timed for the start of the NRL and AFL seasons and it feels, in some areas, like it’s not quite ready.


Out of the box, the Hubbl is pretty straightforward to set up.

The Hubbl box connects to power and to your TV with a HDMI cable. It also has wi-fi so it can connect wirelessly to your network or via a cable through the Ethernet port.

Much of the set-up can be completed on a web browser so it’s easier to type in usernames and passwords.

Signing up or signing in to apps took up the most time. But the good news is you only need to do this once.

For most of the Foxtel apps – Binge, Kayo Sports, Flash and Lifestyle you can add these to your Hubbl account via a browser – we did ours on our phone’s browser.

And when it comes to your streaming services you can sign in for the apps you already have or sign up as a new customer.

This was done in the same way customers sign in to apps on their smart TVs – by scanning a QR code on the screen and typing in the code.

Then you have to all that again for all the free to air catch-up apps as well.

This onboarding takes some time but when you’re done you’re good to go.


Another step you need to complete is Stack and Save.

We know there are a lot of people who will buy Hubbl who already have Binge, Kayo Sports, Netflix and other services.

The advantage Hubbl offers with Stack and Save is to give customers the option to build up credit by moving their billing to Hubbl.

You can save up to $15 a month if you stack five services.

But guess what? There are only five services that are eligible at this time and, naturally, four of these are Foxtel apps – Binge, Lifestyle, Kayo Sports, Lifestyle and Flash.

The only non-Foxtel app that qualifies for Stack and Save is Netflix. We understand Disney+ is about to be included.

Aggregated billing at this stage does not include Apple TV+, Prime Video and Optus Sport. And it also doesn’t include the services that are still unavailable – Stan and Paramount+.

The closest subscription bundle service is Optus SubHub which does include Prime Video and Paramount+ as well as entertainment apps not available on Hubbl including BritBox and Hayu.

Hubbl says the $15 you get back with Stack and Save means you can use it to pay for one of those apps not included in the bundle like Apple TV+ and Optus Sport.

The other difficulty is transferring your billing from these apps you already own to Hubbl.

You will need to set up your account through Hubbl to ensure you’re not charged twice for the same service.

When you go through these steps for Netflix and Disney+ you are told to wait for an email confirmation with instructions on how to migrate your accounts.

We’ve heard from a few customers who didn’t receive this email and are now waiting to see if they will be billed twice.

And if your Netflix account is supporting people who live outside your household you can migrate your billing but it means ditching those people you’re supporting.


One of the strengths of Hubbl is bringing the best content to the surface without having to dive in and out of the various apps you subscribe to.

It will also show you content from apps you don’t subscribe to so it can let you know what you’re missing.

And it will let you pick a show and press watch now and then tell you that you need to either sign up or sign in.

We liked the shortcut to movies, TV shows, sport and news. And within these shortcuts was a more detailed selection of your choice and the option to drill down even further.

For example, if you click movies and are in the mood for an action movie you can go down that path and see a nice range of selections. There are also several other genres to choose from.

It’s the same thing for TV shows.

The Hubbl interface has really big tiles and thumbnails to find what you want to watch, and it also indicates which app the content comes from.

We also liked the reminders of what’s on right now and what’s on next – you’re not going to miss anything.

What Hubbl shows you is what’s trending on their respective apps so you’re always presented with the latest stuff or what’s people are discussing by the water cooler.

If you follow Hubbl’s recommendations you won’t be left out of the conversation ever again.


If you subscribe to Binge, Lifestyle, Flash and Kayo Sports you’ve basically got everything Foxtel has to offer including movies, TV shows, sport and news and all the regular channels.

Channel numbering is the same as it is on Foxtel so you’ll still find A&E on Channel 131, for example.

We did hear from one reader who purchased the Hubbl box assuming his Foxtel Premium account would allow him to enjoy his package in another room. Wrong.

If you’re a Foxtel customer, you’re not a Hubbl customer. It’s one or the other.

If you’re an existing Foxtel customer and you’re happy with the service and the price we suggest you stay put.

But Hubbl can replace Foxtel if that’s what you want.

But what about recording?

Hubbl does NOT record but you can add programs to your watchlist and then watch that content on demand which is just like clicking on a title in a list of recordings on the iQ4 or the iQ5.

Pressing up and down on the directional key on the remote will allow you to go up and down the channels.

There is no channel up and down key on the Hubbl remote.

And when you arrive on a channel halfway through a program you have the option of watching that show from the start.


Part of the set up process is signing in to the free-to-air catch up apps – ABC iView, SBS OnDemand, 7Plus, 9Now and TenPlay.

From these apps the Hubbl strips out the IP streams of all the live channels and places them within the TV guide.

We have already discussed region issues and sporting blackouts with these IP streams but you’re still getting live TV without having to open the apps.

This is a perfect solution if you don’t have an antenna.

But if you do have an antenna you’re well accommodated as well.

You can tune the digital channels and enjoy regular free to air that’s set to your region and without any digital rights issues that comes with some of the IP streams.

We liked the fact that Hubbl allows the user to choose which version of free-to-air TV you want to incorporate into the TV guide – Terrestrial (antenna) or IP (through the catch-up apps).


While Hubbl offers an attractive entertainment package there are some limitations if you don’t subscribe to a healthy number of services.

There is no dedicated movie or TV store like you can find on other platforms like Fetch or with Apple TV.

Binge and other services like Netflix and Disney+ will only offer access to movies if they have the rights to them and only at a certain release window which could be months after the day and date release of the latest blockbuster.

If you want to catch the latest release movies on digital you can’t get them right away like you can with the Foxtel store, Fetch and on the Apple TV box.

The Apple TV+ app on Hubbl only allows users to watch content available with the service and you can’t buy or rent movies.

Here’s what Hubbl says: “Customers are not currently able to rent or buy content directly via Hubbl; however, we are working on integrating that feature and look forward to sharing more detail soon. Customers can continue to rent and buy content directly via apps that offer that functionality.”

The only place we could find to rent or buy movies was through Prime Video so if you’re not a subscriber you’re stuck.


The Hubbl remote is a decent size so you’re less likely to misplace it.

It has shortcuts to Binge, Kayo Sports and Netflix but the shortcut we wanted but couldn’t find was one to the TV Guide.

To get to the TV guide you either have to scroll down the page five clicks and press the TV guide icon.

Or you can just say “TV guide” when you press and hold the microphone button.

Speaking of the microphone – we found this to be fast and accurate.

You can find content almost instantly just by asking for it.

We asked for movies starring Bruce Willis and up came a host of selections.

And on the sport front we asked when the next South Sydney Rabbitohs game was and it popped up the upcoming match on Thursday March 14 against the Brisbane Broncos.


Performance-wise the Hubbl is mainly responsive but there were times we were left waiting.

We wanted to open the Apple TV+ app from the home page and it took more than 20 seconds to open.

Other apps, when opened from the home page also took several seconds to load.

Scrolling up and down the channels also took up five or six seconds before loading.

This was slower the Foxtel iQ4 and iQ5 box. Not a dealbreaker but just know you’ll be waiting a few seconds to see what you’re after.

In terms of performance and speed, Hubbl is not quite equal to recently released smart TVs which are powered by the latest processors that can handle image and video processing and AI.

But Hubbl does a better job aggregating the content and bringing that to the foreground.


The Hubbl box is an intelligent platform that does a great job in bringing the best content to the surface, so you spend less time scrolling and more time watching. There are few things missing but the good news is it’s only early days and it will definitely improve over time.