LG and Telstra make IPTV marriage

In another advance for IPTV in Australia, movies and TV shows from Telstra’s BigPond service will be streaming to more than 20 models from LG’s new Netcast internet-enabled flat panel televisions from May this year, with unmetered downloads sweetening the deal for BigPond customers. Each movie amounts to around 2-3GB, so non-BigPond customers may need to ration their viewing habits to avoid exceeding their broadband quota and incurring additional fees.

Movies and TV shows will be accessed via a BigPond ‘widget’ embedded into the onscreen menu of any new Netcast LCD or plamsa. Viewers then use the TV’s remote control to browse and select from the BigPond catalogue, and then just ‘click’ to rent the movie or TV show they want. Shows and movies cost from four dollars, and viewers have seven days in which to watch their selection, and can watch it as many times as they like within a 24 or 48 hour period, depending on the movie, after the first screening.

The BigPond TV service is just the beginning of an ongoing IPTV partnership between the LG and Telstra, according to a joint press release from the companies. Future services will include more channels and video on demand across a range of genres. These will be headlined by news, sport and movies, with music and games content soon to follow. Faster access to content for BigPond customers is promised over the coming week too, as Telstra improves its content delivery system.

The ability to access online video content directly from a television has been a feature of some sets for more than 18 months, with LG incorporating YouTube streaming in previous models. More compelling content partnerships are a trend of 2010, however, with Sony announcing deals with a range of internet content providers, such as Yahoo, in February.

Samsung is set to reveal its IPTV offering next Monday, 12 April, when it announces its new range of 3D and internet-enabled televisions. In a move that suggests the BigPond deal with LG may not be exclusive, a Telstra executive will be playing an official role in the launch.