Our TVs are becoming boring. While the cost of Smart TVs have been going down in the past months, a lot of us – Filipinos – still prefer keeping what we have and look for more affordable alternatives. Android TV boxes and streaming players have become the staple solutions to this, and this is why a lot of telcos have been offering it to their consumers and subscribers.
PLDT has been a huge proponent to this. From the first to last year’s TVolution offering, it is evident that the company has been investing so much on bringing rich media experience to more Filipinos. Just recently, PLDT announced their partnership with Roku so they can bring the well-loved streaming box to Filipinos.
Finally. this June, PLDT will officially make Roku available to the Philippines as their latest Tvolution offering. This is definitely a great timing for Filipinos to watch videos that are normally available in the US. One of the best things about PLDT’s version of Roku is that it already includes in it a year iFlix Subscription, one-month free basic Cignal TV channel pack and one-month free Netflix. Fox and iWantTV are coming too, according to PLDT, as it’s also being offered to their home and mobile subscribers. The option whether or not you wish to continute your seperate subscription of Cignal and iFlix is definitely up to you. What I like most in this is the availability of Cignal TV channels in the box. With the free one-month subscription, I will not miss the NBA Finals and the latest episode of Ang Probinsyano. Kiddingly aside, it’s definitely one good way of enriching my TV experience using my internet at home.
The box is fairly very easy to install. Put everything out of the box, hook it up on your TV via provided HDMI cable, put the adapter on a 220v socket and turn on the TV and the box with the included remote control. Part of the collaboration between PLDT and Roku are the pre-embedded Cignal, iFlix, Netflix and YouTube channels on the remote control for smooth and easy operation.
I use a 50mbps PLDT Home Fibr so buffering to full HD of contents is totally a breeze. I tried hooking this up on my other 15mbps PLDT Home DSL connection and worked far better at SD to 720p contents, with minimal experience of loading and buffering times. PLDT, during my meeting with them said that the Roku devices they are offering via Tvolution are optimized to stream contents even if the end-user only has 3mbps connection. I’m giving it a grain of salt as it full HD contents obviously takes a lot of bandwidth.
If you want to subscribe to this service, you just need to pay an additional PhP199 on top of your MSRP. It already includes Roku channels, and free 1 year and 1 month subscriptions of iFlix and Netflix respectively.
What do you guys about the official availability of Roku to the Philippines via PLDT? Give us your thoughts via the comments section below.
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.