Fetch Mighty Gen 4 set-top box – more features than you can poke a stick at (AV review)

The Fetch Mighty Gen 4 set-top box might just be the Swiss Army knife equivalent of the all-in-one TV content device.

I have never reviewed Fetch but was a Foxtel subscriber in the past, so I am aware of the Set-top-box concept. Please forgive me if I labour the intricacies of Fetch as I want to establish a use case. My secondary goal is to see whether a Smart TV (Android TV, LG webOS 23, Samsung Tizen or Hisense VIDAA U7) and or a streaming Dongle is adequate.

Australian Review – Fetch Mighty Gen 4, 4K capable, set-top box (M681T)

WebsiteHome Page, Product comparison page, User Guide
PriceMighty $449 (seen as low as $399)
Mini 4K $199
Mini 1080p $169  
Made inChina
WarrantyTwo years for outright purchase
CompanyFetch (est. 2008) is now 51% owned by Telstra and 49% by Astro Malaysia Holdings. It uses a hardware set-top-box to present aggregated video-on-demand content from many sources via the Internet.

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.

Technically, the latest Fetch Mighty Gen 4, 4K (M681T) comprises.

  • Connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi 6 AX or Ethernet via HLS Adaptive Bitrate streaming over broadband that supports Dynamic ad insertion.
  • Connects via HDMI 2.0 to your TV (does not require eARC/ARC if your soundbar uses that port) or pass-through via a soundbar. Supports Dolby Vision/Atmos (compatible TV and/or soundbar required). Cable inbox.
  • Has 4GB RAM, 8GB eMMC Flash (to hold the OS) and a 1TB hard disk (not SSD)
  • Optical Out (Toslink) up to Dolby Digital 5.1 for a soundbar.
  • Has an RF antenna port for Free-to-Air TV and all multiplexed sub-channels.
  • Missing – USB port (on older Gen 3 M616T)
  • Has BT 5.0 (codec unspecified, but assume SDC at least) for headphones or speakers. It supports Android devices and iPhones but not iPad for BT audio streaming.
  • Adds a huge range of free digital TV and streaming content (extra ‘App’ subscriptions may be required).
  • Video on demand (VOD).
  • Pay-per-view movies, including Dolby Vision/Atmos content (compatible TV and/or soundbar required). Seven-day lifespan.
  • Has Info view – cast, crew, episodes etc., from Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Some general apps.
  • Mobile app.
  • Has voice control remote – ‘Fetch do this’.
  • Gathers TV telemetry and analytics for programmatic Ad insertion (where applicable), and we presume sold as ratings data.
  • Universal search across the Fetch channels universe.
  • Personal Video recorder (excludes copy-protected content) with 1GB HDD (up to 585 hours SDR) and four TV DVB-T2 tuners supporting the new AV1 codec.
  • Multi-room capability over Ethernet or Wi-Fi (add extra Fetch boxes but only pay for one account).
  • Buy from retailers – Harvey Norman, Domayne, Joyce Mayne, JB Hi-Fi, Good Guys or Bing Lee
  • Buy online from Fetch.
  • Buy from CSPs for a monthly fee, including Aussie Broadband, iiNet, iPrimus25, TPG, Westnet, Internode, Optus or Telstra*.

* From August 2022, Telstra owns 51%, and Astro Malaysia Holdings has 49%. Fetch replaces Telstra TV services. Telstra is also a 25% co-owner of Foxtel with News Corp (65%), and both services compete.

How Fetch makes money

Its revenue stream comes from monetising your data (as every TV maker does) and selling content packages (any prices are per month).

  • Streaming, As an aggregator, it provides multiple packages for a combined monthly price and get Universal search access, or you can independently subscribe.
  • Premium channels per month – Ultimate $20 includes Vibe $6, Knowledge $6, Variety $6 and Kids $6.
  • Special Interest are pay per view from UFC. Optus Sport, bein Sports ($14,99), ESPN, Italian ($15), TBN Inspire and Good, and Horse and Country ($9.99).
  • Movie Store – 10711 movies to rent
  • TV Store 100 series to rent from $2.99 SD to $3.49 HD plus one-off pricing.

