ViewQwest has launched its latest integrated TV box and Android media player, the VQTV5, which gives users the two-in-one option of enjoying free-to-air channels in HD while streaming 4K content through the Android media player – all through a single set-top box.

With Singapore’s local free-to-air HD channels switch to a fully digital network, and analogue TV signals in Singapore deactivated by the end of the year, the VQTV5’s built-in digital TV tuner (DVB-T2), will allow users to access to continue accessing local TV channels while enjoying streamed content on the same media player.

Mr. Vignesa Moorthy, CEO of ViewQwest said: “ViewQwest is focused on improving the home user experience with our media players. Users can enjoy ultra-high-definition content while having the ability to continue accessing local free-to-air channels. In essence, the VQTV5 is the integration of two core TV systems into a single, convenient device.”

The new VQTV5 comes pre-loaded with over 20 video-streaming apps including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Drama Fever and PPTV. Significant upgrades from ViewQwest’s previous 4K media player include moving from Android 4.4.1 to Android 5.1.1, and two times the amount of storage space from 8GB to 16GB. The new media player also supports faster content streaming and a greater number of video applications.

However, while the media player can technically stream 4k, it is still totally dependent on the source input – especially for streaming services. For instance, Netflix and YouTube do not support 4K streaming on Android. Therefore, you’ll still get your content in 1080p and not Ultra HD. If you do have 4k content though, via a thumbdrive or the like, the media player will deliver the content in 4K.

The VQTV5’s case has been redesigned as well. The new rectangular design, as compared to the previous rounded casing, is more stable and doesn’t move around as much. The USB ports have been moved to the side for greater accessibility which is definitely an improvement on the previous offering.

The VQTV5 also comes with a built-in app to monitor the health of the consumer’s Internet and Wi-Fi network connectivity. This new tech is able to gather relevant network-related data that highlights possible network issues to ViewQwest’s engineering team, allowing ViewQwest to proactively alert and advise customers on how to improve their Wi-Fi experience. For example, ViewQwest is able to advise users to switch Wi-Fi channels for improved connectivity after seeing that their current channel is congested.

The new “Air-Mouse”

The remote control also receives an update with the new “air-mouse” that lets users wave the remote like a magic wand to quickly move the cursor across the screen, compared to the previous remote control where users had to navigate the interface via the laborious pressing of buttons.

While a definite upgrade from the previous version, the controls take a while to get used. Personally, a bluetooth mouse saves you most of the hassle… unless you’re trying to control while lying in bed.

Should you get the VQTV5 though? If you’re a ViewQwest subscriber, there’s definitely a case for it as you can still tap onto the ISP’s Freedom VPN which gives you access to the US-version of Netflix. If you’re not a ViewQwest subscriber, unlike the previous media player, you can’t tap onto Freedom VPN and you’ll be left with the local version of the streaming service and it might not make much of a difference compared to other media players in the market.

The new VQTV5 is priced at S$188 for new and existing subscribers of ViewQwest’s two-year fibre broadband service. For customers who also wish to purchase the separate indoor TV antenna, the antenna and VQTV5 is bundled at a special launch price of S$198 (U.P. S$218).

All items can be purchased from ViewQwest’s e-store or during sign-ups for ViewQwest’s fibre broadband through online or various retail touch-points.

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