All of this is free madness
EE is launching a multi-device TV catchup rival to BT, TalkTalk and BSkyB. But it's snubbing both YouView, a BBC-originated TV platform designed for UK catchup-over-broadband operators, and Freeview Connect, the would-be YouView killer. The new service will be free to EE fixed broadband customers – but will cost £9.99 for …
For the hardware?
I paid for my NowTV boxes, and they do a great job.
I only wish that the various tablet remote control apps would allow you to NAME the devices, rather than remembering which one of "NowTV" and "NowTV" is the one the kids are watching downstairs, and which is the one sat in front of you upstairs.
...there's no content, and they want £10 a month? And you get a crappy white-labelled PVR that won't be as good as your new TVs inbuilt?
"We didn't want to be constrained by TV thinking, we are mobile people." I read this as, "We did no market research and are totally clueless. And if you have a problem we won't be able to fix it".
What I would like to know is how easy it would be to grab that 1TB hard drive out of the thing and move it to a more useful device. If they send one of those things to me for free (or even for a tenner), I'd be game to give it a try. It'd be a damn sight more useful outside of the box, especially since I don't actually have a TV :)
They could run an ad campaign featuring probably the most famous EE product, the Lightening, and claim their broadband/mobile network is 'Lightening Fast' (as an ex-customer though I can testify that it is NOT), but then who would recognise an EE Lightening in this day and age. I am definitely too old for this...
orange had an equivalent service ready 7 years ago, using the what-was-freeserve-LLU broadband network. I was network consultant on the project. then it got canned just before launch. those in the know seemed to think that management had decided they couldn't compete with sky on the pay content front, the numbers didn't stack up based on free-to-air content. I wonder what has changed?
You can tell. That thing looks un-navigable from a normal remote control.
And why does it need two, slightly different, clocks within ten pixels of each other? It looks like it's been thrown together by a graphic designer in Dreamweaver in about fifteen minutes, rather than the result of actually looking at other EPGs and designing something good, usable and quick.
"And why does it need two, slightly different, clocks within ten pixels of each other?"
- and a minute apart?
Seriously, I think the top one is built in to the Android tablet's menu bar, so the EPG doesn't know anything about it. No idea why they disagree about the time though.
With all this crap going back-and-forth around streaming services, I'm surprised no one has actually scrapped the traditional broadcast model and tried to fight Netflix/Hulu/etc on their own turf. I figure they could set up two different modes with their service: a 'playlist mode' that would mimic current TV channels and would stream newly released episodes at their regular time. Then you'd have your 'on-demand' service to be similar to Netflix with the added benefit of being able to view recently released TV shows (rather than the 1-year delay with Netflix).
This would give many benefits to both ISPs and their customers, such as:
*More bandwidth available for the last mile since cutting traditional TV would free up a lot of spectrum on the wires
*lower operational costs for ISP (greatly reduced equipment complexity)
*ISPs get better data to send to advertisers / production companies get much better ratings info
*Much better selection for the customer, plus viewers no longer have to worry about DVR'ing shows if they can't see them at the normal broadcast time
*Cable companies can avoid becoming just a bit-pipe and Netflix eating their lunch.
You are obviously a youngster then.
There is a good proportion of the UK population that:-
1) Wouldn't have a clue about what you are talking about
2) Want to watch Corrie/Emmerdale/Eastenders/etc at the time it is broadcast
3) Don't have the internet
4) couldn't care less about streaming. If it ain't on BBC-1, ITV, BBC-2, CH4 or CH5 is does not exist.
5) Don't want to spend money for what they see as no good reason.
For example, my 92yr old Mother.
What do you propose to do about that?
Er, because when all your neighbours are streaming stuff that is available via the airwaves it's a waste of the bandwidth?
If the set-top box simply records the program at the time is was sent, like, you know, a video recorder would have, then there won't be so much pressure on the internet bandwidth available when it is watched from the local hard disk, rather than streamed in.
No reason both can't be done, you just have to have a system that is both on and told it should record the show/series.
If it's a 12 month contract then this is still a good deal.
The box doesn't sound that bad, the BT boxes have a retail price of >£200, and a Ebay price of >£90
So 12 months @ £10 a month for a quad tuner box with catch up, possibly Netflix and Amazon (It would ideally need one or both services to be a Great box) means you could have it for £120.. That's not bad.
Would I go for this deal, £10 a month for 12 then no doubt. £10 a month for 18m, perhaps (If I get a little something extra)... £10 a month for 24, No way!...
The extra data on EE does also seem nice, but I have stuck with 3g (T-Mobile) because their "Unlimited" data works out at like £3 a month, FAR slower than EE, but wow so cheap!
I've used 30-50GB per month on my Three mobile for years (at £15/pcm PAYG) without even doing much video, can't see 10GB lasting long. It's only about 5-10 hours of video, surely? I cannot see how the box spec, and the supplied service, are worth anything like the amounts suggested.
... and their customer service is from the seventh circle of hell. I have a 4G contract with them, which I will get out of as soon as I can. YouView largely works (Humax box), and includes ITV and Channel 4.
I have found the CS a mixed bag.
It can take you 2-3 days to get through to some one (Literally!), but 9 out of 10 times once you get there they are useless. The other 1 out of 10 times the staff member really seems to care and go above and beyond what is required.
But I think your correct, If this box is broken, there is no way customers will get any support for it at all.
It's Freesat's Freetime and it's been available for a while. It kicks the old Freesat/Freeview/Youview EPG UIs into the weeds.
The Freesat consortium have stated it's not hardware specific and anyone who wants to use it is allowed to do so - and it's been deployed as a frontend for terrestrial as well as satellite material in at least one brand of smartTV
As for paying a tenner a month for a box that's worth 30 squid at most? I'll pass.
Cheaper to manufacture without an Ethernet port.
I agree with you though but this is just Capitalism driving functionality and usability out of commoditised products in the pursuit of lower production costs. Race to the bottom, depressing but as long as people use price as the major buying decision factor, inevitable.
p.s. I recently bought the most expensive Roku box just to get the Ethernet port, not sure if that makes me bloody minded or stupid...
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