Fetch free benefits

  • Movie box 30 pre-selected movies included at any time when you get Fetch from your broadband provider.
  • Free TV Apps ABC iView, SBS on Demand, 7+, 9Now, TENplay, and more with simple search and discovery.
  • 7-Day Free to Air TV and Guide (RF aerial connection). A well-laid-out guide covering nearly 100 digital TV and music channels.
  • PVR – record, play, play, and rewind non-copyright TV content from up to 5 TV channels and up to 5855 hours of SDR TV (less for HDR and higher res).
  • Included channels – additional free channels available to all Fetch viewers in the TV guide.
  • Mobile App for Android and iOS phones and tablets (not iPad) acts as a live view, download and view later, remote control and PVR control.
  • Universal Search – most Fetch content/channels are searchable for content keywords.

First Impression – a black box – Pass

Utility, not style, is what you see. A largish black box 260(W) x 260(L) x 60mm(H) with top front LEDs and rear connections. We make the point that this is old style as devices like Fire TV Cube, Nvidia Shield TV etc, are more visually pleasing. Fetch – take note that it is time for a makeover!

The rear connections are an RF antenna, HDMI 2.0 (M681T only), Ethernet (speed unknown) and a 5.5mm 12V/2A/24W DC power plug.

Power use depends on the function with Dolby Vision movies and PVR using up to 20W (typically 12-15W).

Remote control – Pass

 It comes with the Fetch 5 IR/BT remote, meaning that the black box can be hidden in a cupboard instead of within a few metres line-of-sight of the remote.

First 10-points for backlight – so few remotes can be used in low light. It also seems well made and will last the distance. It also has voice control that requires pressing the microphone button – it works OK.

Its apparent simplicity hides many features – press Menu and navigate with the direction ring and Dog Paw button (Fetch Fido – get it!), and there is a whole world of options.

It can support the basic control of most TV brands.

Setup – Pass

Once connected and powered up, you enter the supplied remote activation code. That is all you need to get started. The remote control may need pairing (ours did not). You can set a single PIN for parental control, purchasing movies, adding content packs etc.

Image Quality 1080p and 4K – Pass

It uses HLS Adaptive Bitrate streaming (a focus on efficiency) and a 4GB RAM buffer to help continuous play. We could not distinguish between its image quality and NVIDIA Shield TV 4K, Google Chromecast 4K or Amazon Fire TV Cube 4K.

We tested with a 100/20 NBN FTTN Internet; it should also perform well on 50/20Mbps. The lower 25/2Mbps may encounter some buffering.

Upscale – Not sure

We tried it with various content, including 480, 526, 720p, 1080p to 4K@60fps and Dolby Vision and Atmos. We don’t think the box upscales (unlike the NVIDIA Shield TV), leaving that to the TV’s smarts. That is not bad (sometimes, double upscaling is terrible), but when tested with the latest LG C3 and G3 OLED Evo, we felt the image was a little soft for <720p.

Fetch User Interface – Pass

Dated but functional. We are using 3.31.1 version software. The Home screen has about 30% for wallpaper and advertising, 30% for on-now and a Search Bar – My Stuff, Guide, Shows, Movies, Apps, Sport, Add more and settings. You can see these here. We found it reasonably responsive, but it sometimes froze momentarily.

Our biggest complaint is that it seems to load an FTA TV program behind the home screen, and you can hear the program’s sound. I am sure that is just a setting.

PVR (personal video recorder) – Pass

A PVR lets you record non-copyright (mainly FTA) to the hard disk. You can pause a live program if you need a rest stop, rewind live TV (to where you started) and fast forward (2X) as long as the show is in the Flash memory buffer.

Fetch Mighty has four tuners – three to record and one to watch live FTA. Theoretically, it can record six channels and supports recording all seasons, the latest and the newest.

Recordings are easily managed from the My Stuff menu.

Multi-room – not tested

You can join up to three Fetch boxes over the Wi-Fi or Ethernet Home network. You can then share FTA TV (using one antenna connection), recordings, subscription channels, rentals and purchases. Users have commented that the move to Wi-Fi 56 AX while providing more speed to the main box can be a disaster for Multi-room (smaller Wi-Fi 6 transmission distance) – use Ethernet.

