Review was updated on 11th June, 2019
One of Australia’s first online movie rental services – the first with physical discs and then digital downloads – BigPond Movies was something of a household name for many years. It was the last valiant hold-out from the days when BigPond was the brand you’d see across Telstra’s range of internet services, but it became synonymous with the BigPond Movies service that continued to bear the name.
That’s all changed now, though – because BigPond Movies has left the building! In its place is a new name and a new main platform. Because Telstra TV Box Office, as it’s now known, is all about putting movies and TV shows onto your screen with as much ease and convenience as possible – and that means it’s become a key element of the popular Telstra TV range of streaming devices, especially the just-released Telstra TV 3.
It’s that “straight from the cinema” thinking that Telstra TV Box Office is aiming to enhance, with more movies, more often, delivered direct to your device.
What Makes Telstra TV Box Office Different?
The one thing to know right up front – especially if you were already a BigPond Movies customer – is that Telstra TV Box Office carries all BigPond Movies accounts across seamlessly. You can log in with your existing username and password, and everything will be right where you left it. Your account credit carries over, as do any purchased movies or TV shows you have on your account.
So what’s new? Well, aside from the very colourful logo, the clue is right there in the name. Telstra TV Box Office is designed to integrate seamlessly with the new Telstra TV 3, which released at the same time and can be obtained via various Telstra Broadband plans or purchased outright.
The new voice search interface in the Telstra TV 3 has the ability to pull results from everywhere, from free to air TV to Netflix… to Telstra TV Box Office, where you’ll find the latest movies and TV shows that can’t be seen on regular streaming services. A quick search can take you to a brand new movie like Bohemian Rhapsody, which you can then rent or buy directly from the interface, with the cost conveniently added to your monthly Telstra bill.
What’s on the Menu?
You’ve always been able to find the latest blockbuster movies and hit TV shows to rent and buy on BigPond Movies, and it’s that “straight from the cinema” thinking that Telstra TV Box Office is aiming to enhance, with more movies, more often, delivered direct to your device.
For most movie titles, you have the choice of either renting or buying – with rentals ranging in price from around $6 to $7, and an outright purchase costing between $15 and $25 (this permanently attaches the movie to your account so you can watch it as often as you like across all your devices, at home and on the go).
TV shows, however, can only be purchased outright – this is not a Telstra TV Box Office restriction, but one imposed by the studios across all providers. It does mean, however, that you can build up a nice library of TV shows for yourself, with individual episodes able to be purchased if you’re after something specific (they’re priced at around $3 each). The full seasons are usually a better buy, though, at anywhere between $20 and $35, depending on the show, how many episodes it has and how recent it is.
TV seasons that are currently in progress can still be purchased as a “season pass”, too. This will deliver a fresh episode to you every week for the length of the season – no need to track down when the next episode is on, just fire up the app and press play to get watching.
What Devices Are Supported?
With a long history behind it, Telstra TV Box Office is available across a range of devices – starting, of course, with the Telstra TV boxes themselves. All three generations of Telstra TV are supported, including the latest third-generation model. You can rent and buy movies and buy TV shows directly on Telstra TV devices, making it a one-stop shop from the comfort of the couch.
Across other platforms, you’ll find Telstra TV Box Office apps on various smart TVs including LG, Panasonic and Samsung, covering their 2016 and later models. You’ll also be able to access Telstra TV Box Office using the older BigPond Movies app on older smart TVs from these brands, but full compatibility isn’t guaranteed.
Over on your PC or Mac, you can browse, buy, rent and stream Telstra TV Box Office in any modern web browser. In some cases you’ll need a browser plug-in for Flash, but Telstra TV Box Office now supports more modern streaming methods in browsers that support them – we’d recommend using Google Chrome for best results, where you’ll get smooth playback without any need for a plug-in.
Meanwhile, on portable devices there’s a Telstra TV Box Office app for your iOS or Android phone and tablet – though it’s worth noting that the iOS apps do not allow you to buy or rent directly from the app. Instead, you have to do so via the website (or any other supported platform) then view the content in the iOS app at your leisure. This is because of Apple’s demand for a hefty cut of in-app purchases, and isn’t uncommon – Amazon does a similar thing with its Kindle app on iOS, for example – but is worth keeping in mind.
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Get the new Telstra TV 3 + unlimited data + $125 Telstra TV Box Office credit + 3 mths unlimited access to hayu, DocPlay, Garage, & AnimeLab — all for only $99/mth!
Video Review of Telstra TV 3
Are There Special Promotions?
Telstra TV Box Office runs promos on a regular basis, such as half-price rentals for a weekend. To keep track of when things like this are happening without having to constantly check the apps, your best bet is to follow Telstra TV Box Office on Facebook, where they regularly update their page with offers and information. If you need to contact customer service for any reason, this is the ideal way to do so as well.
What’s in a Name?
While it might look like a mere name change on the surface – as well as the end of the long history of the BigPond brand – Telstra TV Box Office says they’re only just getting started. The service, which has bubbled along quietly in recent years, is now the focus of renewed energy, attention and investment, and tight integration with the shiny new Telstra TV box is just the beginning.
It’s a service that, when you pair it with its native device, makes an absolute ton of sense – taking the Telstra TV box from being a mere streaming device to acting as an interactive entertainment hub. Ask the Telstra TV for an actor, movie title or anything else, get a list of what’s on offer across all services and, if you want the latest, rent or buy it directly on the device with the cost seamlessly added to your monthly bill (no messing around with credit cards required!)
That’s the focus of Telstra TV Box Office, but don’t worry – no matter what you watch, buy or rent on the service, you’ll be able to take it with you wherever you go!