The new TV box is set to retail for $109, which is significantly cheaper than similar boxes being sold at mass retailers. Easy to install users are then asked to pay for the bulk of the mainstream apps on the box Netflix, Presto, Stan and BigPond movies whose content is primarily the same as that offered by Netflix.
If you use the new Telstra TV box you will be asked to pay $9.95 a month to access Netflix content, $10 a month for Stan and $14.95 a month for Presto content, on top of that you will also have to pay $6.95 a movie if you watch a movie from the BigPond Movie store.
SBS on Demand, 9Jumpin, ABC iview and Tenplay are free while BigPond Movies and Presto will be unmetered on Telstra Home Broadband at home, Telstra claims data will be counted when accessing other services. The company says that the device is only available for Telstra users only. Chromecast which sells for $49 is available for any TV and has access to some of the same content as Telstra TV plus access to books, music and other Google content.
Earlier this month Google announced its new disk-shaped Chromecast dongle that comes with advanced search capability.
Hook it up to a smartphone or table which is easier than having to keep finding your Telstra TV remote and what you get via the Chromecast app is easy universal searching and access to a vast amount of content.
Pricing for the new Chromecast dongle has not been announced for Australia.
Consumers who already own a current model Smart TV from the likes of Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony or Hisense already have access to the bulk of the apps bundled onto the Smart TV box.
To activate the Telstra TV player all you have to do is connect the Roku box which supports 720p and 1080p HD streaming to your TV using a HDMI cable.
Missing is the voice search capability of Roku 3, there is also no ultra-high-definition 4K streaming available as is with the upcoming Roku 4.
Also missing is access to more than 2500 Roku channels found on the US and European versions of the Roku offering.
Telstra TV only delivers 15 services at launch.
To suck consumers in Telstra is offering three months’ subscription to Presto and to Stan, along with a BigPond movies coupon for those who buy the device before Christmas.
Other streaming services ?include YouTube, RedBull TV, Wall Street Journal, GoPro and Vimeo. Telstra says it might add more streaming services, but you will be tethered to the services that it makes available. You cannot add other services yourself directly from the internet.
Also missing is the sleek voice search set to be found on the new Apple TV offering. The Apple natural language voice searching allows you to say “show me a list of James Bond Movies” within seconds users are given a list of James Bond Movies available on the Apple TV box.
Telstra says that their Telstra TV will be available online and from its stores nationally from October 27.
Telstra says Telstra TV complements rather than replaces its current subscription based T-Box, and its premium sporting content and Foxtel subscription offerings.
Telstra are a 50% shareholder in Foxtel, the other 50% is owned by News Corporation.