Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

dallardice

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 29, 2008
240
102
In an interesting development, EE - a UK comms company - has done a deal with Apple to market a customised Apple TV 4K with a specific menu options and remote to support EE's TV service, which aims to provide a conventional channel-based TV service over the internet.

Initially I thought that this would just be a pre-installed app, but it seems to be much more than that, although full details won't be out until later in the week.

This is the best article I've seen about it, showing the changed interface and remote: https://www.pocket-lint.com/ee-apple-tv-4k-live-tv-eetv/

The article suggests this is a global first...
 
  • Like
Reactions: tranceking26

ScrumpyDaniel

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2019
272
288
Interesting. I'm with EE for my sim only contract, and depending on the price I might be interested but I've already got the 2021 model. Intriguing to see how this develops though.
 

bumbo

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2009
443
148
It's an interesting move for sure. No one else offers this on Apple TV AFAIK and could be a game changer. Will be curious to see if they properly integrate it (ie shows just launch rather than opening a third party app), or if it takes the TV app approach and uses deeplinking to take you to the app and play the show.
Sky Stream failed with their implementation of playlists so let's hope EE don't fall into the same trap
 

-Gonzo-

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2015
1,465
798
I’d be interested to know what version of ATV4K they’re actually using, will they be using the latest 3rd gen model or could they just have come to deal with Apple to take any remaining stocks of the 1st or 2nd gen models they’ve got stored in a warehouse off their hands.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BMox81

KibJ

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2019
127
63
This will be publicly launched in December.

There's no information on whether they will bring the 'Live TV App' to none-EE branded Apple TVs yet, I doubt they will.
 

john9876

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2008
115
85
I have the BT TV service which is to be re-branded as EE TV.
It currently comes with a "BT TV Box Pro", apparently made by Sagemcom. It can already do IP-streamed terrestrial channels (BBC, ITV etc) over BT broadband but you also have the alternative option of using a built-in HD DTT tuner (which I do as I have a decent aerial socket handy).
It's actually very good as a set-top box, nice bluetooth remote, responsive, does 4K and recording, and has all the apps you might need (except Apple TV currently). Indeed the new EE marketing shows a family using the remote for this box but with the BT home button re-branded EE.
The "innovative" part of EE TV seems to be using an AppleTV and a new app to stream the live TV channels instead of the branded set-top box. That is quite cool, although presumably by losing the current box we would also lose the option to use the over-the-air tuner and the recording function.
 

dallardice

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 29, 2008
240
102
There's no information on whether they will bring the 'Live TV App' to none-EE branded Apple TVs yet, I doubt they will.
It has been reported that they will not, which is unfortunate.
 

KibJ

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2019
127
63
The "innovative" part of EE TV seems to be using an AppleTV and a new app to stream the live TV channels instead of the branded set-top box. That is quite cool, although presumably by losing the current box we would also lose the option to use the over-the-air tuner and the recording function.
There is still the option to purchase an EE TV Box Pro and EE TV Box Mini alongside the Apple TV option, which I assume will have the features you currently have.

And yet again a company is close, but ultimately misses the point. Both EE and Sky need to realise that people do not want their hardware.
Agreed! It would be nice to have the option of taking TV without their hardware. This might be more possible with the release of Freely (Freeview online)
 

john9876

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2008
115
85
And yet again a company is close, but ultimately misses the point. Both EE and Sky need to realise that people do not want their hardware.
I actually find it useful having two separate set top boxes, an AppleTV and a STB bundled with broadband (currently a BT TV Box Pro).

My BT TV package includes Sky entertainment channels through NowTV but it's massively cheaper to subscribe to Sky Sports directly with NowTV. That means using a second account because adding it to the original NowTV account would apparently have to be via BT at full price. Accordingly I have one STB with the NowTV app logged into the account with the Sport subscription, and the second STB with the NowTV app logged into the other account with the entertainment subscription.

Similarly I have a TNT Sports subscription as an extra on my EE mobile plan, and apparently that can't be added to the same BT account as my BT TV (although it is on the same BT ID confusingly) so a second STB is handy there too.

Perhaps my use case is unusual and other people will just pay more to have everything on one account (which is probably what BT/EE are hoping for).

I also find it quite helpful being able to periodically get a new box with a tuner for terrestrial TV bundled with broadband, as they do seem to break after a couple of years (unlike my plasma TV which is 17 years old hence the need for a tuner box).
 

john9876

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2008
115
85
It has been reported that they will not, which is unfortunate.
Seems a bit shortsighted. The live TV channels will presumably require a BT/EE broadband connection anyway, and I doubt they'll be making much on providing the AppleTV boxes.
 

bumbo

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2009
443
148
And yet again a company is close, but ultimately misses the point. Both EE and Sky need to realise that people do not want their hardware.
Exactly this! The determination to keep people in a closed hardware loop is stifling the market.
Sky are even worse because everything - including the apps on Stream etc - run through their servers so you're at their mercy for the entire service.
 

john9876

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2008
115
85
Exactly this! The determination to keep people in a closed hardware loop is stifling the market.
Sky are even worse because everything - including the apps on Stream etc - run through their servers so you're at their mercy for the entire service.
Do you not need to be on the provider's network for multicast IPTV channels to work anyway, though? You could for example subscribe to BT TV but wouldn't be able to receive the multicast channels on a different ISP. I think that the Sky Stream channels are multicast not VoD?

