Testing TFC in Korea
I should have posted about this a year ago 😀
I got the chance to try the TFC set top box (STB) last year. It was sent by TFC Japan so I could try if it will work in Korea. I have been a TFC subscriber for years, and even now I pay for the subscription even though I could easily watch their shows on other websites. I don’t want to take the risk of malwares and viruses infecting my PC.
TFC set-top box
The TFC set-top box comes with the unit itself (black), a composite cable, HDMI cable, remote control, batteries, LAN cable and an adapter plug.
Since the unit came from Japan, the adapter plug that came with it is the flat type. We use the two-prong round plugs in Korea. Luckily, I have a flat-to-round adapter.
I did not set up the TFC set-top box right away since my parents-in-law were here that time. It took me about two weeks before I was able to use it. It was quite easy and one only needs common sense.
What are needed are the following: a TV set and an internet connection.
We had an SK Broadband subscription that time. *I have since switched to LG U+* And as you can see on the photo below, the TFC set-top box is not that much bigger than the SK Broadband set-top box.
In fact, the TFC set-top box is just two centimeters wider and the SK Broadband set-top box is about five centimeters longer.
The TFC set-top box does not have a built-in WiFi. I am not sure if it will work with a WiFi dongle as I didn’t try it. So a LAN cable is necessary.
Hook up the following to the set-top box: internet cable that connects to the internet router, HDMI cable that connects to the TV set (or composite if the TV has no HDMI outlet) and adapter plug that connects to the power outlet.
*Ahem, excuse the dust but I support hygiene hypothesis.
Booting and Set-up
The TFC set-top box configuration is in English. The list might look a little intimidating but it is not as difficult as it looks. After turning on, the set-top box will boot and it will check the internet connection automatically.
The TFC set-top box will not automatically broadcast. In my test, it needed to be activated by TFC Japan. I provided them with the serial number of the set-top box and it only took a minute for the “Welcome Kapamilya” screen to be displayed.
What I love about the TFC STB is the premium subscription to TFC, ANC, BRO, Cinema One, DZMM, Tambayan, Pay-Per-View and Karaoke. I was able to try everything except for the Pay-Per-View.
The TFC broadcast shows live programs from the TFC Channel, not live broadcast from ABS-CBN. The next day I watched TFC, I cooked sinigang and I felt like I was back in California 😀 I didn’t feel like I was in the Philippines that time because there were no Philippine-made advertisements except for ABS-CBN promo plugs.
There are live TFC broadcasts and the shows are also available via VOD or video-on-demand. Both old and current ABS-CBN shows are available on demand. I remember watching “Maging Sino Ka Man” 1 and 2 starring my favorites – John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Lucero.
It was fun watching “Juan dela Cruz” on TV and in HD broadcast. The video is crisp and the sound is clear.
I like the convenience of the VOD service. I can watch shows whenever I want them. I could press pause when I needed to go to the restroom and continue where I left off.
A Few Inconveniences
The test that I did was not perfect after all. There were a few but minor inconveniences.
As mentioned above, the plug needed an adapter so it would fit in Korean power outlets. I’m sure that TFC could remedy it once they start shipping to Korea.
Internet is most convenient in Korea, but for some reason I experienced a few signal interruption with the TFC set-top box whenever I watched the live broadcast that I never experienced with my SK Broadband cable broadcast. It usually happened at around lunch time and it didn’t take a long time ~ probably around a minute or two.
The installation is so easy and there is a variety of shows to keep the “Pinay ajumma” occupied for the whole day.
Since I got to try TFC in Korea for free, I really enjoyed it. I wanted to continue my subscription but it is not available here yet.
The TFC set-top box is more convenient than the internet version since I prefer watching TV on the big screen. I also enjoyed that feeling of having “sinigang” while watching. It felt like my mother was just in her room, it really felt like I was on vacation in California.
I don’t know how much the TFC set-top box would cost if it were available in Korea, but one thing is definite ~ it cures homesickness!