Telstra today announced a major update to the T-Box set-top box, expanding the current functionality of the unit to include media playback from external storage devices over Wi-Fi and USB.
Dubbed My Media, the new service will be installed when T-Box customers next update the firmware on their set-top boxes. My Media will be included as a new menu option in the system's main menu, and will show files located on external sources, such as external hard drives or on PCs running Windows Media Player 12. Happily, the My Media feature supports a wide range of popular multimedia codecs, including MP3, WMA and FLAC audio files, MPG, DivX, Xvid and WMV video files and file containers including AVI and MKV. It can also display photos in a slideshow, as long as the images are in JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF or PNG format.
Telstra's T-Box has suffered poor reviews, both critically and from its user base, with concerns about the restrictions of the system compared with similar set-top boxes and personal video recorders (PVRs). The My Media update is a significant suite of new functionality for the T-Box, which helps it to bridge the gap between what it offers compared with the features offered by its nearest rivals.
There have been rumours that Telstra is working on a major overhaul of its content services, and that an entirely new revision of the T-Box hardware could follow in the footsteps of these changes. These rumours suggest that Telstra could be working on releasing a streaming video-game service to complement its BigPond video-rental and music services.
Telstra customers looking for more information about how to set up My Media should check out Telstra's help page.