EE TV Review 2019 | Is he good?
By Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Tuesday, February 12, 2019
The EE TV platform is not as complete as some of its rivals, but it has some unique features and is cheaper than the competition. It is only available with EE broadband and there are benefits for anyone who also takes out a mobile contract with EE.
|Number of channels||99|
|Can we bundle with broadband?||Obligatory|
|Digital decoder||EE TV Box|
|Price from||£ 32.50 per month|
In terms of channels on EE TV, it’s a hybrid between Freeview and streaming services. You might be wondering what is the point of subscribing to a pay TV service when you only get free channels, but EE TV’s value is in the box and the features it allows. More on that later.
There are 70 completely free channels via your antenna as well as 11 HD channels. These include the high definition versions of BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. If you don’t have an HD tuner in your TV, this is already an improvement.
The EE TV Box supports a wide range of catch-up TV programs, subscription streaming services and multimedia applications. BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 are on board, as are apps for YouTube, Deezer and live sports action via BBC Sport. There’s also Hayu’s reality TV and hit Rakuten TV movies.
There are, however, a few notable absentees. There is no support for Netflix or Amazon Prime, which immediately puts it at a disadvantage compared to other streaming devices. BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk all offer Netflix on their TV platforms. The ITV Hub is also missing – so it’s not possible to watch Coronation Street on demand – just like All 4.
It is very curious that there is no way to get BT Sport on EE TV either. Since EE is owned by BT, you would think there would be a dedicated app. It’s a shame, because that would have been a big selling point.
We’ve established that EE TV is a low cost upgrade from Freeview, so why would you pay for it? The answer is the box.
The EE TV box allows you to record up to four programs at a time. And it’s possible to store up to 600 hours of standard definition or 300 hours of HD video on a 1TB hard drive. This compares favorably to offerings from EE rivals.
Additionally, you can designate eight favorite SD channels, or six HD channels, and EE TV will record the entire day’s TV. You can also filter by genre, so you can easily record movies, dramas or sports. This means that if you tune in halfway through a program, you can start over from the beginning.
But what’s really impressive about EE TV is how it works with your smartphone or tablet. You can watch live or recorded TV on four devices in the house simultaneously and switch between them seamlessly.
The EE TV app doubles as a remote control, so you can browse the TV guide without interrupting other viewers. You can also set remote recording instructions when you are on the go.
Unfortunately, you cannot download programs to watch away from home, as you can with Sky Q.
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NOW TV and TV player
They are not add-ons as such, as you cannot pay for them through your EE account. And you can sign up for it without having EE TV. But you can watch them through the EE TV box and they will complement your Freeview channels well.
TV Player Plus offers 32 TV channels including Eurosport, HISTORY and Discovery Channel without long term contract. NOW TV means you can get the best Sky content and channels like Sky Atlantic on your EE TV box – again without a contract.
MUBI and Rakuten TV
Again, these are not strictly EE add-ons. But if you’re a movie buff, you might want to consider subscribing to one or both of these apps. You’ll get a good mix of summer blockbusters, old favorites, and Oscar winners. EE also offers discounts for various applications from time to time, so keep an eye out.
EE TV does not offer additional boxes like Sky’s Multiroom service, but that doesn’t mean you can’t watch it from another room. In fact, your family can watch up to four different programs around the house at the same time on the TV or on a phone or tablet.
If you move from room to room, you can “flip” a program from your device to your TV or “grab” it from the TV to your device if you want to leave the room.
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Bundles with broadband
Anyone who signs up for EE Broadband can also use EE TV for an additional monthly fee. EE offers standard broadband of 10 Mbps on average and two fiber broadband plans on average of 36 Mbps and 67 Mbps. It’s worth buying fiber if you plan to get the most out of EE TV’s streaming capabilities.
You can add landline or mobile calls at any time, and even international calls for an additional charge. And if you are already an EE mobile and broadband customer, you will enjoy an increase in mobile data of between 5 GB and 50 GB per month.
Once you’ve chosen your broadband plan, you simply add EE TV to your plan and that’s it. There is no setup fee and since EE TV connects through a home antenna (which you should already have) and your home broadband connection (which is required), there is no setup.
If you take EE Broadband and EE TV, you will be bound to an 18 month contract.
You can’t get EE TV as a standalone product – you have to use EE home broadband to get it. While this may be fine for someone looking for a new supplier, it will put off others in the middle of a contract or those who don’t want to change.
It’s also not possible to add EE TV to a mobile subscription, so getting EE broadband is really the only option.
Our final verdict
- Good box with 1TB of storage
- Watch on phones and tablets around the house
- Data augmentation for EE mobile customers
- Only has Freeview channels
- No access to Netflix, Amazon Prime or BT Sport
- Only available with EE broadband
The multiscreen and mobile viewing features are so impressive that it’s a shame they’re limited to the basic line of Freeview channels. But what really disappoints the service is the lack of some of the more popular streaming services.
It’s also worth pointing out that you don’t actually own the box and must return it to the company if you decide to end your subscription.
If you are looking for premium service, EE TV is not for you. Of course, you can access Sky Sports through NOW TV, but there is no BT Sport. Likewise, Sky Cinema is available but there is no Netflix.
But if you’re happy with Freeview, are on the fence about your next broadband provider, and want a relatively cheap upgrade that lets you pause and record live TV, then EE TV might be worth a look.
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