TalkTalk, the low-cost broadband and phone provider, is set to change and expand its TV offer soon, by signing a deal with Netgem, which provides a 4K Freeview Play / Streaming box.
TalkTalk, which provides broadband to more than 4 million customers, focuses on internet connectivity and landline phones.
Their TV offer, particularly in recent months, has been minimal, and mostly offered a £4/month YouView recorder that provided access to Freeview channels (with an aerial), and a few premium services you had to pay an additional fee for.
In the past, TalkTalk customers were able to buy “TV Boosts” directly from TalkTalk, with more premium content from other companies – but that option was removed last year.
Today, Netgem has announced it signed a contract with TalkTalk, to provide the set-top box “for the launch of the next generation TalkTalk 4K TV service.”
Netgem, a company based in France, has two operation models in the UK – customers can buy its Netgem Netbox 4K as standalone Freeview Recorder, and also sign up for a number of additional premium channels.
In the past year, however, Netgem has been focusing on signing contracts with broadband providers, becoming their “TV Offer”. Currently, Netgem has contracts with fifteen Fibre operators in the UK, who adopted its NetgemTV platform.
Mathias Hautefort, CEO of Netgem, said: “This new contract with TalkTalk Group demonstrates the relevance of Netgem’s unique positioning in the fast-growing connected entertainment market.
“Netgem, thanks to its fully operated NetgemTV platform already market-tested with several operators in Britain in particular, and its expertise for running agreements with the main TV channels and the rising number of OTT content providers, intends to continue to expand its Content-as-a-Service model with Tier 1 operators.”
TalkTalk And Netgem TV: What Will Customers Get?
While details on what TalkTalk is planning to offer are still scarce, we can assume TalkTalk’s customers who sign up for the new “4K TV Service”, will be getting Netgem’s 4K Netbox set-top box.
In my review of the stand-alone Netgem Netbox 4K, I applauded its fast (though somewhat confusing) interface and excellent video and sound quality, while criticizing its lack of a built-in hard drive (for recordings).
In addition to Freeview, the Netgem boxes also support several streaming apps and services – such as Amazon Prime Video, the BT Sport app, YouTube, BritBox and more.
Disappointingly, some of the major streaming services – such as Netflix, NOW and Disney+, are missing from the Netgem box – so customers would still need an additional streaming device (or a Smart TV) if they want those services.
Pricing details for TalkTalk’s 4K offer are still unknown, and will be announced closer to when the new 4K tier launches.
At the moment, we understand there are no plans to remove the YouView TV option for customers who are not interested in the upcoming 4K box.