EE is moving into the home sector with its new set top box, EE TV, which gives you Freeview and on-demand telly at home and also on your mobile devices.
EE TV allows you to enjoy up to four different channels at once on your home telly or mobile devices with the ability to record shows and pick up where you left off on another device.
Like YouView, EE TV will offer up 70 Freeview channels, plus a selection of on-demand content and fan favourites such as YouTube, Deezer and BBC iPlayer.
As you can stream up to four channels at once to four different devices, including tablets and phones, thus ending brutal, bloody front room punch-ups over what goes on.
You can start watching a show on your telly, then continue on your phone or tablet when you need to head out. If you’re still watching when you return home, you can just flick your finger up the mobile device’s screen and throw the show back to your telly.
The EE TV interface is designed for touchscreen mobile devices as well as your home telly and it looks nicely intuitive, with everything split into obvious categories. Features like recording are just a couple of taps away from the home screen.
As with most set top boxes, you can plan ahead by setting EE TV to record your favourite show, or even an entire series. EE TV can also automatically record up to 24 hours of your favourite 6 channels continuously using the Replay feature, so if you miss the start of a show, you can skip back to the beginning using the Restart function.
There’s 1TB of data available to record shows, which should be plenty of space for storing away dozens of full series.
Sadly the service isn’t designed to be used offline, so you can’t simply record a movie to watch on a plane.
A new digital remote app is available for iOS and Android, which can be used to skip through the EE TV interface on your telly. Alternatively, if you’re watching EE TV on a mobile device, you can set up recordings or generally fiddle with the settings directly through the main app.
Here’s the science bit. The EE TV’s hardware uses four HD tuners and supports dual-band WiFi, meaning wherever you’re watching TV in the house you should be able to stream TV easily.
There’s also a gigabit ethernet port, meaning you can plug directly into your home broadband router – something you’ll want to do to guarantee a more solid on-demand viewing experience.
EE TV will be free for EE TV and home broadband customers, but mobile broadband customers will have to stump up an extra tenner a month to get the home broadband service and EE TV. Thankfully you’ll also get a boost in your 4G allowance – not quite unlimited streaming sadly, but you’ll go up to 10GB or 20GB depending on your plan. If you’re on a rival network, you won’t be able to use EE TV at all.