By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
TRUE TV Internet Content Box is a new set-top box from the satellite and cable provider that allows you to conveniently watch entertainment content, popular football programmes and video on demand without the hassle of installation.
You can set up the box on your own just by connecting a LAN cable from your home router to the back of the box. It can also be linked with a Wi-Fi 802.11n connection to your home Wi-Fi router although TrueVisions recommends a LAN connection to ensure smooth play of Full HD content.
The box is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand so it’s no problem to tote it around and watch on-demand movies and live-streaming channels from TrueVisions wherever the Internet is available.
After trying it out, I think the True TV is well worth the money. The usual box price is Bt2,990 but TrueVisions is selling it for only Bt1,990. And if you subscribe for a new TrueMove H number, you can get it for only Bt990.
For this price, you will be able to watch English Premier League matches and other leading football leagues via beIN Sports channels as well as the Toyota Thai League for six months. There are six beIN Sports channels available for watching on the box. And with this price, you’ll get to watch video on demand free of charge until the end of April, after which you will have “rent” the movies at the rates of Bt39, Bt69, Bt99 or Bt129. Moreover, you can access and watch movies selected for you by TrueVisions for six months.
All in all, TrueVisions streams more 80 channels via the box. These live-streaming channels include all the terrestrial digital TV channels, and several channels from TrueVisions, including True Select HD, True Music HD, True Thai Film, True Asian Series HD, True Spark HD, True Spark Jump, True Explore Life, True Explore Sci, NHK World, RT, Aljazeera and CCTV News. Some of the channels come with a TimeShift feature, allowing you to rewind the programmes by up to two hours and others have a catch-up function so you can watch programmes that have aired over the past seven days.
The specification requires the box to have an Internet speed of at least 15 Mbps though 30 Mbps is recommended to fully enjoy the full HD resolution of the movies. Coincidentally, True Internet’s starting package for fibre-optics Internet has a speed of 30 Mbps and costs Bt599 per month.
I found the box and service were very easy to set up. The package comes with a HDMI cable, a LAN cable, a remote control and a power adapter. If your TV is located far from your home Internet router, you may have to get a longer cable, as the provided one is short.
Before you can start enjoying the streamed content, you will first have to register the box using your True ID. If you don’t have one, then register for a True ID first. After that you visit http://www.TrueTv.tv and use your True
ID to register the box’s serial number in the “sold/self-installation” box. Then, you connect the box to your TV, using the HDMI cable. The first time you start up the box, you will be required to input your True ID and password. The box has two USB ports to which you can connect a mouse and keyboard so that you can use them to key in letters or play games.
Then, the box will display a home screen for you to select content. You select Live TV to watch live-streaming channels, Movies to watch video on demand and Movie Lounge to watch movies selected for you by TrueVisions. There are also menus for watching music videos and karaoke by creating a playlist from the available video file. From the main menu, you can also play a selection of games, including Othello, chess and Sudoku.
I tested the box on Samsung 55-inch SUHD 4K Curved TV KS9000, using True Internet’s fibre-optics 15 Mbps connection. The video-on-demand movies, I watched “X-Men: Apocalypse”, streamed smoothly in sharp Full HD 1080p resolution. Live-streaming channels, all of them HD channels, are also very sharp.
My only gripe is that the remote does not provide a way to jump to a specific live-streaming channel right away. You must scroll the long list to find the channel you want to watch. But the box allows you to create a list of favourite programmes and movies for easier access later.
The box is quite powerful and uses an ARM quad-core processor running at 1.5 GHz with Mali-450 quad core GPU. It comes with 4GB ROM and internal storage of 1 GB available to the user. The box runs on a proprietary OS developed by ZTE for TrueVisions.
- CPU: ARM 1.5 GHz quad-core processor
- GPU: Mali-450 quad-core
- Internal memory (ROM): 4GB
- Wireless 2.4 GHz 802.11n
- LAN Ethernet interface: 10/100/1000 Mbps
- VDO output format: Full HD 1080i, 1080p, HD 720p
- HDMI interface: |1.4 A (with HDCP)
- USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports
- Remote control: |IR remote control
- Dimensions: 10x10x2.7 cm