Telstra TV 2: combining free-to-air TV with the world of streaming

universal search is the "killer app" and it's coming to existing Telstra TV boxes too

Since it’s launch the Telstra TV streaming box has been purchased by over 1 million Aussie homes, and while it could be argued many of them simply “got” the box as part of renewing their Telstra contract that’s a huge market across the country.

At the end of this month every single Telstra TV gets a software update offering a range of new features including Universal Search to make those original Telstra TV boxes better, but for those wanting something a little more, there’s also the Telstra TV 2.

Telstra TV 2 continues the big T’s partnership with global set top box manufacturer Roku and it adds some pretty cool kit.

Firstly, capacity to stream 4K HDR content.  That means your big new TV can show Netflix and Stan in 4K as it should be.

And then there’s the TV tuner – seems old school to some, but the problem with a “HDMI 1” box attached to your TV is you forget it’s there and always end back on Free to Air TV.

This combines the best of both worlds.  You can watch Free to Air TV for free via your antenna, while also being able to search content across all the on demand platforms out there.

A single Universal Search is easily the killer app for this device.  Search for a word and any program matching it across Free to Air, Netflix, Stan, Big Pond Movies and any other compatible apps will be displayed.

If a show is available on multiple services you can choose which one to launch to begin the program.

Telstra have also updated the remote for instant access to Netflix and Foxtel Now, as well as Live TV, while the companion app allows you to stream content to your smartphone as if you’re at home.

That’s not very new, because you can do that now with Freeview FV, Netflix and Stan, however this single app gives users the same user experience they are getting at home – on their mobile phone.

The new Telstra TV launches at the end of the month, and will be available for $99 if you’ve got a Telstra Entertainment Bundle, or $192 outright and available as an $8 a month option over new 24 month contracts (or renewals).


Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
6 Comments on this post.
    23 October 2017 at 12:39 pm
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    I got the first Telstra TV when I upgraded my internet plan for NBN and I have a 4K TV so the lack of 4k on the original Telstra tv really bugged because I have the version of Netflix with 4k and I wasn’t able to view it in 4k on my Telstra tv so I will definitely be getting this new one

  • Ben
    24 October 2017 at 12:57 pm
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    They’re off to a good start with the FTA tuner so as you observe Trevor people would keep their TV on ‘HDMI 1’. Having proper STB functionality would be much better, if it had that I’d get one for our second TV.

    Obviously Telstra still can’t work out that people want to watch and RECORD free to air TV, which ironically the scrapped T-Box did and still does for those who own them. The switch from the T-Box to the original Telstra TV was a major stuff-up without so much as an FTA tuner, I still think this falls short.

    Our primary TV already does all these things minus the universal search.

    • Trevor Long
      25 October 2017 at 7:52 pm
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      The need to “record” is fast disappearing with Catch Up TV.

      ANd yes, most smart TV’s do these things, but millions of people don’t have such a TV

  • AB
    31 October 2017 at 2:48 am
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    Hi Trevor, I disagree that “record” is disappearing.

    1. Shows don’t appear on Catch Up TV until at least all of Australia (ie Eastern States have to WAit for WA) have screened show first.

    2. can’t fast forward ads on Catch Up TV.

    3. By recording a show, one can start to watch it after it has started, while it is still on-air so still see it same night/time & fast forward the ads without having to wait.

    • Trevor Long
      6 November 2017 at 2:35 pm
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      It’s improving. all the time. As for Fast Forwarding, mate, the ads are there for a reason, to pay for the content.

  • AB
    31 October 2017 at 2:53 am
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    Telstra TV 1 and 2 don’t do anything our Smart TV can do. We want the PVR function as well with an easy to use GUI! Just when they got the TBox problems sorted to be a great product they scrapped it and replaced it with the “Useless No Value Add Box”. Bring back the TBox!!!!!

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