Telstra TV Teams Up With Roku, Goes 4K, Adds Free To Air

Image: Telstra

The brand, shiny new powered-by-Roku Telstra TV is here (well, on October 31, anyway) - combining subscription TV and on-demand streaming with free-to-air, which we all definitely still watch.

Telstra is boasting the upgraded device (which will cost $192 outright or with the $99 bundle like it's predecessor), will be the country's very first live TV, catch-up and on-demand search function.

ABC iView, SBS On Demand, +7, 9NOW, Tenplay, Foxtel Now, BigPond Movies, Netflix, Stan and Hayu are on the menu, along with every FTA station.

So what's the main differences between the new Telstra TV and the old one?

There's the new Free to Air tuner, the maxiumum screen resolution has jumped from 1080p HD to 2160p 4K UHD with HDR support, so there's now High Efficiency Video Coding Support and the processor got an upgrade, too - from a Dual Core ARM to a Quad Core MStar.

The DRAM is up from 512MB to 2GB and the storage has been expanded from Storage 256MB (plus microSD) to 512MB (plus microSD).

And yeah - although we like to joke - Telstra reckons the average Aussie watches about 70 hours of free to air telly, with 83 per cent of us still tuning in every week.

So the whole idea is to switch between FTA, Pay TV and streaming services from the one central location. You'll get recommendations for new content all in the one place, too - without having to check each individual app. The mobile app lets you search and save as well as use your phone as a remote control.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn calls Telstra TV "a perfect example" of how Telstra builds software and service layers on top of its networks "to provide new value and differentiated experiences for our customers".

Executive Director of Media, Michele Garra says this is "just the beginning" with, voice activation, personalised recommendations and more content partners planned for the future.

Garra says the partnership with Roku is what made this all possible.

"Roku and Telstra have worked together to custom build the device and bring this brilliant experience to Australia."

Have Telstra got it right? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

You can find out more here.

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    Will it be streaming F-T-A, or still require an aerial? My house has had shoddy aerial coverage for 8 years, and I'm still befuddled as to why with the NBN, the networks aren't offering decent streaming options for live tv... I understand Freeview is there, but a lot of the thing worth watching (read: sport) aren't available.

      It has an antenna/aerial port. It doesn't support any live FTA streaming, though.

        But the catch up apps have live streams, don't they? Or is that just for the iOS & Android apps?

          Well you can with the Freeview app which lets you stream all the channels to your device, and you can also stream to your TV via a Chromecast, but the catch is that it streams all channels....until it doesn't. At a moments notice the channel will stop streaming and say "this show can't be streamed" things like the AFL and some other random tv series.

          Which unfortunately means the whole idea of ditching the aerial is not currently possible.

            I wonder if that is a licencing problem - so the channel is not permitted to rebroadcast the particular show outside of its own tv channel / app / website.

              It is a licensing problem, yes

                Yeah it's a licencing problem, to be honest I haven't bothered to hook up my antenna as it's on a different wall than my TV and I haven't missed it at all. We wen't away for a weekend a while back and switched on FTA at the accommodation....I could not believe how many ads there were!

                It would be nice if they could stream everything but right now it's too difficult to even bother. They are hanging on for as long as they can, but at some stage they are going to have to give up and let users stream right into their browsers, it's inevitable so just do it.

                  Actually most of the networks can do that right now.

                  A list of 7's network streams are available on whirlpool, same with 9. I bookmark them in chrome and use that because:
                  1) it's easier to type 7 adel or 9 adel than it is to switch back to my home screen, find the network app, load it up, wait for the pre-roll ad (which when watching live TV is just offensive) and by the time all that happens, I've already missed part of the news

                  2) I can chromecast directly from my browser. The chromecast function in the network apps doesn't work well

                  3) Background audio. Using chrome to watch the news on the train home, when I get to my station I can just tap the home button, swipe down notifications and tap the play icon to start background audio of the video. That sounds convoluted but it's easy.
                  With the network app, there is no way to play audio in the background if you want to turn off your screen (to put your phone back in your pocket and keep walking for example)

    What about the ability to record said Free to Air TV - like you could back on the T-Box a few years ago? I see plenty of people with T-Boxes on CrowdSupport wanting to upgrade to a device that can still do what the T-Box did in regards to recording FTA TV for later viewing. Catch-Up TV doesn't always have ALL the content.

      You can't record free-to-air, no. There's a whole bunch of licensing rights around that that Telstra hasn't dealt with, and it wants to push people to the catch-up apps anyway.

        I don't think it's that, the device doesn't have the ability to record anything?

        ohh spewing.. the optus fetch tv box lets you record. Wonder how they got around it..

        So fetch tv have license agreements in place with each free to air network to record? I doubt it

        That's disappointing. They could have enabled recording to the micro sd card.

        This box is trying to be a fetch tv competitor, but doesn't really hit the mark. Still it gets a lot further than foxtel did.

        We have been recording Shaun the sheep and Sunrise for years from our Tbox!

    Can't say I'm excited. Got the previous model as part of a bundle and only activated to score 6 months' free Netflix - after a bit of a play it went back in the box and in the cupboard to collect dust. I could see these things being far more useful if they weren't so locked down, because there are a bunch of interesting Roku apps out there. As a Telstra walled garden, it really can't compete with a much cheaper and more flexible generic Android box.

    Perfect device - still hanging on to my T-box(es) for FTA and recording. Didn't bother with Telstra TV1 for that reason. Will this be a PVR as well if we add external drive or something? Sorry if I missed this point somewhere in the text.

    Lame. As a Roku user, I can't see this working. I love my Roku, but this won't do anything my Roku does because it won't support 99% of the apps on that ecosystem. Granted, a lot of those would be useless to Australian audiences that don't have access to a US cable subscription, but still.

    Telstra should be looking at something like the Fetch TV Mighty (along with a Mini companion, which this would be).

    Now THAT would be the way to sell their Foxtel Now service (and phase out their cable/satellite services which are very expensive to maintain). Record FTA? Check. Record streamed subscription channels? Check. Run all the apps you want, eg FreeView catchup, Netflix, Amazon, Stan etc? Check.

    What they're really after is a device like this which has a HDD. Because streaming is the way of the future. None of this tethered nonsense like cable/satellite/antenna. But they will drag their feet against technology, and that is why they are doomed to be a relic in the history books.

    Just look at the US with its huge cord cutting trend. And that's a country where cable was VERY well established, it never had NEARLY the traction here.

      This might be a dumb question, but just checking.... free to air using this device doesn't count towards internet data use does it? And i can't record using it, so it doesn't replace my dvd hdd player....

    Wrong it's not the first it is the last company to so it. I've been watching live TV catch up apps and the worls via the Samsung smart box that came out many years ago.

    does it have a headphone port on the remote like a roku 3/4 ? or is it nerfed

    Telstra CEO Andrew Penn calls Telstra TV "a perfect example" of how Telstra builds software and service layers on top of its networks "to provide new value and differentiated experiences for our customers".

    Telstra didn't build the software Andrew, roku did. Credit where it's due. All you guys did is add your logos
    I believe it's in
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    Last edited 24/10/17 10:34 am

    Does anyone know if you can side load apps on the TTV2 like the TTV1 does? I have plex loaded and it gives me exactly what I need - though native H265 decoding would be nice, if I can get Plex on it.


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