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EE TV doesn't have 4oD, ITV Player or Netflix

James Temperton
9 Oct 2014
EE TV EPG
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EE TV will only be available to EE customers as the company takes on BT, Sky and Virgin media with 'free' service

EE TV, a set-top box that nobody will put on top of their set, will soon be available for free to all EE home broadband customers as the mobile network looks to tempt people away from Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk.

EE TV is a free extra for all EE home broadband and landline customers and comes with over 70 Freeview channels, catch-up services and on demand apps. EE has also developed Android and iOS apps that can stream anything from EE TV when on the same Wi-Fi network.

EE TV is only available to existing EE customers, with home broadband and phone customers getting it as a free extra and EE mobile customers able to upgrade for a fee. EE TV will be available "shortly" and sold through EE stores.

EE said the box was a way to watch and record Freeview channels, watch catch-up TV services and stream TV to phones and tablets around the home. The EE TV apps also serve as remote controls for the main EE TV box with options to browse through the EPG or 'flick' what's being watched on a mobile device to the big screen.

EE TV box

The box has 4 HD tuners so people can record or watch four HD channels simultaneously. There's also 1TB of storage for catch-up TV, dual-band Wi-Fi and gigabit Ethernet.

Currently catch-up TV is only available from BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 but EE said that other apps would be "coming soon". When pressed if this meant ITV Player and 4oD the company refused to confirm if they would be available. Rival services such as YouView on TalkTalk, BT TV, Virgin Media and Sky all offer a broader range of catch-up services.

EE says its new TV service fills a gap in the market, adding that other companies had ignored people's obsession with phones and tablets. EE's mobile apps can stream live, recorded and catch-up TV or be used as a remote control. The technology is similar to that used by rival service Freesat which also uses tablet and mobile apps.

EE TV tablet app

EE boss Olaf Swantee triumphantly declared that the "couch potato was cooked" and that EE TV would let people watch things in a more flexible way. Swantee said that 50 per cent of traffic on EE's 4G network was video streaming, with people increasingly watching TV on portable devices.

EE TV doesn't have any premium sports channels but does have on-demand service Wuaki TV, YouTube and big-screen apps for BBC News and BBC Sport. Film and TV on-demand services such as Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix aren't available on EE TV. The addition of EE TV means there is now a bewildering amount of choice when picking a TV provider. BT, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin Media already compete with Freeview, Freesat, YouView and the recently announced Freeview Connect.

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