Wednesday , November 22 2017

Telstra’s Roku-powered Telstra TV 2 will stream all your things; coming October 31

Telstra today launched the second generation of its Roku-based Telstra TV system at an event in Sydney. The new 4K streaming device supports free-to-air TV, subscription TV and on-demand streaming and will go on sale October 31 to Telstra Broadband customers with an entertainment bundle for $99/month.

The new Telstra TV 2 is a gateway to a wide variety of streaming services available to Australians, including ABC iView, SBS On Demand, +7, 9NOW, Tenplay, Foxtel Now, BigPond Movies, Netflix, Stan and Hayu. As a Roku-powered device there’s also a variety of free apps available to download, but Telstra operates a separate Roku app store to the rest of the world so that it can cater for Australian users and services.

The new live TV features are delivered via a TV tuner built into the device – there’s an antenna input on the back of the box so it can tune into any signal your antenna brings in. There’s no mention of being able to record live TV though.

There’s also a new search function that aggregates content across multiple services – similar to Apple’s recent TV App and Google’s nascent Assistant-powered Google Home voice casting services. Users can tell Telstra TV 2 what they want to watch, and it’ll tell them where to find it. Telstra TV 2 also features a companion app for Android and iOS that lets you find and curate the content you want to watch while you’re out and about.

The company is also looking to the future promising that future iterations of the platform with bring features like voice activation (a Roku platform feature), personalised recommendations and more content partners.

Like the original Telstra TV before it, you’ll need to be a Telstra Broadband customer to get your hands on a Telstra TV 2 – one is supplied to customers on the company’s $99/month and $120/month bundles. Customers will also have the ability to pay for their Foxtel Now and Netflix subscriptions on their bill.

The new device has some big shoes to fill. The first generation of Telstra TV, now a couple of years old, became the fastest-selling streaming device in Australia and has sold more than 1 million units. Telstra TV 2 enters a market with a much wider variety of options available to consumers.

If you’re not on Telstra and don’t want to switch but want to add a streaming box to your setup, there are a couple of other options: Foxtel is about to release its own Foxtel Now device – it’s powered by Android TV with access to Android TV apps via the Play Store (also includes a TV tuner for live TV); and Fetch is also out there with its own hardware and subscription plans. Both services don’t require you to belong to a particular ISP.

Will you be updating to Telstra TV 2, or going another route? Tell us your preferred streaming solution in the comments.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn’t need a smartphone. Now he can’t bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you’d like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He’d like to think he’s a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you’ll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter – follow @JM77 and say hi!

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4 Comments on "Telstra’s Roku-powered Telstra TV 2 will stream all your things; coming October 31"

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Member

Bugger! I signed up to a new bundle on Friday to be installed this week, I guess I will be getting one of the old ones they have sitting around the warehouse.

Member

I have a Telstra TV that was included when we signed up to our current broadband service. We never use it, as it’s a little flaky in use (failing to store BigPond passwords correclty, for example), and 90% of what it can do is covered by our smart TV anyway. Can’t see why I’d get another one.

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Berto Tibbs
Have the original Telstra TV which came free with broadband account as did most of those one million units I expect. Would not pay for Telstra TV 2 however if they gave me one I’d use it. Would never watch FTA and would only use it for Foxtel if it was a free plan because Foxtel Now is still miles away from being good value. The original is good for Netflix and Stan or for connecting my Samsung tablet/phone via screen mirroring to watch any vids I may have on there. Have tried some other apps but they can be… Read more »
Member

Anyone worked out how to get the Stan or iView apps onto actual Roku devices?

Asking for a friend …

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