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Vodafone TV evaluation: A worthy Android TV contender

The Vodafone TV streaming field is strangely open and simple to make use of if you wish to have additional sensible TV options.

Quick Verdict
Vodafone’s first streaming field supplies get admission to to maximum, if no longer the entire streaming services and products you need to need, however we are nonetheless looking ahead to the easiest streaming answer.

The just right

  • Includes 4K chromecast.
  • Free to air tuner.
  • Simple operation and set-up.

The unhealthy

  • Doesn’t come with all catch-up services and products.
  • No native recording.
  • Slow transfer from loose to air to streaming.

It wasn’t precisely an enormous marvel when Vodafone launched its own streaming set-top box. It’s very a lot the manner of the time, and with Telstra providing up the Telstra TV 2 and Optus having its long-term affiliation with native PVR maker Fetch, Vodafone was once very a lot by myself among the massive 3 Australian telcos.

The Vodafone TV adjustments all that, bringing an Android TV-based platform to Vodafone consumers. Or certainly somebody’s consumers, for the reason that Vodafone TV is open sufficient to paintings with any ISP so long as you are glad to pay Vodafone for the field itself.


Vodafone TV evaluation: A worthy Android TV contender

Vodafone hasn’t reinvented the idea that of a small TV streaming field in any specific manner with the Vodafone TV. Indeed, it is a fairly pedestrian design that, save for the silver Vodafone emblem at the most sensible, might be used as a generic inventory symbol of what you may consider a streaming field would possibly seem like.

That’s if truth be told no unhealthy factor since in the long run you do not need to be spending an excessive amount of time staring on the field. The complete level is staring on the TV, as a substitute. The Vodafone TV is sufficiently small to pop away anyplace, and excluding a small base-mounted inexperienced mild, briefly turns into inconspicuous.

The identical might be mentioned of the Vodafone TV’s chunky little faraway regulate, which once more may smartly be the style for any generic TV faraway you would care to call. It has devoted buttons for quick launching of Netflix or YouTube, in addition to buttons for Live TV, house and the built in microphone for voice searches.

The Vodafone TV can get a bit of cable cluttered, due to the shut association of its HDMI output, TV antenna and ethernet cables. Naturally, you’ll be able to scale back that a bit of through the usage of Wi-Fi as a substitute of ethernet connectivity. There’s additionally a USB port at the aspect for including any further content material, or optionally side-loading apps, despite the fact that Vodafone’s probably not to provide you with beef up for such actions.

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Vodafone TV evaluation: A worthy Android TV contender

The core necessities for the Vodafone TV are refreshingly open, as befits an Android TV manner. You’ll want to pay Vodafone for the Vodafone TV field, after all, however Vodafone’s no longer tying it to a selected subscription product in the way in which that the quite equivalent Foxtel Now field does. It additionally does not require a Vodafone broadband connection to perform, in contrast to the Telstra TV 2 that simplest works on Telstra broadband connections. While Netflix and YouTube are entrance and centre, you would not have to make use of them or have a subscription to both provider.

As such, the one completely obligatory side of the set up procedure is a Google ID, as a result of that is nonetheless an Android platform, and you can want it to load on apps past the preinstalled Netflix and YouTube apps. Otherwise, it is a quite simple strategy of plugging in HDMI and gear, connecting all of it up and turning in community credentials in case you are the usage of Wi-Fi to hook up your Vodafone TV.

The simplest quirk in its set-up that I hit was once that it is very conscious about the HDCP reproduction coverage options constructed into the HDMI same old. I had to begin with deliberate to have it hooked up to an HDMI transfer for checking out, however the Vodafone TV refused to turn a blank symbol that manner.

Direct connection to a TV panel solved this smartly, however it is price allowing for when you’ve got a extra complicated TV set-up, or certainly when you’ve got older parts in your house leisure set-up. If they are able to’t communicate HDCP to a degree that assists in keeping the Vodafone TV glad, you will have issues. To be honest, this is not a question of Vodafone’s doing as I’ve noticed equivalent problems with gadgets such because the Fetch Mighty up to now.

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Vodafone TV evaluation: A worthy Android TV contender

One of the extra refreshing facets of the Vodafone TV’s presentation is solely how open it’s. There’s a small row of “Vodafone recommends” apps, masking Netflix and YouTube on the time of writing, however past that, you are by yourself so far as app set up is going. Frankly, the “Vodafone recommends” segment looks like somewhat of a waste of display screen area as a result of they are the similar apps you have already got as buttons at the faraway regulate anyway.

It’s relatively the trade from the Foxtel Now field, which gifts Foxtel subject material at first even though you do not need it to, or the extra locked-down or restricted natures of a Fetch field or the Telstra TV 2.

