EE joins the TV and broadband bundle arena
EE has joined the throng of providers offering a TV service alongside their broadband service. The mobile and fixed line operator announced its free TV service on Wednesday with the devices shipping at some point in the autumn. EE/Orange in France has been offering IPTV based solutions for some time, so it has been a case of when for some years, and with all its major competitors in the TV game staying out was becoming harder to do.
The main features of the EE TV service are:
- 1 TB hard drive for storage of Freeview DVB recordings (SD and HD)
- 4 tuners to allow recording/viewing of 4 channels at once
- Ability to record and store content from six channels in a 24 hour buffer on hard drive
- Watch on TV or stream locally to compatible tablets and phones
- Use phone or tablet as TV remote control
- Flick shows between devices and the TV
- Access to BBC iPlayer, wuaki.tv, The Box+ and YouTube via broadband connection
The ability to record everything from six chosen channels independent of your broadband connection speed makes the EE TV device perfect for those with slower broadband connections. The EE TV service has some basic IPTV capabilities, we presume that more services will be integrated very swiftly, since at present the main unique selling point is the local streaming to other devices.
As an added value addition to their broadband services it makes the overall bundles more attractive and will appeal to people looking to upgrade an old basic Freeview box. EE ADSL2+ is priced at £9.95 per month plus £15.75 per month line rental, but it will be interesting to see if the £2.50/m for 12 months offer continues when the EE TV becomes available.
If EE wants to exploit the tie-in effect that TV bundling provides, the service needs access to more movie rental/subscription, sports services or access to a streaming games service. The complication and cost of multi-room viewing due to children is something they are adept at solving by use of catch-up TV services and with BBC iPlayer now offering a 30 day catch-up window the need for a TV tuner in a teenagers room is minimal.
PlusNet who in terms of customers are around the same size or possibly slightly larger than EE have been known to be working on their own TV product, presumed to be based around YouView.