By Dan Barrett
Telstra last night unveiled the new Telstra TV streaming video player, a hockey puck-sized device that offers Telstra customers access to Australian and international video platforms.
When Telstra TV launches on October 27, Telstra TV will offer access to:
SBS On Demand
Red Bull TV
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The Telstra TV will only be available to Telstra customers. Telstra chief marketing officer Joe Pollard explained that this provides a differentiated experience for Telstra fixed-line Broadband customers.
Missing from Telstra TV at launch is Stan, which Telstra advise will be available on the device very soon, citing a November launch for the app. Also missing are Australian catchup services tenplay and ABC iview. Pollard advised that both are expected to be available on the device before Christmas.
The hardware used to power Telstra TV is the Roku 2. In the US, Roku is the highest selling streaming video player, accounting for 34% of all devices sold in 2014. This is followed by Chromecast (19%), Apple TV (17%), and Amazon Fire TV (14%). Roku’s position may be challenged with the Q4 release of the updated Apple TV, which is expected to launch later this month.
The decision to launch Telstra TV powered by the Roku 2 and not the newer Roku 3, with its innovative remote control that doubles as a bluetooth headphone receiver, or the 4k video streaming Roku 4, was a matter of timing and price.
Pollard said that Telstra saw Roku 2 as a proven device and were able to bring that to market faster than other Roku devices. Telstra will be able to deliver other Roku devices to the Australian market.
“We wanted to come in with the most affordable device we could to be able to grow as quickly as possible, but ultimately the consumer will be able to decide. Once you have multiple devices in the marketplace, do they want a more expensive [product] with more bells and whistles or do you want a more entry-level product?”, Pollard revealed.
The Telstra TV will be priced at $109 per player and bundled as part of selected broadband bundles.
Bigpond Movies and Presto will be unmetered for Telstra Home Broadband users. Subscriptions to the channels on the device are not included in the price. However, customers who take up a Telstra TV before Christmas will receive a three-month subscription to Stan and Presto, along with a Bigpond Movies voucher.