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Telstra Goes Hybrid with New Roku-Powered 4K HDR Service

Aditya Kishore
10/27/2017

Telstra will be launching the new Telstra TV service next week, adding an over-the-air tuner to its new Roku-powered set-top box. This will combine the Australian operator's streaming video services with live, over-the-air (OTA) broadcast channels.

Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS) is the first customer for this new Roku Inc. platform, which also provides support for 4K UHD resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) along with the OTA tuner. According to some reports, it will also include support for HEVC coding, which will almost certainly be required for the higher resolution TV format.

Wizardry in Oz
Source: Roku
Source: Roku

The new Telstra TV service will also offer integrated search across live and on-demand television content, helping with content discovery and selection for its customers. The platform supports a number of streaming apps from major Australian broadcasters and other streaming providers including ABC iView, SBS On Demand, +7, 9NOW, Tenplay, Foxtel Now, BigPond Movies, Netflix, Stan and Hayu along with the major local OTA channels.

More features are planned for Telstra TV in the near future, including voice activation and control, personalized recommendations and a broader selection of content.

The platform has been developed by Roku as part of its licensing program for operators. Operators can develop their own streaming services, and customize the home screen and app store, while Roku provides support, hosting (for the app store), certification and updates. According to the vendor, the "Roku-Powered" program has been deployed by operators in Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Philippines, Republic of Ireland, Spain, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

— Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation

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