Telkom has launched an Android TV media player as part of its new LIT service, which provides users with free music and media streaming.
For mobile clients, LIT Music and LIT Video offers free media streaming for subscribers on certain FreeMe contracts.
Telkom fixed-line customes on “Home Unlimited” 8Mbps/10Mbps and greater, or on a SmartBroadband Wireless 50GB package and greater, get access to LIT TV.
“LIT TV allows for the streaming of your favourite shows, movies, and music at home, without depleting your data,” said Telkom.
Content partners for LIT TV include Showmax, YouTube, DStv, and the Google Play Store.
Packages which qualify for LIT TV also include Telkom’s Android TV box, when purchased on contract.
Dubbed the LIT TVB-100, Telkom’s media player is powered by a quad-core Amlogic chip and runs Android 7.1.2.
It has a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port and a dual-band Wi-Fi radio supporting the 802.11ac standard.
The Wi-Fi radio picked up 2.4GHz signals and the first half of the 5GHz spectrum when tested on our tri-band wireless router.
Telkom’s media player is also a good looking device. It is matte black with no visible branding and a thin bar running along the bottom edge that lights up when the device is on.
It has USB ports and an SD card slot, and a slew of connectivity options on the back – including HDMI, S/PDIF digital audio, and Ethernet.
It also has minijack connectors: one CVBS L/R output for headphones with CGMS-A enabled, and an infrared input.
While it is possible to download the Netflix app, the TVB-100 does not support Netflix at launch.
Telkom said it is working with Netflix and hopes to add it to the platform in the future.
The device comes with Showmax, YouTube, Google Play Movies, and Google Play Music installed, and these work like a charm.
According to the media player’s spec sheet, it supports 4K video playback at 60 frames per second. Using VP9 profile 2, the player can achieve 4K video at 30fps.
The Samsung UHD television we tested the device on reported that the interface was being displayed in 3,840 x 2,160, but the YouTube app would not allow videos to played back at resolutions higher than 1080p.
Converting the 4K Jellyfish Video bitrate test files to MP4 using Handbrake allowed the default video app to play back the files, however.
Telkom’s first media player is a promising device that delivers a slick user experience and good value for money if purchased as a standalone player.
The potential of Netflix coming to the platform also makes it an attractive option for Telkom customers.
If you’re looking for a Google-certified, ICASA-approved Android media player, the TVB-100 is a good pick.
It is available with all Telkom 24-month contract packages that qualify for LIT TV, and users can take out a 36-month contract to also receive a Huawei B315 router.
The media player is also available for R49.99 per month over 24 months, or for R1,099 once off.