Telstra has announced details of its latest video streaming box, the Telstra TV, which will be available for purchase from October 31.
As Australians shift to the internet for their TV viewing, the second generation Telstra TV, powered by ROKU, aims to offer a broader range of content choices along with improved search capabilities.
A key point of difference from the previous model and other streaming boxes, the Telstra TV is the first in Australia to include an integrated free-to-air TV tuner, so viewers can watch live TV, as well as stream their favourite content from local catch-up TV apps and paid on-demand services such as Stan, Netflix and Foxtel Now.
The revamped Telstra TV interface shows a personalised, content-led home screen consolidating content from all of the different sources.
The improved search function helps avoid ‘entertainment exasperation’. Now, when a person searches for the title of a show, for example, the Telstra TV box can display combined results for the next 30 days of Free-to-Air TV, as well as from on-demand and catch up TV apps. The search results will also highlight if a particular show is free or costs money, so viewers can choose the least costly option.
Also, the Telstra TV box can stream 4K content, if available from its content partners, and supports High Dynamic Range. While HDR-10 is supported, DolbyVision is not included yet but may be available in a future software update. The Telstra TV also uses the latest HEVC video file compression technology, crunching the file sizes into smaller pieces, minimising the amount of data required to stream from the Internet.
Also due at launch is the Hayu on-demand app, which delivers same day releases of US based reality TV shows including Desperate Housewives, Keeping up with the Kardashians and more than 15o other titles.
A new Telstra TV app will also be available at launch. It can be used as a second remote control when connected to the same Wi-Fi network, or used to search for new content to watch and save it for viewing later.The Telstra TV’s Australian content catalogue includes catch-up TV services ABC iView, SBS On Demand, +7, 9NOW and TenPlay, along with paid streaming services Foxtel Now, BigPond Movies, Stan, Netflix and Hayu, as well as all Australian Free-to-Air channels.
The Telstra TV box can be purchased outright for $192, on a plan for $8 per month, or part of Telstra’s Entertainment bundle for $99.