Tuesday, 19 February 2019 11:25

VIDEO: Telstra launches 3rd-gen Telstra TV with volume buttons, voice control and no lock-in broadband


Next week, Telstra will launch its nicely improved new 3rd-gen Telstra TV streaming player and new Home Broadband plans with "no more lock-in contracts". 

Telstra proudly boasts that the third-generation of its new Telstra TV is "sleeker, smaller, and includes a new and improved wireless remote control with voice search, plus buttons for TV power and volume control".

Simple things like those new buttons, plus the natural addition of voice search are great upgrades in their own right to the Roku-powered Telstra TV box . 

The company says its Telstra TV Smart Search function has been "enhanced to enable users to use their voice to search for actors, TV shows and movies".

This link to Telstra TV at Telstra's site is still showing the now superseded Telstra TV 2nd-gen, but this link will no doubt be updated to showcase the new model you'll learn about below next week sometime. 

Among several commands, users can also ask the Telstra TV to “Chuck on Telstra TV Box Office” to open the Telstra TV Box Office app, which if you ask me, sounds like Telstra is chucking on an upper-middle bogan vocabulary upgrade, which should make Australians happy in a bonza kind-of way, cobber.

Of course, it might be an obscure reference to Telstra's TV commercial from last century asking "Why didn't you call, Chuckie", which at an extreme stretch could be parlayed into asking Chuckie why he didn't watch the newest eps of that new streaming show last night, but I'm probably chucking myself into a deeper hole with obscure references that few, if any millennials, will recognise.

In any case, acting group executive, Telstra Consumer and Small Business, Michael Ackland, said over 1.4 million customers had added the Telstra TV to their entertainment set up since the first-generation Roku Powered device was introduced in 2015.

Ackland added: “Our customers can enjoy the best content from free-to-air TV, Foxtel Now, Netflix, Stan, Kayo and many other video-on-demand subscriptions all from the one device.

“We have now further enhanced the customer experience by adding a Wi-Fi remote with voice capabilities.

“The new plans are another step forward in our commitment to introduce fully flexible plans, providing customers the choice to add the options they value to their service. This delivers cost certainty, flexible subscription options, and the freedom to upgrade or downgrade their plan within a set range on a monthly basis,” Ackland continued.

Telstra TV Box Office – new name, new intuitive interface, same great content

With the launch of the latest Telstra TV device, Telstra also reports "replacing BigPond Movies with Telstra TV Box Office, allowing customers to buy or rent the latest release films (for example, Bohemian Rhapsody is already available), with easy billing to their Telstra monthly account".

It makes perfect sense, because while Telstra is a big fish in a big pond, its BigPond branding has long since ceased being relevant, for it's all Telstra-this and Telstra-that these days, which is a much more "on brand" proposition.

Of course, that's not all, with Telstra touting new broadband plans, which, in true marketing speak, are available "for a limited time".

We're told that "new Telstra Home Broadband customers can add on the Telstra TV ($9/mth, min cost $1995 inc Essential Internet over 24 months) and receive a $125 credit from the Telstra TV Box Office store; the equivalent of up to 20 new release standard definition movie rentals".

Then comes the claim of "no more lock-in contracts for Home Broadband plans"

From 26 February, Telstra will offer new and returning customers two new Home Broadband plans:

  • Essential Internet Plan for $70/mth with 100GB of data and nbn25 (Standard Evening Speed, 20Mbps typical minimum speed between 7-11pm on the nbn network) (Min cost $385 if you stay for 1 month including $99 connection charge and $216 modem).
  • Unlimited Internet Plan for $90/mth with unlimited data and nbn50 (Standard Plus Evening Speed, 40Mbps typical minimum speed between 7-11pm on the nbn network) (Min cost $405 if you stay for 1 month including $99 connection charge and $216 modem).

Telstra tells us that "both plans include unlimited calls to standard local, national, and Australian mobile numbers and now include an allowance to make 500 calls per month to 13 numbers, for even more value".

"The Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2, the first hybrid modem from a telco to provide both voice and data backup on our 4G mobile network, is included in the monthly price for new Telstra customers that stay connected for 24 months. Customers simply pay out the modem if they leave within 24 months.

"Customers can then build personalised home internet packages by adding their choice of entertainment or picking from a range of accessories and devices. Example add-ons include Foxtel Now (from $25/mth), Telstra Smart Home (from $25/mth), or Kayo ($25/mth). With no upfront charges, customers simply pay these add-ons on monthly repayment options while they maintain a Telstra Broadband Plan."

Here, Telstra's Michael Ackland pops back in to inform us that “By simplifying our Home Broadband plans and offering the ability to add the extras they want, our customers are in full control. With a great range of entertainment and technology add-ons, it opens up a world of options with the convenience of just one single bill.

“With greater flexibility, our customers can add on Kayo just in time for round one of the footy, or add on Foxtel Now when the final season of Game of Thrones starts in April," Ackland concluded.

Here's the new 3rd-gen Telstra TV video:

Things Telstra says we need to know:

nbn: New broadband plans not available on nbn Fixed Wireless. An nbn service can never go faster than the maximum line speed available at your premises. Speeds vary due to in-premise set-up and wiring. Find out more about speeds on the nbn network with Telstra at telstra.com/nbn-speeds.

Telstra TV: You need a compatible TV with an HDMI port. A minimum internet speed of 3.5Mbps is recommended. Antenna required to access free-to-air channels in your area. Subscription and data charges apply. A $9.95 delivery fee may apply.

Telstra TV Box Office Bonus Credit Offer: Must activate new Telstra TV and Telstra TV Box Office registration before 26.08.19. Credit expires 24 months after registration. For use in Australia.

Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2: Mobile backup available to premises in 4G coverage areas. Check coverage at telstra.com/coverage. Your mobile backup connection is limited to speeds of up to 6Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps for uploads. Actual speeds will vary due to local conditions and content accessed.

Calls: National calls to standard fixed line numbers excludes some usage such as calls to premium numbers (e.g. 19xx numbers) and 1300 numbers.

Telstra Smart Home: Requires a home broadband connection, home Wi-Fi network and activation via the free iOS or Android Telstra Smart Home App (data charges may apply). An active Cloud and Service Plan is required to operate your Smart Home devices.­­


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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