EE TV, the UK’s “most advanced” television service, will be free to all EE broadband customers
EE has moved to strengthen its home broadband service with EE TV, a new television service that will allow the company to compete more effectively with rivals TalkTalk, BT, Virgin Media and Sky.
The service will be free to all EE mobile customers who also subscribe to EE broadband plans costing £9.95 or more a month, with those who elect to receive EE TV, given a boost in their 4G allowance from 10GB to 20GB, depending on their plan.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee says EE TV is the most advanced television service in the UK and reflect the fact that more and more people are consuming programmes in small doses on mobile devices, with the days of everyone watching the same thing on the living room coming to an end.
EE TV can receive all Freeview channels, along with catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and applications such as YouTube. ITV Player and 4oD are notable absentees, but EE promises talks with other broadcasters are ongoing.
Unlike Sky, Virgin Media and BT TV, there is no premium or exclusive content, but EE is confident the unique features of the platform will appeal to consumers. The EE TV box claims to be “twice as powerful as anything else on the market” with four HD tuners, 1TB of storage, dual band Wi-Fi, 1Gbps Ethernet and full HBB-TV support.
Additionally, the box records 24 hours of TV on six channels, so you can watching anything broadcast on a single day, even if you forget to record it.
Live TV and recordings can be streamed to up to four iOS and Android smartphones through an application, as long as they are connected to a home Wi-Fi network. The service will eventually support 4G, but this is dependent on rights negotiations with content owners.
The EE TV app double as a remote control and the interface is influenced by smartphones, rather than traditional Electronic Programming Guides (EPG), which were designed in the 1990s.
“New form factors are becoming more important in the home environment,” adds Swantee. “People want freedom, flexibility and control with their TV.”
There is no confirmed release date for EE TV as yet, but it should be available “shortly”, allowing EE to eventually offer “quad-play” packages of mobile, broadband, landline and TV services, which are popular on the continent, but are slowly growing in popularity in the UK. The hope is that quad-play packages will increase revenues from each customer and make consumers less likely to switch providers if they receive all their communications from one company.
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