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)
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!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
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.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPSAP Helpdesk SupportACT
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- TPFunctional AnalystVIC
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- CCBPM Technical AnalystVIC
- FTApplication Support Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- FTPython DeveloperNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectACT
- CCApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- FTSenior Software EngineerVIC
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Learning Specialist - Global OrganisationQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)WA
- TPProject OfficerQLD
- CCService Desk Quality Assurance AnalystNSW
- TPAgile CoachNSW
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- FTSalesforce AdministratorQLD
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorACT
- TPHRIS Business AnalystQLD
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT