With no Game of Thrones gracing our screens this year, Westworld gets a red-hot crack at the mantle of "TV show most ready to whip the cultural zeitgeist into a frenzy" this Monday, April 23. It achieved huge success last year with it's twisty-time-hopping treatise on consciousness and AI and this year, a robotic revolution is ready to take place. We're pumped that it's back and we've rounded up the ways you can watch season 2 - same time as the US or on demand!
There's no getting around it - the official way to catch Westworld comes back to the Big F: Foxtel. You have to have a Foxtel subscription if you want to be up-to-date and watching the same time as the US will be. There are alternate options, but they all appear once episodes have had their first run or the series has ended.
Westworld On Foxtel
Only an idiot would sign up for Foxtel's installation just to watch Westworld, let's be honest. While the company's move to no lock-in contracts makes them slightly more appealing, you're still looking at a minimum payment of around $180, factoring in the $59 a month fee and the fact the program will run over three months. If you have no interest in Foxtel's other Pay TV content, this is obviously a dumb way to go. For mine, Foxtel is for the sports lovers and not much else these days.
Westworld On Foxtel Now
Foxtel Now is Foxtel's on-demand streaming service. Previously, you needed to spend a fair chunk of cash to access the drama pack - which contains HBO shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld. Thankfully, the show is now available in the entry-level Drama pack for $15 a month. Because this season has a ten episode run, you should be able to watch the whole thing for just $45 over three months. Foxtel Now's streaming has rapidly improved over the last year and their streams are now broadcast in high definition.
Because Foxtel Now allows simultaneous streams, you can go halves with a friend and watch the whole thing for just $22.50 - which is cheaper than renting from iTunes or Google Play. Also, if you're willing to wait until just before the final two episodes air, you can likely stack up the on-demand episodes 1-8 and then just watch the penultimate episode and the finale in the two-week free trial period. That's a good way to do things if you're not too fussed about everything being spoiled.
Foxtel has announced a revamped high-definition video streaming service dubbed Foxtel Now - and it's priced competitively with Stan and Netflix. With subscriptions starting at just $10 per month, it's a far cry from the company's prohibitively expensive Pay TV offerings. (In fact, it's actually cheaper than Netflix's HD tiers which start at $11.99.)
But what do you actually get for your ten dollarydoos? Does Foxtel Now include Game Of Thrones? Do you still need to add a bunch of additional packs to make it worthwhile? We take a look at the prices, inclusions and your frequently asked questions.
Westworld On HBO Now
HBO Now is the American channel's on-demand streaming service that is not currently available in Australia. However, it's technically possible to scam your way in using an Apple TV media player, a VPN service and a fake US iTunes account.
The service comes with a 30-day free trial and then costs $14.99 per month. Obviously this will work out to be slightly cheaper than the Foxtel Now subscription, factoring in exchange rates - because of that free month. Just be mindful that the legalities of geo-blocking circumvention are a bit murky.
Westworld On iTunes / Google Play
Foxtel's exclusive rights to Westworld only last for the duration of the season's run. After that, it becomes available to rent or purchase digitally from Google Play and iTunes. If pricing is the same as last year, you can expect to pay $27.99 for the full season in standard definition, or $32.99 in high definition.
The downside to this method is that you'll need to wait until the final episode airs. On the plus side, you can then binge-watch the whole thing in one go and you'll have (more-or-less) permanent copies.
Westworld On DVD / Blu-ray
They say physical media is dead - but Lifehacker editor Chris Jager begs to differ. Of course, you'll have to play catch up with the rest of us, months down the track... Potentially having everything spoiled for you by an overzealous Twitter user or that one friend at a dinner party who just can't help themselves (Bloody hell, Margaret, let me enjoy the cheese board without your theories about Arnold)
However you decide to watch, enjoy!