Optus TV Now Lets You Record Free-To-Air TV From Your Phone

Optus TV Now Lets You Record Free-To-Air TV From Your Phone

Left the house and realised you forget to set your PVR to record that crucial episode of MasterChef? Optus’ new TV Now service lets you schedule “recordings” from your PC or mobile phone, and play them back afterwards from the cloud on your PC or handset.

The service covers the 15 main free-to-air channels, so fans of Neighbours don’t need to panic. You can also schedule series links to record entire runs of shows. You can view the programs on your mobile or PC, and streaming via 3G will not count against your data allowance. (That said, Wi-Fi would undoubtedly work better.)

Unsurprisingly, you need to be an Optus mobile customer to access the service. Optus is offering 45 minutes of free recording per month to postpaid subscribers. For $6.99 a month, you get five hours of storage; $9.99 provides 20 hours. The service only covers the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth areas; regional users are out of luck.

Pay TV customers can already set up this kind of remote recording, of course, but that comes with the higher pay TV bill. It’s an interesting twist in the still relatively underdeveloped local IPTV market. Would you be tempted to use it?

Optus TV Now


  • Sounds like a branded version of mytvr which i beta tested a while back, but couldn’t justify the extra cost to keep it. The free quota on Optus 3g would be great it worked pretty well over Telstra 3g, so presuming you can actually get a good data connection on optus it would be a good deal.

  • Hey everyone,

    just to clarify a little, on the free account, Optus offers 45 minutes of recording at any one time. That means you can record, delete, re-record and watch 45 minutes of free-to-air footage as many times as you like over the course of the month.

    Hope that helps,

    Scott Drummond
    Online Community Manager, Optus

  • Scott, that’s very kind of Optus, and it sounds like a fantastic service. But 45 minutes is frustratingly short of the amount of time you’d need to record a TV show. I would have hated to miss the last 15 minutes of The Mentalist this week!

    • It’s a million times better than Vodafone, and a lot cheaper than Telstra. That’s why I stick with them (and generally don’t have too many problems either).

  • I’m confused. This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. Why on earth would you want to record free-to-air TV and watch it on a tiny screen or your computer. This service would only seem to benefit a forgetful homeless person who also happens to have a mobile or a computer. For everyone else, if you don’t have Foxtel AND can’t work a VCR/TiVO OR forget to record a show you actually want to watch (which seems unlikely) AND you have a computer that’s worth watching it on OR you like peering into tiny screens then, very occasionally you MIGHT get some benefit. Otherwise, it is the biggest furphy I have ever heard of. Quite apart from everything else, there’s bugger all of any value on free-to-air TV anyway and anything good can be obtained illegally or on DVD or from a paid download site or something like ABC’s iView.

  • The Optus TV & Video service is pretty poor. I’ve used it on and off over the last few months, and I’ve found it to be very unreliable. I’m using iPhone 4 version 5.0.1

    No matter how many programs you record, guaranteed 3 out of 5 of them are the wrong program. You set up to record NCIS, you go to watch it and up comes Sesame Street. Another thing is it sometimes starts recording 10 minutes early, which is fine, but it often stops recording 10 minutes early to, and that is very frustrating.

    Just recently I have been getting an error message that says “you have insufficient space to record, please delete some programs”. The thing is I don’t have any recorded programs to delete. That’s the whole problem, it won’t record. So I bought a subscription thinking this would solve the problem. ($9.99 for 20 hours). Nope, it says I have 20 hours record time available and right under that is a message saying “you don’t have enough space”. Weird much?

    Anyway, the problems don’t stop there. There’s also another error message that keeps coming up. “This servive is ony available to Optus customers”… umm hello my phone is locked onto the Optus network.

    The things I’ve tried in an attempt to correct the problems are:
    – deleting the Optus TV & Video app and reinstalling (4 times).
    – Hard reset the iPhone
    – Reset network setting in ‘General’
    – Cleared cache
    – checked to make sure I have spare memory on the phone (11GB available)
    – contacted Optus technical crew and tried all suggestions of which many of them were things I’ve already done, but did it all again anyway. The final conclusion was, Optus have no idea why this is happening.

    I love the idea of being able to record programs on my phone, I’m often away from home so I would find this really handy, but for now I’ve cancelled the service until it’s working properly. With all the current unreliablility issues, I’m kind of surprised it’s still running.

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