Hubbl review
Image: supplied.

Hubbl review: streaming made different, but also very similar


The premise behind the new Hubbl box is that it’s ‘streaming made easy’. With Hubbl, you don’t have to jump from app to app to determine what to watch, but all your apps and free-to-air channels are there on the home screen, ready to go.

This is a familiar concept to anyone who already owns an Apple TV or a recent big-brand smart TV. The key difference here is that you can have watchlists that go between apps and sign up for subscriptions through the Hubbl platform. This then nets you discounts if you subscribe to enough services.

In theory, that all sounds amazing and very helpful. In practice, it still needs a little refining.

Hubbl review

Hubbl first impressions

My first impression was that Hubbl is really easy to physically set up. The Hubbl box “puck” is cute, thin, and fits in well with any home theatre setup. The remote is large, fairly simple to use, and has a decent number of buttons.

Though, I do wish it had programmable buttons for the streaming service of your choice. I understand that most TV brands reserve streaming service buttons for the highest bidder, so this is not just a Hubbl problem. Regardless, it would be more user-friendly to allow users to program at least one button for their most used service.

Hubbl box
Image: Alice Clarke.

One annoyance during setup was that I couldn’t use a QR code or link to log in to each available service. I swear I’ve done that for Netflix before on other TVs, but couldn’t do it on Hubbl. It’s not the biggest inconvenience in the world, but it is a friction point. One that made setting up all the services for the various free-to-air on-demand apps, and the too many services I subscribe to, take a bit too long. I still haven’t finished logging into all of them, just because it was such a pain at the time. Then again, you set them up once, and then it’s not really a problem anymore, so this isn’t exactly a full-blown criticism against it.

I will also note that I mostly reviewed the Hubbl device before it was fully live, so some problems that I experienced might be fixed by the time you get your hands on it.

Hubbl specifications

Resolution (Pixels)Up to 3840 x 2160
Refresh Rate60Hz
HDR ModeDolby Vision, HDR 10, HLG
Audio FormatDolby Atmos MS12 AC4, Dolby Digital
TV Tuner(s)1 port –DVB-T/T2 (Belling-Lee connector) Frequency range 174-870MHz
Captions SupportYes
Web BrowserNot Supported
Voice ControlRemote Control
Parental ControlsSupported
EPG (program guide)Yes
CPUQuad-core ARM A55
Memory4GB (DDR4)
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth5.1 LE and Classic
Ethernet / LAN ports1 port – 10/100Mbps
Price (RRP)$99 via official website

As you can see, it has everything you need to stream TV and watch free-to-air channels, and nothing you don’t. While it does have an aerial point, if you want to place it somewhere in the house that doesn’t have an aerial point, Hubbl can use the streaming versions of the free-to-air channels and still present them on the TV guide, which will be a big selling point for some.


Overall, I was quite pleased with the performance of Hubbl, though some things will hopefully get fine-tuned over time.


The design of the puck, as said above, is inoffensively nice. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but it’s also not really going to upset anyone. It’s the physical embodiment of “OK”.

The design of the remote is going to raise a few eyebrows, however. You will love it or hate it. It’s large, it fits nicely in the palm, and there are plenty of buttons. But it also kinda looks like the universal TV remote you buy from the $2 shop when you lose yours, albeit with slightly more rounded corners.

Hubbl remote
Image: Alice Clarke.

Unlike most other remotes on the market, it still uses ye olde AAA batteries, instead of being rechargeable. I also think there could be a few more buttons to make it easier to move to live TV and to other streaming services on the platform other than just Netflix, Kayo and Binge.

It’s the kind of remote you would draw from memory if someone asked you to draw a TV remote. It does the job, but it could do the job better.

Services on offer

The main reason to buy a device like Hubbl is to access smart features your TV doesn’t offer. For example, for a long time, Paramount Plus was not available via the Samsung or LG app stores, so you could only really watch it on an Apple TV.

