Telstra T-Box PVR (preview)
The T-Box shines when used when connected to high-speed Telstra BigPond Internet and has some excellent content available
- Smooth and intuitive interface, super-fast buffering and downloading (on Telstra BigPond cable and ADSL2+), wide range of content on BigPond TV and BigPond Movies on Demand, low initial price
- Requires a BigPond Internet connection to access BigPond online content, new release movie content is slightly expensive
The Telstra T-Box PVR is a viable alternative to the TiVo and other set-top box offerings, and its movies on demand and linear streaming channels provide a compelling value-add option for anyone looking for reasons to switch ISPs to Telstra BigPond. It is only appealing to those with Telstra BigPond Internet, though - users of other ISPs will be unable to access most functions.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
The Telstra T-Box is a personal video recorder (PVR) with a 320GB internal hard drive and two high-definition digital television tuners. The T-Box, due for release later this month, also has access (when connected to the Internet via Telstra's BigPond service) to seven IPTV channels and BigPond Movies on Demand. A smooth and good-looking interface makes the device easy to use without any prior experience, and download speeds are excellent. If you're a Telstra BigPond customer, you're in for a treat. If you're not, the T-Box is far less inviting.
The Telstra T-Box is the telecommunications giant's attempt at bringing its BigPond TV IPTV channels and BigPond Movies on Demand service to your television screen. Connecting to your home network via 10/100MBps Ethernet or 802.11b/g/n wireless, the Telstra T-Box's 320GB hard drive is split up into two segments — you'll be able to use around 200GB for storing recorded free-to-air television, while the other 120GB is devoted to BigPond Movies downloads and caching for BigPond streaming IPTV.
You must have a Telstra BigPond Internet connection to be able to access the BigPond TV and BigPond Movies on Demand content on the Telstra T-Box. If you don't, these features will be unavailable and the T-Box loses most of its appeal.
Telstra T-Box: design and connectivity
The T-Box is quite attractive for a PVR. Its glossy black and brushed black aluminium fascia has only a USB port and a power LED. Head to the rear of the unit and you'll find an antenna jack, Ethernet port, HDMI output and break-out for composite and component analog video connectors. SP/DIF optical audio and stereo RCA analog audio output allows a home theatre system to be connected.
In the retail package of the Telstra T-Box you can expect to find an aerial cable, HDMI cable, break-out analog video cable and Ethernet network cable — everything you'll need to get the T-Box hooked up and running. The unit we tested was connected to a 30 megabit Telstra BigPond cable connection and a Samsung television via HDMI.
Telstra T-Box: interface
The graphical user interface of the Telstra T-Box is one of the best we've seen on a standalone personal video recorder (short of buying a media centre, which allow a huge range of customisation). The interface is vaguely reminiscent of the PlayStation 3's XMB style in that it uses both horizontal and vertical scrolling — after navigating through a vertical list of options in the main menu, you can scroll horizontally to find the specific content you're after. Animations are smooth and the on-screen icons are brightly coloured and easy to read. Menus are also laid out intuitively, and often there is more than one way to access content — one example we saw was the ability to access rented movies via My Rentals the main menu, but also via the rentals option in the BigPond Movies menu.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Google quietly kills its Nexus Player as Chromecast overshadows Android TV
- How to customize the Apple TV (fourth-generation) home screen
- YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Linux/Orcale/MySQL) 160531/SA/253Asia
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- CCTechnology Lead / Senior Developer - Java (Urgent)NSW
- CCSkilled Sitecore / .NET DeveloperNSW
- CCInfrastructure Deployment ManagerVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectACT
- CCTransition Manager / Project ManagerQLD
- CCIT Assistant (Lotus Notes/LAN/Anti-Virus) 160524/ITA/074Asia
- FTOPEN_ASAP_Network Security AdministratorACT
- CCSystem Engineer - Server Migration experienceNSW
- FTSOE SpecialistACT
- FTSenior Developer (.Net)SA
- FTIT Support - Level 1NSW
- CCSystems Analyst (HTML/JAVA/Wireless & Mobile) 160525/SA/443Asia
- CCSenior Program DirectorNSW
- CCExcel DeveloperVIC
- CCProject ManagerACT
- CCProject CoordinatorACT
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- FTLinux Infrastructure EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- FTPeopleSoft Finance Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCData Engineer (Java, Scala, Scripting, Hadoop, Spark)NSW
- FTNV1, NV2 Network Engineers | Permanent role with diverse Defence projectsACT
- CCOracle Application Administrator - July startACT