Hubbl Box and Hubbl Glass launch soon: all the big details

Foxtel Hubbl and Glass launch

Foxtel’s big streaming gambit is coming soon, with the new Hubbl Box and Hubbl Glass TV launching in Australia on 10 March.

Unveiled at a star-studded party in Sydney, Hubbl’s main selling point is that it gathers together all of the main streaming apps and free-to-air TV channels in one place, making it easier to choose between what is available on the various services.

Users will get recommendations across platforms, and can jump into a show from the menu without having to go into that streaming platform’s specific app. It can be controlled with a single remote, which also has voice functionality, so you can ask for “Rose Byrne movies” and have it search across all your available streaming services and YouTube.

Hubbl heats up Australian streaming competition

These features will sound familiar to people with Apple TV 4K devices, recent models of LG and Samsung smart TVs, some models of Google TVs, Amazon Fire TV Sticks, Google Chromecasts, and Fetch TV box users, which has led some to question the purpose of the Hubbl Box.

But it does have some features the others don’t. Not only does it have everything on the one menu screen, but it can also make recommendations and show you a program guide for live channels included in your Binge and Amazon Prime subscriptions, in addition to the regular free-to-air channels on the same screen.

Hubbl user interface live guide
The Hubbl operating system will provide live guide information for different platforms. Image: supplied.

Users can also subscribe to up to five eligible services through Hubbl to get a bundle discount of up to $15 a month, and there is a Hubbl watch list where users can save shows and movies across platforms, greatly simplifying the process. The first and last of those added features are handy for users, and from a business standpoint, that middle feature of subscribing to multiple services through the box is likely why it exists in the first place.

At $99, the Hubbl box is an attractive option for people who don’t yet have smart TVs, or whose smart TVs aren’t offering all the services they were hoping to access. Prior to the launch, Foxtel confirmed that 18 apps are coming to Hubbl, although not all will be available on day one.

But wait, there’s more

Hubbl isn’t just about the streaming box, though that is likely to be the best seller, but also Hubbl Glass. This is a TV that claims to have a “built-in soundbar”, which in practice just means that the TV is a bit thicker than usual and there’s a larger speaker grille for a “chin”, so perhaps not a full soundbar experience.

At $1,595 for a 55-inch TV or $1,995 for 65 inches, it’ll appeal to budget-conscious consumers who prefer the layout of Hubbl’s user interface compared to the software from TCL or Hisense. Likely, the target audience is people who already have, or who used to have Foxtel and want to stick with a brand they recognise. Interestingly, every presenter at the launch event was careful not to mention the name “Foxtel”.

Hubbl Glass TV blue
Available in various colours, the Hubbl Glass integrates the new platform in a ready-to-go TV. Image: supplied.

The Hubbl products have seen some success overseas, where the Hubbl Glass is sold as Sky Glass in the UK, though over there it is available on a subscription as well as an outright purchase. It’s more expensive in the UK with the 65-inch model selling for £1,199, which translates to roughly $2,399. In the UK it comes with an optional camera and is available in a 43-inch size as well as a larger variety of colours.

Hubbl Glass TV specifications

Looking at the specs, it’s a pretty decent TV for the price, but there are better panels available for lower prices. For example, the 65-inch is a direct array LED TV with a layer of quantum dots, which isn’t bad. But for the same price, you can get a TCL with Mini LED technology, which is better.

Screen type4K Ultra HD Quantum Dot with Dual Brightness enhancement film  
ColourOver 1 billion colours  
Dimmable zones55-inch: 78
65-inch: 112  
Refresh rate60Hz  
HDR modeDolby Vision, HDR 10, HLG  
UpscalingUp to 4K Ultra HD
Speakers3 x outwards-firing, 1 x central subwoofer, 2 upwards firing.
Dolby 3.1.2 output
HDMI outputs3 ports 2.1 (HDCP 2.2) eARC (on 1 port) & CEC

Harvey Norman was announced as the exclusive stockist of the Hubbl Glass, while JB Hi-Fi will join the retailer in selling the Box. Once released, you’ll also be able to purchase Hubbl kit directly from the brand’s website.

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