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How does EE TV compare as a broadband bundle?

We’ve taken a look at EE TV itself and how the hardware measures up to the competition, but how does it compare as a bundle of services? 

Can you get a better broadband and TV deal with Sky, Virgin Media, BT or TalkTalk? What’s the cheapest option and what do you get in terms of megabits per second as well as TV channels? 

We’ve taken an electron microscope to the terms and conditions of all of the main providers and now we serve up you everything you need to know. 

How does EE TV compare as a broadband bundle?
What does EE TV offer you besides a new way to watch TV?

What do you get with the basic EE Broadband and TV bundle?

EE TV gives you the same channels you’d get with a Freeview HD box along with a small (but, we understand, growing) selection of on-demand services and a unique 24 hour replay feature. Check out our feature here for a fuller explanation of what you get with EE TV. 

In terms of broadband, the basic EE bundle gives you an ADSL broadband service that provides top download speeds of 17Mbps. There’s no download limit although traffic management is applied. You can opt for a free BrightBox wireless router for free, albeit with a £6 postage fee.

You don’t have to take the EE BrightBox if you’d prefer to use your own hardware – in which case ignore the delivery charge. 

EE applies traffic management to its network which will slow down P2P and Newsgroup traffic, but prioritise VoIP calls (like Skype) and gaming. Traffic management is applied at 4:30pm-1:00am on weekdays and from 1:30pm-1:00am on weekends. 

Free calls to 01, 02, 03 and 0845 and 0870 numbers are included at weekends (0800 and 0808 calls are free at all times). 

The standard cost of EE line rental is £15.75/month, which when added to £9.95/month sees this bundle costing you £25.70/month. You can opt to pay for a year’s line rental up front, but this will see you paying £132 up front (equivalent to paying £11/month)

That’s EE TV and EE Broadband in a nutshell. Lets see how this stacks up against the rest. 

  EE TV & Broadband bundle Sky Unlimited Broadand + Sky Talk + Sky Original Bundle  Virgin Media Big Easy + More TV TalkTalk Essentials TV BT TV Starter with BT Broadband
Maximum download speeds 17Mbps 17Mbps 50Mbps 17Mbps 17Mbps
Monthly usage cap Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Traffic Management Yes No Yes No No
Inclusive calls Weekend Weekend Weekend Evening & Weekend None
Free Router EE BrightBox Sky Hub SuperHub 2 Super Router BT Home Hub
Delivery charge for router £6 £6.95 Free £5 £6.95
Activation fee Free Free £49.95 Free £35
Broadband/Bundle £9.95 £7.50 £25 £8.50 £10
Line Rental £15.75 £16.40 £15.99 £16.70 £16.99
Line Rental Saver Yes (£132) No Yes (£144) Yes (£172.20) Yes (£169.90)
TV Free £21.50 n/a n/a Free for 18 months, then£5/month
Total Monthly Cost £25.70/month £45.40/month £40.99/month £25.20/month £26.99/month, then £31.99/month

If a price for TV isn’t listed above it’s because the cost of TV is already included as part of a bundle.

With the exception of Virgin Media, none of the major UK ISPs shape traffic. Virgin Media no longer throttles download traffic at peak times, but upload traffic is still shaped. P2P traffic is also downranked. 

BT and Sky are also putting its line rental up to £16.99/month and £16.40/month respectively from December 1 2014 onwards. TalkTalk is also hiking its line rental up to £16.70/month from £15.95/month later this year, but it hasn’t announced exactly when. 

As you can see, EE compares very well to the rest in terms of price, only edged out by TalkTalk by 50p. While the Sky and Virgin Media bundles are significantly more expensive, it’s worth noting that they’re pay TV providers with a much bigger range of content available.

Virgin Media’s entry level cable broadband service also outstrips any ADSL product in terms of download speeds. If speed is what you’re after then you’re better off going for this. Speaking of which…

If you can see one of these at the end of your street there’s a good chance you can order FTTC

How does EE TV compare as a superfast broadband bundle? 

If basic, boring up to 17Mbps ADSL isn’t your thing and you want to crank it up a notch, have a look at some of the suprfast FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)-based services available. 