At launch, Hubbl has 16 services available:

  • Netflix
  • Disney Plus
  • Prime Video
  • Apple TV Plus
  • Binge
  • Kayo
  • Flash
  • LifeStyle
  • Stan
  • YouTube
  • ABC iView
  • ABC Kids
  • SBS On Demand
  • 7Plus
  • 9Now
  • 10 Play

This is not great news for subscribers of Brit Box, Hayu, Shudder, Tello,, or other niche streaming services. It’s medium news for Paramount Plus and Optus Sport subscribers because those services are “coming soon”.

There are enough services there that it’ll satisfy most users, but if your tastes are more niche you might want to consider an Apple TV, Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick.

The point of difference compared to those other streaming boxes is that Hubbl will give you discounts for subscribing to selected services through the platform, similar to the Optus Sub Hub program. You save $5 for three subscriptions, $10 for four and $15 for five. The only catch is that you can’t sign up for annual subscriptions, like Disney Plus, which would save more money than the monthly subscription. It’s a good deal otherwise, though.

User interface

The whole point of Hubbl is the user interface. “Streaming made easy” is the point. The only problem is that the user interface is not great. You can’t hide streaming services that you’re not signed up with. Presumably, to encourage you to sign up for them through Hubbl. So, if you’re not signed up for many services, you just end up with a lot of irrelevant stuff to scroll through.

You can’t edit or reprioritise the way the home screen is presented, either. So, every time I turn on my TV and want to watch ABC News Breakfast in the morning, I have to scroll down to the live TV carousel, select the channel, and then watch.

Hubbl continue watching screen
Image: supplied.

Often, the box will have disconnected from Wi-Fi overnight, so I’ll first have to coax it into remembering that it really does have Wi-Fi, and it’s directly next to the node, which adds extra button presses. It’s turned what used to be a one-step process (turn on TV, it wakes up to the last used input) into a multi-button press process that almost seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

Another issue is that Hubbl doesn’t seem great at remembering what I was watching last. Plus, it doesn’t properly sync recently watched content if you watch an episode on your phone or another device.

No spoilers

Oddly, the worst offender is Binge. We’ve been watching a show called The Way Home, but if we end the night on the credits of episode five, Hubbl thinks we want to watch the last 20 seconds of the credits the next day, and then not continue to the next episode. It won’t even put the next episode in the “continue watching” section if we watch the credits the whole way through.

It also doesn’t realise that we watched the first four episodes before Hubbl, and we had to just remember where we were up to. Or when we were watching Vigil, we watched the first episode, came back the next day and it dropped us halfway into episode three for no apparent reason. Right in the middle of a major spoiler, too.

Hubbl is slightly better with Netflix, pulling over the last two to three most recently watched shows into the Continue Watching tab. Disney Plus sometimes shows up there, and sometimes it doesn’t (it refuses to acknowledge that I’m rewatching Station 19, but it might be trying to save me from myself). The same goes for Amazon Prime. Nothing from Stan seems to show up in that carousel.

That’s all teething stuff that you can imagine being fixed soon. But I have to review it how it is now, rather than how it could be.

I love the way it brings all the streaming and live-to-air channels together into one section – this is the first time I realised Binge came with some included Foxtel channels. But if the first thing I see every time I log in is a tile telling me that there’s a live sports game on Kayo, when I wasn’t subscribed to Kayo, that’s just adding extra background noise to my choices rather than making them easier. I am not as interested in cricket as Hubbl would like me to be.

If the Hubbl home screen was more customisable, this would be a killer streaming device. That way, you could prioritise the content you want to see, and turn off recommendations you’re not interested in.

Who is Hubbl for?

Hubbl is for people who currently subscribe to a lot of streaming services, would like one menu to organise them into and benefit from the offered discounts. I think the target market is older people, but given the current problems with the UI, it would perhaps be better suited to more tech-savvy older people.

With some polish and customisation options, I think it could be a great device for anyone who likes to blend streaming services and live TV. It’s certainly something I would appreciate. It’s just not quite where it needs to be to fulfil its promise yet.

With some polish and customisation options, Hubbl could be a great device for anyone who likes to blend streaming services and live TV.
Value for money
Ease of use
A good range of available services
Blends live TV and streaming
UI needs work
Lacks customisation options
Isn't good at keeping track of what you're watching