Vodafone TV - SKY and Vodafone's crack at the internet TV market

Vodafone has revealed what it's calling a "world of entertainment that lets Kiwis experience television like never before" - a set-top box that allows viewers to stream SKY over the internet, without a satellite dish.

Vodafone TV will also let viewers watch free-to-air channels like Three, and other internet TV services such as Netflix, iHeartRadio and ThreeNow.

"For many people an average night's viewing now involves mucking around with different devices, apps and remotes," said Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners.

"Vodafone TV simplifies everything for the customer by delivering a fantastic range of local and international content, all in one place and with simple features to make viewing easy."

The pricing and exact products in each package are yet to be settled. The basic package will include SKY Basic and unlimited broadband, with premium content like SoHo and SKY Movies available as add-ons.

At present the basic package for SKY costs $49.91 a month, while Vodafone's cheapest unlimited fibre plan starts at $90.99. 

Netflix subscribers will still need to pay for a separate subscription - it's not included in the Vodafone TV price.

The new set-top boxes will allow recording on "unlimited" channels at the same time, with enough storage space for "hundreds of hours" of content.

But if you forget, some channels' content will be available for up to three days after they've gone to air, via the cloud. SKY and Vodafone have been contacted for details on which channels will and won't be available.

SKY lost almost 34,000 subscribers in the year to August, and saw its profit drop 21 percent, as viewers opt for cheaper options like Netflix. Shares in the company have almost halved in value in the past 12 months, dropping from $4.87 in October 2016 to $2.90 on Monday.

A full merger of the two companies was blocked by the Commerce Commission in February, saying it would hamper competitiveness and discourage broadband and mobile innovation.

SKY and Vodafone initially appealed the decision, but in June dropped the idea altogether.