Update: The Foxtel puck appears very similar in looks and from the sound of it specs, to the Technicolor Skipper.
As part of their launch of the Foxtel Now service, the big news for Android fans is that an Android TV powered ‘Puck’ will be launching in the second half of the year.
While the device is still a while away from completion it’s said to be the power house to showcase Foxtel Now, with the price expected to be around the $100 mark. In addition to Foxtel Now, the device will also offer access to Android TV apps through Google Play, and access to the usual Android TV functions such as YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV and more. It will also include a remote control with Play, Pause, D-pad selector and Home buttons.
Foxtel is also apparently courting other SVOD players in the Australian market, though apparently won’t name names as to who they’re talking to. As an Android TV device though, there are options to install Netflix, Stan and the Prime 7 Android TV app from the Play Store, and it will also act as a Chromecast receiver for any Chromecast enabled apps such as Nine Jump In and the ABC i-view app.
Whether the Foxtel Now Android TV app on the Puck is made available to other Android TV devices such as the Sony Bravia and TCL TV’s now on the Australian market or the now EOL Nexus Player is unclear, but we’ll be sure to look into any modifications needed to expand availability once it arrives in the market.
The device will apparently support 4K resolution streaming, allowing for the possibility of Netflix and Stan 4K streaming, however the Foxtel Now stream is only in 720p HD resolution for now.
Free-to-Air content will also be available through an aerial connection on the back of the device, and Foxtel has spoken about bringing live channels for sport and news.
As pointed out above, the Foxtel Puck appears to be based on the Technicolor Skipper, a third-party device already powering PayTV solutions in both Latvia and Italy. The Technicolor Skipper offers many of the functions listed by Foxtel – 4K capability, Live TV services etc. The full list of features for the Skipper includes:
- Out of the box industrial design
- Android TV certified
- OTT and Live TV services with optional Broadcast TV services
- 4K Ultra HD: HEVC/VP9 Ultra HD 2160p/60 video
- Wireless Connectivity: Dual band IEEE 802.11n 2.4 GHz (2×2) and IEEE 802.11ac 5 GHz (2×2) interfaces
- Media sharing functions using a USB 3.0 port for plugging of HDD
- Enhanced user experience with 3D graphics
- Future-proof quad core CPU ready for gaming services
- Bluetooth Low Energy remote with voice control
We’ve been speaking with Foxtel about more details on the Foxtel Puck, which will launch later this year and we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we have more information.