However, that is not to mention that it is open to utterly each and every streaming provider you may want. Foxtel Now is significantly absent, as is nineNow and SBS on Demand, despite the fact that it is simple sufficient to find the apps for iView, TenPlay and sevenPlus. Again, that is not Vodafone’s fault as a result of it is a subject of app builders making Android TV 7.1.1 suitable apps, although this can be a quite proscribing issue.

Somewhat proscribing on this case as a result of, just like the Foxtel Now field, the Vodafone TV could also be a completely succesful Chromecast instrument as smartly, that means any provider that helps casting to Chromecast can ship its indicators to the Vodafone TV conveniently.

There’s one thing that feels virtually devious sending an episode of Game of Thrones to the Vodafone TV by way of an Apple iPad, however it is all above board and supported, so why no longer?

Vodafone’s open design even extends to programs which might be continuously related to less-than-copyright-friendly apps that Foxtel blocks at the Foxtel Now field, corresponding to Plex or Kodi. What you do with them, naturally, is as much as you.

It’s no longer only a query of streaming apps, with plenty of different leisure and information-based apps to be had for the Android TV platform, together with video games. Entertainingly, 3DMark will run at the Vodafone TV, albeit simplest with the Ice Storm Extreme benchmark.

I could not withstand the urge to benchmark, so I will be able to inform you (fairly uselessly) that it scored three,839, striking it in equivalent corporate to the Motorola E4 or Nokia 3 smartphones. It’s no longer super-capable within the 3-d graphics division, however then it does not in point of fact want to be for the restricted vary of Android TV video games.

The Vodafone TV additionally features a unmarried in-line TV antenna socket, so you’ll be able to track to your in the neighborhood to be had virtual TV stations. Tuning is straightforward sufficient and smartly guided during the person interface. Predictably, switching to and from the are living feed to streaming programs may also be fairly sluggish.

You’re additionally restricted in EPG phrases to only the “now and next” news inherent within the broadcast sign. Like each and every different unmarried tuner small field, Vodafone TV is simplest fascinated by appearing you present content material, with out a onboard beef up for pausing, rewinding or recording are living TV. It’s a streaming field, no longer a PVR, and as such Live TV virtually looks like a pasted-on additional.

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Vodafone TV evaluation: A worthy Android TV contender
At $120 outright, the Vodafone TV is a most commonly open TV streaming field that may ship a forged, if no longer precisely impressive viewing enjoy. It’s no longer onerous to peer it as Vodafone grabbing a generic OEM streaming field and striking a Vodafone emblem onto it, however that is not an absolute condemnation if the possibility of a configurable TV field appeals to you.

Vodafone could have come overdue to the streaming birthday celebration, however in its first tackle a streaming field, it has delivered a high quality end result.

Vodafone TV evaluation: A worthy Android TV contender
Vodafone Australia sells the Vodafone TV for $120 outright, or for $five monthly on a 24 month broadband contract.

At the time of writing, should you do package deal the Vodafone TV with both the Essential Plus or Premium NBN plans from Vodafone, you can additionally ranking a 12 month Netflix subscription, price a minimum of $120. Or in different phrases, in case you are making plans on getting an NBN connection thru Vodafone and may use some loose Netflix, it is a bit of a no brainer.

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The Australian streaming TV field area is a hectic one, and also you do have choice alternatives to imagine.

The Apple TV 4K continues to be our favorite on the subject of easy interface and app compatibility, despite the fact that just like the Vodafone TV, you have to use AirPlay to get services and products like Foxtel Now up and operating on it.

Within the telco area, the Telstra TV 2 does be offering Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now and the entire native catchup services and products at the one field with out Cast/Airplay necessities, however it is just operable on a Telstra broadband connection, and has restricted get admission to to the Roku app retailer.

Foxtel has its Android TV field, the Foxtel Now Box that (no longer shockingly) does come with Foxtel Now and Android apps, however in a locked-down atmosphere according to Foxtel’s personal contractual preparations with copyright holders. It is quite more cost effective than the Vodafone TV at simply $99, then again.


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If you wish to have the whole PVR enjoy, imagine a Fetch field such because the Fetch Mighty, or its smaller sibling, the Fetch Mini. That’s a platform with built in Netflix, Stan, hayu and YouTube app get admission to, in addition to Australian catchup services and products, however there is no “app store” there for added capability.

Finally, in case you are glad to solid from any other instrument for your TV, you need to imagine Google’s Chromecast gadgets so as to add sensible purposes for your TV.

Site Comment Score
SMH “If you can live without built-in Foxtel then the Vodafone TV has a lot to offer in Australian lounge rooms.” N/A

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Product Name
Vodafone TV
Resolution
Up to 4K
Video connectivity
HDMI
Internet connectivity
Ethernet/Wi-Fi
Operating device
Android TV 7.1.1
Storage
8GB
Price
$120

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