Optus has advanced into digital media with the launch of its Optus MeTV with Fetch – an Internet TV service that gives customers control over what they watch and when.
Available on-demand on an existing broadband connection, the digital free-to-air and subscription television comes with a personal video recorder (PVR) and user interface.
The package, worth $9.95 per month on a 24 month plan, will be available to all Optus fixed and mobile customers.
According to the telco, only 33 per cent of Australians are subscribed to pay TV services.
“The way we consume content is rapidly changing. Optus Digital Media aims to develop products and services that meet this consumer need to Australian households,” Optus Digital Media director, Austin Bryan, said.
According to analyst firm, Ovum, Optus’ aggressive pricing, additional mobile functionality and the ability to deliver the service to customers of competing fixed line ISPs, gives it an edge relative to other FetchTV providers in the burgeoning Australian Internet TV market.
Ovum analyst Tim Renowden and research director, David Kennedy, questioned whether it is enough to take market share from Telstra’s T-Box service, which offers a similar hybrid DTT/streaming service, with comparable pricing and some high-profile content deals.
Ovum said the move illustrates how important possession of infrastructure will remain in the Australian NBN environment currently being assembled.
Optus and FetchTV have also developed a dedicated Optus MeTV with fetch app, allowing customers to access programming information and remote record their favourite shows from anywhere in Australia. The app also transforms their smartphone or tablet into a remote control and keyboard while at home.
Exclusive Optus digital apps, such as Optus News, will also be integrated into the Internet TV service, while mobile apps such as Go Places and Smart Safe will soon be made available through Optus MeTV.
Subscription TV packs will also be available for just $6.95 per month. The initial packs available will be Kids, Music TV and Factual, with more genres and foreign language channels to be added soon.
The monthly cost will be credited back when Optus MeTV is combined with Optus’ popular Fusion $109 home phone and broadband bundle.
Optus MeTV with fetch will be available to all existing Optus customers by November. The Optus MeTV mobile app is expected to be available for download from late November.
As part of the deal Optus customers will receive:
• Browsing experience on multiple screens • A set top box with in-built digital tuner, PVR and a 1TB hard drive that allows for over 250 hours of storage in standard definition • The ability to watch, pause and record free to air and digital channels • FetchTV’s popular Movie Box service which offers 30 pre-selected, on-demand movies per month – including seven additional films every week • Access to the new YouTube on TV application, games, weather and connection to social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter.