OZ Ditching Home Phones + Old Style PVR's As Content Streaming Takes Off
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Australians are not only ditching their home phones they are offloading their old media players in favour of boxes with Netflix.

A survey by ChannelNews reveals that “old” boxes from the likes of Teac, Topfield, Humax, GVA and Strong are being replaced by products such as Chromecast and media boxes from the likes of Kaiser Baas, also seeing an uplift in sales are Blu-ray players that are also capable of delivering smart TV capability along with Netflix Streaming.

While the boxes are not being abandoned from home TV networks, the old style media players that don’t have Netflix or are incapable of being upgraded are only being used to record free to air TV programs. 

Also on the nose with consumers are broadband bundles that come packaged with a home phone line.

According to Credit Suisse research analyst Fraser McLeish the rising number of mobile phone plans with unlimited phone calls is accelerating the death of fixed-line phones and could hurt the success of certain bundles.

What has proved appealing to consumers in 2015 is a sub $100 Optus bundle that includes unlimited broadband access and access to a Fetch TV media player.

Analysts are tipping that in 2016 TPG who is currently putting Telstra under pressure will launch a new content streaming service in Australia after acquiring iiNet earlier this year. 

What is not known is whether TPG will continue with their Fetch TV offering which is currently offered to former iiNet customers or where their content will come from.  

TPG executive chairman David Teoh last week said the company was planning to launch services relating to content but declined to outline his plans. 

He added that customers were less loyal to specific media providers, making bundling less vital.

McLeish said entertainment bundles, thanks to partnerships between telcos and content creators such as the English Premier League from Optus in 2016 or Foxtel, would become increasingly important.

He added that TPG’s lack of investment in this area would be a potential risk because its rivals were investing in content.

Another factor that is set to contribute new media player sales is the roll out of the NBN to more homes in Australia capital Cities. 

Retailers such as JB HI Fi will next year roll out major marketing campaigns for NBN and attached devices including a new Generation of media players such as the recently launched Telstra TV Box.

Also set to launch a new media player offering is Fetch TV. 

Fetch Tv

Fetch Company Executives said recently that their new device which will include new content streaming packages, will support 4K, multi-channel streaming and ‘download to go’ content.

This year Fetch TV witnessed a major spike in subscriber due to the release of the sub $100 Optus streaming deal. 

Fetch TV also said recently that there’s a new SVOD app in the works, though Fetch isn’t sharing details according to CNet. 

Scott Lorson CEO of Fetch TV old CNet that Fetch users would notice much faster app launch speeds, thanks to ‘app suspend’ — a technology that ensures “Netflix feels like a channel change rather than an app loading.” The introduction of “quad recording” in 2016 will also let users record an entire channel stream (such as Gem, Nine and Go) on the one tuner.

As well as better speeds, Fetch is promising better picture quality, thanks to an upgrade to the high efficiency video coding (HEVC) standard, which offers better video quality coupled with better compression, so there’s less data to deal with. And if you have Fetch TV at home, you will also be able to download shows to go, for watching on your mobile or tablet.

All of these updates, as well as the new 4K-compatible set-top box, will be joined by one more product in the Fetch stable with the 2016 launch of a mini set-top box. But, in keeping with its free-to-air focus, Fetch plans to one-up rivals Telstra TV and Apple TV by including a TV tuner in its mini.