You’ve probably heard us say this a few times before, but the future of television is already here – and in that future, we don’t need an antenna or a satellite dish on the roof. We watch what we want, at the time we want to watch it. And if it’s a one-time broadcast thing, we watch it later on our terms. People have long wondered when mainstream television viewing would move from the airwaves to the internet. Fact is, it’s already happened.
But if you’re like the thousands of people every day who discover streaming TV for the first time, you might be a bit put off by all the tech that surrounds it. Broadband plans, streaming devices, data allowances, app downloads… Wouldn’t it be better if there was just one package you could buy that gave you a fast broadband connection and the gear you need to stream on-demand and live TV?
Thanks to these two top-tier internet providers, options like that exist – and don’t cost a fortune either. These bundled plans give you everything you need to stream Netflix and Stan, watch live TV via Foxtel Now and Fetch TV, or catch up with missed episodes of your favourite free-to-air shows any time you like.
The approaches taken by each ISP are slightly different. While Telstra makes good use of their excellent Telstra TV streaming box, iPrimus has partnered with Fetch TV for access to both of their latest devices and the channels they offer. Both of these options are fantastic on a technical level. And thanks to rapidly falling prices in recent times, both are surprisingly cheap. So which one is the right fit for you? Read on to find out!
Telstra Broadband – Telstra TV + Unlimited Bundle
Telstra’s given up the letters with the name of their new bundle, shying away from their years of naming plans “M” and L” and just calling it like they see it. And it’s a great deal, too, offering unlimited data for $99 per month, with the Telstra TV 3 box thrown in for free along with a huge 10,000 bonus points on the Telstra Plus rewards program, putting you well on the way to your next treat, and three months’ worth of brand new streaming service Binge on the house (which they’ll turn into six months when you join Telstra Plus!) This is no-fuss bundling at its finest. No hidden fees or traps, just one of the country’s fastest broadband networks to play with, at a price that sits comfortably amongst the competition.
It’s worth mentioning the bundles above this one, too. They give you everything in the $99 bundle, but instead of the Telstra TV box, you get a hardware Foxtel installation with either Sports HD or Movies HD alongside Foxtel Plus and a free iQ4 box, for only $140/month.
All Telstra unlimited broadband bundles come with a home phone line that gives you unlimited calls anywhere in Australia – including calls to mobile phones. That’s a huge potential money-saver right there.
Last audited 21 February 2021
Based on the second generation of the legendary Roku streaming box that’s hugely popular in the US – and specially customised for Telstra by Roku themselves – Telstra TV is an impossibly tiny little box that will fit anywhere under or near your TV. Plug it into your TV and connect via Wi-Fi or Ethernet and you’re good to go. Apps for Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now and all the free-to-air catch-up services are pre-installed and ready to go at the touch of its uncomplicated remote. Telstra TV was the first device to be able to stream Foxtel Now in high definition, too!
Telstra TV’s purpose is clear from the moment you turn it on. This is a little powerhouse box that streams a pre-defined set of services, and does it beautifully. It’s unquestionably the best way to view Foxtel Nowby far. So if you were planning on using that service, this is the device you want.
Video Review of the Telstra TV 3
Stream TV with the Telstra TV 3
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iPrimus – Fetch TV Unlimited Bundle
Now in the very capable hands of massive Australian fibre network provider Vocus, iPrimus was fairly late to the Fetch TV party. Despite the fact that its sister company Dodo has offered it for a long time. Backed by a well-provisioned network, iPrimus has long been a great choice for broadband (and now NBN). They provide a solid, reliable and speedy service with everything bundled in including home phone line rental, with unlimited calls across Australia an optional $10/month extra..
Head to the iPrimus web site looking for info on this Fetch bundle, though, and you’ll find yourself puzzled. It’s hard to find. The reason for this? Well, it’s not really a bundle at all. Rather, you pay for a Fetch TV service on top of your monthly broadband plan. That plan, whether on ADSL or NBN, must be unlimited-data.
So for both NBN and ADSL, the unlimited data plans are $75/month (NBN50) and $85/month (NBN100), plus another $10/month for the superbly capable Fetch TV Mini box. And if all you want is a PVR to record and play free-to-air TV and stream Netflix and Stan – and the base Fetch TV channels, similar to Foxtel’s Entertainment Pack – you just need to ask for the Fetch TV Mighty box ($20/month) and you’re set. Fetch also offers premium streaming TV channels (see below for details) which are $6/month each – or $20/month for all 42 channels. If you don’t want to pay for the premium channels, you still get access to 30 free pre-selected rental movies every month delivered right to your Fetch TV box.
The total cost, then? $85/month for unlimited broadband and the Mini box, or $105 with all the premium channels.
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Last audited 21 February 2021
Fetch TV Mighty
Probably the company that’s jumped head-first into streaming TV of all kinds sooner than anyone else in Australia, Fetch TV launched their new Mighty box back in 2016. It’s a seriously nice piece of entertainment tech. The compact box functions as a streaming box for Netflix, Stan and others. It’s also a PVR, allowing you to record TV shows and streaming TV channels to hard disk to play back later – though of course you can’t do that with the on-demand streaming services. Furthermore, it comes with catch-up services for the free-to-air channels. And, last but not least, it’s a high definition set top box as well.
The Fetch TV Mighty has a superb full-sized remote control that brings all of its many features together seamlessly. It has an app that allows you to set recordings remotely when you’re away from home. And as a bonus, it fully supports 4K televisions – including streaming your own content to them over your home network. The Mighty costs $399 to buy from retailers, so even on a two-year contract you’re getting it cheaper by getting one on a plan.
If you don’t want to record TV, but just stream it, then the Fetch TV Mini box is a far more compact alternative. It’s what’s provided by default with iPrimus’s TV plans, for a good reason – this is the age of streaming everything!
Fetch TV’s channel packs are similar to what you’d find on Foxtel or Foxtel Now, without the super-premium offerings. At $20/month for all 42 channels you’re getting great value, though – everything from SyFy and BBC First to Disney or ESPN.
Which one is the right fit?
What we have here are two very different ways of bundling your entertainment with your broadband. Both networks are excellent choices for fast broadband, with iPrimus having the slight edge on raw broadband pricing.
If it’s both streaming video and TV channels you’re after, though, you’ll need to choose between Fetch and Foxtel Now for channel variety – and between the two devices for their features. So, pick your priority – is it HBO shows? You’ll want the Telstra deal with Binge (or satellite Foxtel if you want to spend a bit more). If you watch a lot of free-to-air TV, just want a bunch of the most popular premium channels and would like a high-quality digital video recorder to record and manage it all, iPrimus’s Fetch service with the Mighty box is where you want to be.
One thing’s for sure – real broadband TV is here, it’s growing in popularity, and it’s never been more affordable.
Frequently Asked Questions about Telstra TV
Based on the hugely popular Roku boxes that are the biggest-selling streaming devices in the US, Telstra TV is a powerful yet easy to use device that’s designed to be a complete hub for both streaming services and live TV. Plug one into your TV and connect it to your antenna and broadband, and you’re able to seamlessly watch live TV and stream from all the major streaming services, with Telstra TV’s universal search making it easy to find the stuff you want to watch, fast.
Telstra TV is designed to be quick and easy to set up. Just connect the HDMI output to your TV, connect the device to broadband internet either via Wi-Fi or with an Ethernet cable, and optionally plug in your free-to-air antenna as well, since Telstra TV has a built-in digital TV tuner and program guide. The on-screen setup instructions appear the first time you turn your Telstra TV on, and walk you through getting up and running in no time.
With support for every major streaming service including Netflix, Binge, hayu and Stan, all the free-to-air networks’ catch-up apps, specialised free streaming services like YouTube and full support for premium services like Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports, there’s not much that you can’t watch on Telstra TV! Thanks to the free-to-air TV tuner, you’ve also got all the broadcast TV channels to surf through if you’re looking for something new.
Because it’s mainly a streaming device, Telstra TV doesn’t have the ability to record live TV. However, as you watch any live TV channel, you can pause for up to 30 minutes, with the channel “recording” to internal memory in the background. That means you can hit pause to answer the door and not miss a moment of your show. You can also use an “instant replay” feature to skip back 10 seconds instantly if you missed something.
You’ve got two options if you’re looking to get a Telstra TV – either buying it outright, or getting it as part of your Telstra mobile or broadband plan. For outright purchase, Telstra TV costs $216 either online direct from Telstra, or from any Telstra shop. If you’d rather not pay up front, though, you can add the latest Telstra TV to your mobile or broadband plan for $9/month over 24 months, with the final cost also ending up as $216 in total.
Before you set up your Telstra TV, plug the antenna cable from your wall into the socket on the back of the Telstra TV (if you still want the antenna to go to your TV as well, you can buy an inexpensive device called a “splitter” from any hardware store). Then during setup, you’ll be prompted to scan for digital free-to-air channels. Once that’s completed, just head to the Live TV section in the menu to watch TV!
While the most popular streaming apps come pre-installed on Telstra TV, there are others available for you to use if you want – and you’ll find them in the App Store menu. You can browse through the available extra apps and read descriptions of what they do, and if you want to try any of them, simply click the Download button and the app will be automatically set up for you.
Yes, using your Telstra TV is completely free aside from the cost of buying it – and as well as free to air TV, many streaming apps also offer free access. However do keep in mind that paid streaming service such as Netflix, Kayo, Binge and Stan require a paid monthly subscription. Some of these – like Kayo and Binge – can be subscribed to via your Telstra account so it’s quick and easy to sign up, and the monthly subscription is automatically added to your Telstra bill.