After a year or more of whispers and rumours, EE today finally unveiled their TV service which it describes as “the most advanced” the UK has ever seen.
Yet what’s been announced is little more than a Freeview recorder with a splattering of apps, most of which can be found on any low-cost Smart TV or Blu-ray player.
BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 are pretty much everywhere these days and the presence of DailyMotion, YouTube and The Weather Network apps is hardly going to send boxes flying off shelves.
Access to Wuaki.tv helps livens things up a bit but there’s no sign of Netflix – already on Virgin Media’s Tivo and reportedly coming soon to YouView – and no option to add extra pay channels such as Sky 1 or Sky Sports.
And unlike BT or TalkTalk there’s apparently no bundles of add-on pay channels.
There’s not even a promise of an app for Sky’s NOW TV streaming service.
This looks a lot like a pretty basic content package which is being tarted up with talk of flipping content to mobile devices and being able to control your set top box from your smartphone and tablet.
And when you delve down into the detail of features you discover they’re not quite as amazing as they sound – the consumer page makes it clear that the hyped Replay feature this is just a fancy name for recording a selection of favourite channels and watching the recordings back later.
The ability to “watch up to four different live or recorded programmes on your TV and three compatible phones or tablets” certainly sounds exciting but let’s wait and see to the extent to which rights restrictions limit that feature’s usefulness.
Based on the information released today it’s hard to see why anyone would switch from Sky, Virgin Media BT or TalkTalk or why Freeview homes looking for a bit more wouldn’t just go grap a £10 NOW TV box.