Telstra TV streaming Internet video box takes on Apple TV

By David Flynn, October 16 2015
Telstra TV streaming Internet video box takes on Apple TV

TECHNOLOGY | Telstra’s latest gadget sees the Aussie telco go toe-to-toe with Apple for the eyeballs and wallets of Australia’s streaming video market.

Like the Apple TV, the Telstra TV is a compact set-top box which taps into Internet-based video services such as Netflix, Presto and Stan, Telstra’s own BigPond Movie store and catch-up TV channels like SBS OnDemand, PLUS7 and 9JumpIn.

Additional ‘channels’ include YouTube, Wall Street Journal Video and Red Bull TV, with more to come – including home-grown streaming service Stan in November, followed by ABC TV’s iView and Channel 10’s TenPlay by year’s end.

Unlike the Apple TV, however, Telstra TV also provides lets you connect a USB drive to pipe downloaded video (in MP4 and MKV formats, although AVI is sadly missing from the mix) onto your big-screen telly.

It’s all done through a simple and elegant interface, while the palm-sized black box is plug-and-play at its best.

That’s to be expected, as the Telstra TV is based on the established and highly popular Roku box.

Roku boasts an exceptional library of content and ‘channels’ overseas, and we’re hopeful that many of these will at some stage appear on Telstra TV.

(For those who care about such things the Telstra TV is actually rebadged version of the Roku 2, although Telstra’s deal with Roku could also see the latest 4K ‘Ultra HD’ Roku 4 released bearing a Telstra logo at some point in the future.)

The only gotcha in all this goodness is that Telstra TV works only with a Telstra broadband connection – either ADSL, cable or NBN – making it a less agnostic streaming solution than the Apple TV, Google Nexus Player or similar devices which play well with any broadband supplier.

Presto and BigPond Movies will be unmetered on Telstra Home Broadband connections, meaning that the gigabytes of streaming video won’t count towards your month data bill. 

Telstra TV goes on sale from October 27 at $109 outright, and will also be offered free on Telstra’s selected L and XL broadband bundles.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


16 Oct 2015

Total posts 10

They've taken a page from Sky's NOW TV product in the UK. For UK users that means getting a Roku box that's about 80% of what a regular Roku offers for 1/4 of the price. Though Sky make it a bit of a labyrinth to disabled the auto-renew on Sky's Now channels. Many channels available on a regular Roku are excluded from Sky's "powered by Roku" channel shop.

However it's unclear what other Roku channels will be available to an Aussie-geotagged Roku: most of the US or UK channels are only available to Roku devices whose accounts are based in either of those countries.

For Aussies wanting to get a Roku, buy a Roku. :)


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 928

Nice, I already have a Roku streaming US content, another Roku to stream Aussie content as well.

14 Aug 2014

Total posts 17

Google's Chromecast is superior to both.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

I agree the Chromecast is great - but it can't be used standalone - you still neeed a phone / tablet to use it.

This is more akin to the Nexus Player, albeit simplified

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

31 Jan 2012

Total posts 107

Its the Roku 2 re branded.

Roku 4 is released then why go with roku 2

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