Typically, the kinds of superfast services you’ll see on offer from ISPs will provide top download speeds of up to 38Mbps or 76Mbps. These are delivered via BT’s Openreach network, whereas Virgin Media, which owns its own network, uses a different kind of technology (Hybrid Fibre Cable) to deliver broadband services. 

All superfast services deliver faster download speeds and typically come with unlimited downloads as standard. Here’s how EE’s basic superfast service, delivering top speeds of 38Mbps, compares to the entry-level superfast bundles from everyone else. 

  EE TV & Broadband bundle Sky Fibre Unlimited Broadand + Sky Talk + Sky Original Bundle  Virgin Media Big Easy + More TV TalkTalk Essentials TV with Fibre BT TV Starter with BT Infinity 1
Maximum download speeds 38Mbps 38Mbps 50Mbps 38Mbps 38Mbps
Monthly usage cap Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 20GB
Traffic Management Yes No Yes No No
Inclusive calls Weekend Weekend Weekend Evening & Weekend None
Free Router EE BrightBox Sky Hub SuperHub 2 Super Router BT Home Hub
Delivery charge for router £6 £6.95 Free £5 £6.95
Activation fee Free £50 £49.95 £30 £49
Broadband/Bundle £19.95 £20 £25 £18.50 £15
Line Rental £15.75 £16.40 £15.99 £16.70 £16.99
Line Rental Saver Yes (£132) No Yes (£144) Yes (£172.20) Yes (£169.90)
TV Free £21.50 n/a n/a Free for 18 months, then£5/month
Total Monthly Cost for Broadband & TV £35.70/month £57.90/month £40.99/month £35.20/month £31.99/month, then£36.99/month

How does EE TV compare as a really superfast broadband bundle? 

If up to 38Mbps and 50Mbps isn’t enough, here’s now EE’s top level TV and broadband bundles compare to equivalent-level packages from Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and BT.  

 

EE TV & Broadband bundle Sky Fibre Unlimited Broadand + Sky Talk + Sky Original Bundle  Virgin Media Big Bang (100Mbps, TV M+) TalkTalk Essentials TV with Fibre BT TV Starter with Unlimited BT Infinity 2
Maximum download speeds 76Mbps 76Mbps 100Mbps 76Mbps 76Mbps
Monthly usage cap Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Traffic Management Yes No Yes No No
Inclusive calls Weekend Weekend Weekend Evening & Weekend Weekend
Free Router EE BrightBox Sky Hub SuperHub 2 Super Router BT Home Hub
Delivery charge for router £6 £6.95 Free £5 £6.95
Activation fee Free £50 £49.95 £30 £49
Broadband/Bundle £29.95 £30 £30 £23.50 £28
Line Rental £15.75 £16.40 £15.99 £16.70 £16.99
Line Rental Saver Yes (£132) No Yes (£144) Yes (£172.20) Yes (£169.90)
TV Free £21.50 n/a n/a Free for 18 months, then£5/month
Total Monthly Cost for Broadband & TV £45.70/month £67.90/month £45.99/month £40.20/month £44.99/month, then £50.99/month

EE Broadband and TV bundles: Verdict 

As EE’s broadband services use BT’s Openreach network, the top speeds you’ll be able to get will more or less be the same as what you’ll get from TalkTalk, BT or Sky or any other ISP using the same footprint. For that reason, you should consider that while EE is one of the cheaper ISPs out there, it’s beaten on price by TalkTalk every time, sometimes slightly, sometimes not so slightly. 

You should also consider that EE TV in it’s current form isn’t as developed as YouView and nor does it have as many on-demand services. We understand that EE plans to aggressively roll out upgrades to EE TV and this will change soon, but until that does it’s essentially a high-end Freeview HD box with a large hard drive and some cool features like Flick and Replay.

If you’re not bothered about subscription TV, you’ll probably be satisfied with EE’s TV offering. Sky and Virgin Media are premium service providers and therefore their broadband and TV deals command a high price. BT and TalkTalk sit somewhere in the middle, offering customers many of the same channels you’d get on EE TV, but with the option to add premium sport, movies and kids shows. 

When you come to weigh up who you should go for, ask yourself how much you value fast broadband and pay TV services. EE TV is free to EE mobile and broadband subscribers – all of the other TV services come at a cost. 

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