The partnership between Foxtel and Telstra is only growing stronger. With Foxtel about to release a new high-end iQ set-top box and a cheaper model for mainstream customers, rumours suggest Telstra might be about to discontinue the T-Box, its streaming video and IPTV player.
According to SMH, the T-Box will "not be continued" after the launch of iQ3, Foxtel's premium Internet-enabled set-top box with an improved EPG and the ability to skip back to the start of a show (via streaming video) if you sit down in the middle of it.
A Telstra representative told the Sydney Morning Herald:
On the plans for T-Box, a Telstra spokesman said: "We can't comment on commercial agreements except to say the T-Box is an important part of how we deliver our entertainment offering. We are also always on the lookout for innovative technology to deliver brilliantly connected experiences for our customers. If anything changes we'll let you know."
Given that the T-Box is a huge part of Telstra's Entertainer bundle, and given the fact that there are over 750 thousand T-Box units in Australian homes, and given the fact that Telstra reported 150 per cent growth in Foxtel on T-Box users last year, it would have to be one hell of a deal between Foxtel and Telstra to justify killing the T-Box.
But, if it goes, Foxtel is perfectly placed with its iQ3 and another cheaper set-top box to deliver streaming Internet TV and movies to the legions of Telstra customers and potential customers that already use T-Box or are looking to join up.
Foxtel has a triple play product offering in the works, combining home broadband — leaning on Telstra's network — with home phone and television, on one unified bill and likely with a significant bundled discount to attract new customers. [SMH]