What is EE TV?
Available exclusively to EE customers, EE TV is a many accordant bid nonetheless by a mobile phone association to get a foothold in your vital room. It’s a set-top box carrying a Freeview HD tuner, Internet access, a startlingly vast 1TB HDD for recording TV shows and a integrate of honestly acquire surprises adult a sleeves. And in box we were wondering, we’re positive that a nascent EE/BT negotiations are zero to worry about where EE TV is concerned!
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EE TV – Design and Features
The EE TV box is a bit of an bauble to demeanour at. Its block footprint is impressively tiny for something carrying 1TB of storage, and there’s something definitely appealing about a silken black approximate that runs around a edges and frames a top. However, a grilled finish of a tip together with a definitely easy immature LED energy light on a front give it a rather ‘laboratory’ feel – like something designed for scientists rather than AV enthusiasts.
Connections on a behind are broadly as you’d expect. There’s an HDMI outlay that’s endorsed as your TV tie of choice, and there’s an RF loopthrough, an visual digital audio outlay for plugging into your AV receiver, a guard output, a USB pier and an Ethernet pier – yet a territory does also have Wi-Fi.
Unfortunately a USB pier can’t be used for personification behind multimedia files onto your TV, and we were also astounded to find that a EE TV’s network connectors don’t support DLNA multimedia record streaming from networked devices. Given EE’s mobile birthright it would positively have done clarity if we could entrance photos, videos and even song files stored on your mobile devices.
Before removing deeper into a EE TV’s indeed unequivocally considerable underline list, let’s try how many a EE TV box costs.
It’s marketed as being giveaway to all EE mobile subscribers who pointer adult to an EE broadband plan. These skeleton start during £9.95 a month as a launch offer for EE mobile customers, with £15.75 line rental. That gets we EE TV – that EE reckons is value £300 – and total broadband adult to speeds of 17Mbs, and giveaway weekend calls. The entry-level Fibre package with adult to 38Mbps goes adult to £19.95, while a ‘Fibre Plus’ package charity speeds of 76Mbps is £29.95 a month.
Obviously a many elemental underline of a EE TV box is a ability to mix streamed and live promote calm into one seamless experience. But it goes many serve than that in a bid to enhance your home party options.
First, a sustenance of no reduction than 4 Freeview HD tuners opens a doorway to some good features. The many simple of these is that we can record 4 opposite channels concurrently to that 1TV built-in tough drive. But some-more impressively a quad-tuner array lets we watch opposite channels concurrently on adult to 4 opposite inclination – tablets or phones as good as your TV.
This ability for all members of a four-person domicile to watch a opposite shows during a same time fits ideally with EE’s faith that TV observation is apropos increasingly personal. While we keep some substantially aged fashioned concerns about this new proceed of serve fracturing family life, we contingency contend it’s a underline we used extensively during this review.
Having so many tuners – and such a vast HDD – to play with also opens a doorway to maybe a EE TV box’s many innovative features: Replay and Restart.
If we have a Replay underline active EE TV automatically annals adult to 24 hours of your favourite 6 channels, permitting we to now locate adult on anything we might have missed. As for Restart, if we come in and find you’ve missed a initial 10 mins of something you’re meddlesome in, Restart lets we simply rewind a uncover behind to a beginning.
There are stipulations to both Replay and Restart, it contingency be said. Perhaps a many unsatisfactory is that Replay now usually works with customary clarification channels. It’s easy to know because this welfare was made, as carrying 6 channels recording HD constantly for adult to 24 hours could eventually put some aria on your permitted memory even with 1TB to play with. But that doesn’t change a painfully vast cove that exists between a peculiarity of HD and customary clarification broadcasts on a Freeview HD platform.
Replay isn’t permitted for anywhere nearby any customary clarification Freeview channel either. You have to collect 6 from BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News, BBC Parliament, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV2, More 4, Film 5, and E4.
What’s more, if we activate Replay it uses adult dual of a 4 tuners, definition we can usually record or tide dual channels concurrently rather than four.