VoD of course can work over other networks, so that could in theory be cross-platform (like using the NowTV app over another ISP or running it on different hardware).

EDIT: apparently Sky Stream is unicast not multicast and does work over other ISPs. Of course you can also get their channels streamed from other ISP's servers and using other hardware by subscribing to e.g. Virgin Stream or BT TV, or even NowTV. By some accounts Virgin Stream is faster (less lag) than Sky Stream, and BT TV (being multicast) has less lag again. I don't think that saying you're tied to Sky's services or hardware to receive their channels is quite right.
 
Last edited:

Fozziebear40

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2008
366
193
Newton-le-Willows, England
I actually find it useful having two separate set top boxes, an AppleTV and a STB bundled with broadband (currently a BT TV Box Pro).

My BT TV package includes Sky entertainment channels through NowTV but it's massively cheaper to subscribe to Sky Sports directly with NowTV. That means using a second account because adding it to the original NowTV account would apparently have to be via BT at full price. Accordingly I have one STB with the NowTV app logged into the account with the Sport subscription, and the second STB with the NowTV app logged into the other account with the entertainment subscription.

Similarly I have a TNT Sports subscription as an extra on my EE mobile plan, and apparently that can't be added to the same BT account as my BT TV (although it is on the same BT ID confusingly) so a second STB is handy there too.

Perhaps my use case is unusual and other people will just pay more to have everything on one account (which is probably what BT/EE are hoping for).

I also find it quite helpful being able to periodically get a new box with a tuner for terrestrial TV bundled with broadband, as they do seem to break after a couple of years (unlike my plasma TV which is 17 years old hence the need for a tuner box).

You've almost mirrored my use exactly. I do have SkySports through BT though and I use NOW TV and TNT on my Apple TV. I don't know whether you have the BT TV Box Pro as an IPTV or Freeview receiver. It was a revelation when I set the box up as IPTV. The Sky Sports channels can pause and rewind, rather than stream only.
 

bumbo

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2009
443
148
Do you not need to be on the provider's network for multicast IPTV channels to work anyway, though? You could for example subscribe to BT TV but wouldn't be able to receive the multicast channels on a different ISP. I think that the Sky Stream channels are multicast not VoD?

VoD of course can work over other networks, so that could in theory be cross-platform (like using the NowTV app over another ISP or running it on different hardware).

EDIT: apparently Sky Stream is unicast not multicast and does work over other ISPs. Of course you can also get their channels streamed from other ISP's servers and using other hardware by subscribing to e.g. Virgin Stream or BT TV, or even NowTV. By some accounts Virgin Stream is faster (less lag) than Sky Stream, and BT TV (being multicast) has less lag again. I don't think that saying you're tied to Sky's services or hardware to receive their channels is quite right.
I meant that the apps that run on Stream all go through Sky servers as opposed to hitting the service directly, not that you can only get Sky channels through Sky.
The point was more that in this country there's no company offering a true OTT service where you're not tied into their hardware. I'm aware Freeview haven't made their channels available over IP properly yet, and that's coming.
I'm sure more customers would be interested if there was a product offering that fit into existing hardware instead of having to get extra boxes etc (YouTube TV in the US being a good example)
 

erihp

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2020
300
240
This remote, Branded One for ALL, is now available on Amazon in the US. Got one on the way. Model is URC1110.
Very interesting indeed!

Unfortunately it appears that the additional buttons work via HDMI-CEC instead of an IR learning feature to teach it a command (say for controlling an AVR volume).

Can you confirm this when you receive it?
 

410

macrumors newbie
Dec 1, 2020
6
3
UK
Out of interest has anyone got this set up and if so, what are your honest opinions using it.
I signed up and have had it running since Monday 3rd June. Honestly I'm still on the fence really.

Some pros:
  • Being able to watch Freeview/Now/TNT and channel surf
  • The usual apple TV apps

Some cons:
  • 5.1 audio isn't supported at all yet in the EE TV app (on the roadmap apparently)
  • Remote lacks number keys, so you can't just enter in the channel number you want without first bringing up a virtual numpad in the EE TV app
  • Lots of SD only channels and no way to filter out SD channels when they have an HD equivalent
  • Only limited to boxes provided by EE, and the limit is one. You can't bring your own due to contractual obligations

If anyone is interested (and linking externally is allowed), there's further discussion on the EE TV Forums.

I can post a few pictures of the interface if anyone is interested?
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.