Low-cost broadband and phone provider TalkTalk, has now launched its brand new 4K TV offer, with a streaming and Freeview box that comes from Netgem.
The new TalkTalk 4K TV Box includes a variety of streaming apps (including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more), and – by connecting an aerial – can be used as a Freeview box, with recordings possible via an optional USB stick (see the full specs below).
For now, the 4K box is only available to TalkTalk’s Future Fibre subscribers (see offers), but will presumably be available to a wider range of customers in the future.
TalkTalk’s previous TV box, which is based on YouView (and doesn’t support 4K), is still being offered to customers as well.
TalkTalk provides broadband to more than 4 million customers, focusing on internet connectivity and landline phones.
Their TV offer, up until now, has been somewhat minimal, with a £4/month YouView box that provided access to Freeview channels (with an aerial), and a few premium services you had to pay an additional fee for.
As we reported back in October, TalkTalk signed a contract with Netgem, which provides the new 4K TV Box.
Netgem, a company based in France, has two operation models in the UK – first, customers can buy its Netgem Netbox 4K as a standalone Freeview box.
But in the past year, Netgem has been focusing on signing contracts with broadband providers, then becoming their “TV Offer”. Currently, Netgem has contracts with more than fifteen Fibre operators in the UK, who adopted its NetgemTV platform.
TalkTalk 4K TV Box: The Details
TalkTalk’s new 4K TV Box is based on Netgem’s 4K Netbox (which I reviewed here), with a few differences.
This is first and foremost a streaming box, so it needs to connect to your broadband via WiFi. Then, you can use its more than 30 streaming apps and on-demand players.
The box offers several smart features, including “universal search” across content providers, and interactive capabilities allowing viewers to
play quizzes and enter competitions.
You can also pair the 4K TV Box with your phone, and then stream content both ways – to watch on your phone, or to cast from your phone to the box.
As for supported apps, while the standalone Netgem Netbox does NOT have a Netflix app – TalkTalk’s version of the 4K TV Box DOES have a Netflix app.
In addition, it supports Amazon’s Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, BritBox and more – with Sky’s streaming service, NOW, also coming soon.
As for Freeview, you would have to connect an aerial to the 4K TV Box, which also means you need decent reception in your area. The box doesn’t have a built-in hard drive, therefore you would need to connect a USB memory stick if you want to record programmes.
The 4K TV Box normally costs £4/month – the same as TalkTalk’s previous TV box. But that is, of course, on top of TalkTalk’s broadband plan, which you must subscribe to first, and the pricing tiers often change – so check the fine print first.
Also remember that additional streaming services – such as Netflix and Prime Video – would require you to subscribe directly. The £4 are only for the box itself.
However, the box also includes a few free streaming apps – such as W4Free and Filmzie – that offer a range of free films and TV shows to stream, with adverts (similar to Pluto TV or The Roku Channel).
And, it also has the Plex app, which you can use to stream your own content (or from Plex’ own list of free channels).
TalkTalk 4K TV Box Specs:
CPU & MEMORY
- Processor: BCM 72604
- DMIPS: 7K dual core
- 3D graphics: OpenGL ES 3.0
- System flash: 4GB eMMC
- RAM: 2GB DDR4
AUDIO / VIDEO
- ●Resolution: 4K@60 (UHD 3840×2160
- HDR10, HLG, Hardware Color
- Video decoder: HEVC/H265 (4Kp60-
10bit Profiles 4.1 5.0 5.1), VP9 (4Kp60-
10bit Profiles 0 and 2), AVC/H264
(1080p60, level 4.2), MPEG-2
- Audio decoder: MPEG-1/2 layer I/II/III,
AAC/MPEG-4, HE-AAC, Dolby Digital,
Dolby Digital+, Dolby ATMOS
- HDMI 2.0 (UHD) with CEC and ARC
- S/PDIF digital audio out (optical)
- USB 2.0 Type A (500mA) support for
- Ethernet 10/100 BaseT
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2×2 dual band
(2.4GHz – 5GHz) with Access Point
- DVB frontend T2+T+C
- Infrared receiver for Standard
- Bluetooth for Voice Remote control
- Bicolor LED on front panel (Blue/red)