TV Guide EPG – Pass+

The best feature is the FTA (and multiplexed sub-channels). It is a simple, easy-to-use guide that allows for easy recording of up to six concurrent shows (at the same or overlapping time slots). It can also be managed via the App.

Interestingly there is a 24-hour reverse EPG, and some shows are available to watch. It supports reminders and favourites.

What do users think?

Product Review Australia has 517 reviews with an average of 2.2 stars out of five. Most recent 1-star ratings concern the 3.30.2 Acacia firmware update on older Gen 3 and earlier Fetch boxes and Use Interface changes. I am using 3.31.1, and it seems stable. While you should be aware, I don’t think it is a reason not to buy a Fetch Box, and you can return it under ACL if it is not for you.

I think it is time the hardware had a serious update to things like SSD and a smaller footprint.

CyberShack’s View – Fetch Mighty Gen 4 set-top box adds value over streaming dongles and smart TVs

The question is, how much value? I like it because:

  • RF antenna connection and content inclusion in Fetch Universal search. A pass-through antenna port would be nice.
  • 30 free movies – admittedly, not first release.
  • PVR for non-copyright content.
  • Mobile app and some content can download to your phone for later watching.

How does it compare to a smart TV?

  • Most Smart TVs, especially Android TV, LG webOS and Samsung Tizen, have a larger selection of streaming and utility apps. You pay the same for Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+ etc.
  • Smart TVs lack the Universal search. Good if you want to find a movie or TV show and where to view it (paid or free).
  • Smart TVs support BT speakers, earphones and some gamepads and keyboard/trackpads
  • It does not present a compelling enough upgrade unless you really want some Fetch-specific features.

In comparison to streaming dongles (NVIDIA Shield TV, Google Chromecast 4K, Fire TV)

  • These are steaming dongles without an RF antenna port but have a wide range of entertainment and utility apps.
  • Dongles don’t have PVR.
  • Are portable, so you can travel with them.

In comparison to Foxtel

I gave up on Foxtel when the Standard Definition Platinum Package (50+ channels, Sports, Movies, Kids, Favourites) went over $100 (now $140 per month), and the lower-cost package options did not give us what we needed. It now has a basic bundle starting at $52 or with Netflix ($67) plus various packages. You also need to buy the Foxtel IQ5 box at $235 as part of a subscription. I found it insulting to charge so much and charge an extra $10 per month for HD 1080p (not 4K).

But – I think you need to spend $20 monthly for the Fetch Ultimate Package to get the most out of this box.

Would I buy Fetch Mighty Gen 4?

Having been badly burned by Foxtel, my initial reaction was, no, I don’t need this. Now after a few weeks of use (on a Smart TV), I can see a use for it, albeit that you need to subscribe to the premium channels package for $20 pm to get additional value.

The PVR feature and Universal EPG are its two most compelling features.

Ratings – Fetch Mighty Gen 4

We won’t give it a numerical rating as we have not reviewed a set-top box before. Suffice it to say that it delivers what it promises. It is up to you to determine if its added value over a smart TV is worth it.

  • Features: It is the Swiss army knife of set-top boxes. The Gen 4 has 4K DV support, Wi-Fi 6, BT 5 BLE, and software and firmware upgradeable, so it has a decent shelf life.
  • Value: At $449, the box is a tad expensive, but it has been seen as low as $399, so it is better value.
  • Performance: it is pretty good all around, with reasonably low lag and decent image quality. It is best to use Ethernet, and don’t forget to set it to 4K/Dolby Vision if you use that.
  • Ease of Use: The User Interface seems intuitive (no need to use the manual), and as we have not experienced earlier versions, we think it is okay.
  • Design: Old-style black box. But at least it has a BT remote (our review model did), so you can hide it. We strongly suggest losing a few pounds and a fashion makeover.


  • All-in-one streaming device – one remote to control them all
  • Subscription-based, so expect to pay $20 plus Netflix/Prime/Disney subscriptions as well
  • It can be multi-room for just the added hardware cost
  • 4K and Dolby Vision/Atmos support
  • Universal search – reason enough to buy.


  • Aussies are slowly warming to subscriptions, but this could be costly if you use all its features.
  • Check to see if your streaming channels are available (e.g., Binge)

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