The Restart feature, meanwhile, usually works for channels that share a broadcasting multiplexes of a 6 favourite channels you’ve selected.
Despite these limitations, though, both a Replay and Restart facilities residence flattering successfully pivotal problems of difficult TV life not even overwhelmed on by opposition boxes.
By a time you’ve combined Restart and Replay calm to a some-more customary recording and streaming facilities of a EE TV box you’ve clearly got a lot of calm options for a EE TV interface to have to handle. But it indeed handles all flattering brilliantly.
The EE TV menus have some-more in common with smartphone or inscription apps than standard TV menus with their confidant use of high fortitude images and welfare for graphics-laden tiles over tedious calm lists. And relocating between calm options is no some-more difficult than scrolling between On Demand, Live TV, Recordings, Replay and Tools Help tip menu options.
Under any header we get mixed windows display highlighted or many new content, and a window by that we can entrance serve options. And that’s it really. It takes only seconds to get to any menu we wish and afterwards find a calm we wish within any menu.
In a On Demand section, a prominence apps during a time of essay are YouTube, Wuaki.tv, a BBC iPlayer, Hopster, The Box Plus, Demand 5, BBC Sport, and Muzu. Going by a More Apps window brings adult serve links to Daily Motion, Energy NRJ, Deezer, The Weather Network, MeteoNews, Euronews, BBC News, Gemporia, CloudioTV,
It’s unfit to omit a fact that this list doesn’t embody Netflix, Amazon Instant, a ITV Player or 4OD – 4 of a UK’s biggest app hitters. Naturally EE can supplement some-more apps as they turn available, and it was positively hinted during a EE TV launch that Netflix during slightest isn’t a million miles away. But it’s a contrition nothing of these 4 streaming stalwarts are there from a off.
Shifting to Live TV, we get a categorical window display a now noticed channel, with 5 some-more windows around it display stills from whatever’s display on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. It’s a pity, perhaps, that these delegate channels can’t be your ‘favourites’ rather than only a initial 5 channels on a listings, though it’s still and effective form of presentation. Especially as shows permitted with a Restart underline seem with a small ‘rewind’ idol in them, while a white bar shows we how prolonged any one has been regulating for.
Smaller icons on a right of a Live TV shade give we entrance to mixed pages of tiled lists of all a now display shows. Fortunately this rather unreal proceed can be filtered down to HD channels; Restartable channels; or by genre.
There’s also a detached window to entrance digital radio channels on a Live TV screen, and finally we can entrance a full and some-more normal TV Guide. This beam is important for permitting we to corkscrew behind as good as forwards (like Freetime) and for a proceed it includes icons indicating when a programme is permitted for Restart or Replay.
It’s value adding here that if you’re examination TV and we strike a adult symbol on a remote, we get an appealing scrollable list down a left of a shade display all that’s display on any channel, giving we a permitted surfing by-pass that causes minimal intrusion to your viewing.
The Recordings menus is unequivocally straightforward, only regulating a same window proceed to uncover a dual many new recordings in a tip menu, with entrance to all else by an All Recordings menu.
The Replay menu works roughly equally to a Recordings one, with 5 of a now Restartable shows appearing on a home shade and all a rest permitted around a ‘deeper’ window and presented in channel order.
We mentioned progressing that a EE TV menus resembled smartphone or inscription apps. So we might not be astounded to learn that there’s a messenger app for iOS and Android that roughly mirrors a menus on a EE TV box and lets we entrance all of a facilities but we carrying to miscarry observation on a categorical TV. The app even communicates with a EE TV box to sync recordings and settings.
You can also, of course, select to watch a recording or live TV uncover on a intelligent device you’re regulating but changing what’s display on a categorical TV.
The messenger app is so discerning and a functionality it creates probable so sundry interjection to a EE TV box’s 4 tuners and outrageous HDD that it joins a Replay and Restart facilities in environment EE TV detached from – and above – a infancy of opposition devices. It’s only a empathize such a glorious intelligent interface couldn’t also run to permitting we to send your intelligent devices’ multimedia calm by EE TV to your TV screen.