Telstra are getting into the realm of online streaming with Telstra TV, a new gadget that will allow customers of the telco’s home broadband service access a number of different TV and movie streaming services in one place.
Telstra TV packs in 15 different apps that allow users to stream TV and movies right onto their TV, including YouTube, Netflix, Presto, SBS on Demand, PLUS7, 9JumpIn and Crunchy Roll (which will probably be the biggest draw after Netflix). The big omission of course is Stan , an app for which Telstra says will arrive in November.
Telstra says the device will run you AU$109 as a standalone or can be obtained as part of selected L or XL broadband bundles. The good news for Bigpond customers is that anything you watch on Bigpond Movies and Presto will be unmetered, leaving your monthly download quota in one piece.
The most curious part of the announcement is that Telstra partnered with Roku to create the set top box which raises a few questions off the bat. The Roku-4, the current and best-selling model of Roku box offers over 2,500 different services to choose from making Telstra’s offering seem downright anaemic by comparison. Hopefully they can expand upon it going forward.
The second question is: if you’re going to reverse-engineer a Roku box to do your bidding, wouldn’t it be easier to just release an actual Roku box? The Roku-4 is a powerful piece of media tech that falls into a very similar price bracket so why go to all the trouble of stripping one back to its basic capabilities? Again, hopefully we’ll see Telstra loosen the leash a little in the future.
Telstra TV releases nationally on October 27. You can “register your interest” in a device here. Pick up a Telstra TV before December 25 and you’ll get a $15 Bigpond Movies voucher as well as three-month subscriptions to Presto and Stan (when it arrives).