Fetch TV is a business that’s been on a long and steady journey that seems to have been aimed squarely at where we are today – a connected, Internet viewing world where entertainment on your big-screen TV can come in any form and from a variety of sources. Fetch TV is the box that can do more than any other and they’ve just launched their 3rd generation of boxes.
Having used the Fetch TV “Gen 2” box for some time now, I’m still a huge fan of the power of the set-top box as a PVR, for simple access to streaming services, Free to Air and streamed IPTV channels – as well as for TV Show and Movie purchases and rental.
For existing users, the new boxes are a step ahead – for those new to Fetch TV it’s a compelling option to turn your big-screen TV into a whole new world of entertainment.
The new Fetch TV “Mighty” is the latest large set-top box which looks just like the “Gen 2” but inside has a bunch of features that are much needed to bring it up to 2016 spec.
There are now four Free-to-Air TV tuners allowing you to record six programs while watching one, the Mighty has WiFi on board so no more crazy Powerline extenders or cables running across the room for connectivity, a total of 3GB RAM to ensure much faster load time for apps but perhaps the most important feature is the HEVC encoding and 4K capability.
The new Fetch TV Mighty will be one of the first set-top-boxes in the world to support Netflix 4K content – something currently offered where Netflix is installed on a Netflix certified 4K TV like the latest LG models..
Bill Holmes, Global Head of Business Development at Netflix said “Netflix is investing heavily to offer a premium 4k viewing experience – nearly doubling its 4K catalog this year – and we are excited that Fetch TV’s new “Mighty” will be amongst the first STB’s deployed anywhere in the world to support Netflix in 4k.”
That’s pretty bloody impressive from a little set-top box from Australia.
Speaking of little, this is where Fetch TV is about to boom – they’ve also launched today the Fetch TV Mini. This little guy looks like the Gen 2 or Mighty went through the set of “Honey I shrunk the kids” but packs enormous punch.
It’s still a Free-to-Air Digital TV tuner so can add full HD free-to-air capability to an older TV, plus it has all the Fetch TV online services.
Essentially, it can do everything a Fetch TV could do until now except record TV.
It’s also WiFi enabled making it a whole lot more appealing for installation, but does not have the 4K capabilities of the Mighty.
I’ve been testing the mini now for a few weeks and it’s seriously impressive. Snappy performance, the same great Fetch TV interface for movie rentals and streaming content in a little box the size of an Apple TV or Telstra TV.
In fact, those two competitors are the exact place potential buyers should look for comparison
Fetch TV Mini will have Netflix, Stan and Presto, as well as a Free-to-air TV tuner and HD channels as part of that. It really is the ultimate set-top box for the average Australian who wants high quality HD TV channels, streaming services and movie rentals.
Both the Mini and Mighty from Fetch TV are developed with IPTV streaming in mind, and there’s no co-incidence that they launch in time for Optus’ exclusive English Premier League coverage. Both boxes will form a critical part of Optus’ distribution plans for the EPL allowing people to watch the games on their big screen at home.
An all new, and simpler remote control comes with both Mighty and Mini which is slimmer and has a nifty way of allowing the top set of buttons to be both navigation and numbers by switching between modes. It’s a simple thing, but it really makes the remote a bit easier to use as the previous generation was a touch complex.
All in all, this is a cracking development from Fetch TV who with the rise of Netflix and streaming as well as the upcoming EPL deal with Optus are on track to push toward 1,000,000 Fetch users – the “subscription TV” space is complex, competitive and it’s really heating up now.
Fetch TV Mini will retail for $149 the Fetch TV Mighty for $399, both are available from Monday from Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Optus, with iiNet and Dodo following soon.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.