The new service aims to bring together live and on-demand TV and is a world first.
The swanky surroundings of the Marker Hotel in Dublin was the setting for the launch of a new TV service from Eir this morning.
Attendees had been kept in the dark about what was to be announced, and although many expected the announcement to feature something TV related, it’s fair to say there were a few surprised faces when the details were unveiled.
So what’s new?
Eir has teamed up with Apple to incorporate its TV service into Apple TV. This will make Eir the first TV provider in the world to use the Apple TV 4K device as its sole set-top box.
Apple TV is the media player from Apple that lets you stream content onto your TV. It currently gives users access to iTunes films and TV shows, Apple TV channels, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and other apps such as Netflix and YouTube. It will also give users access to Apple TV+, the new on-demand streaming service from Apple that’ll compete with the likes of Netflix and promises hit shows from the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
And now, after today’s announcement, it’ll also contain Eir’s TV service, which includes HD as standard, the Eir Sport pack and Virgin Media Sport, the RTE Player, and over 50 live TV channels like RTE 1 and 2, BBC 1, 2 and 4, Channel 4, and Virgin Media 1, 2 and 3 etc. Customers will also get a one-year free subscription to Apple TV+ from 1st November.
The service also includes a new seven-day catch-up feature, the ability to pause and rewind live TV and record up to 500 programmes.
How do I get access to apps like Netflix?
Apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, the RTÉ Player and hundreds more can all be downloaded easily from the Apple TV app store and then viewed on your TV.
To download the apps you just need an Apple ID. However users must have their own valid Netflix or Prime account etc in order to use these apps. In other words - you'll need to stump up extra for 'em!
What’s the cost?
For new customers the cost will be €49.98 a month for six months and then €79.98 a month thereafter. This will give you access to:
- Up to 100Mb unlimited broadband
- The Apple TV 4K set-top box for no additional fee
- 50+ live TV channels through Eir TV
- Eir’s fastest ever WiFi with its new fibre box
- The Eir Sport pack as well as Virgin Media Sport
- Unlimited off-peak local and national calls
- HD at no extra cost
For existing Eir broadband customers who wish to add Eir TV the price will be €14.99 a month for six months then €19.99 a month thereafter.
A new way to watch Sky’s premium channels
For premium channels such as Sky Sports and Sky Cinema, you’ll now have to access these channels through the Now TV app on your Apple TV box.
However this means you can just pay for the games, tournaments and movies you really like as with Now TV you're able to buy daily, weekly or monthly passes if you want. Customers will also benefit from higher picture quality. What's Now TV you ask? See here for more info on the streaming service.
And the other good news is that BT Sport and Premier Sport will be available on Now TV before the end of October, meaning you really can catch all the sporting action in one place.
Eir's new TV service uses cloud recording which is a relatively new technology. It brings with it many benefits such as the ability to have multiple simultaneous recordings while it reduces the need for physical storage space on your set-top box. However as it’s a new technology some of the more traditional content providers like RTE and BBC are not yet willing to grant media rights to live record as the data is stored in the cloud. However, this is changing all the time but for now you won't be able to record or pause and rewind live TV on every channel you want! There have also been some initial reports about the user interface being somewhat clunky and difficult to use though this will hopefully be sorted out in the near term.
Also, at 100Mb, the broadband is hardly lighting fast, but it should be sufficient for most households, although if three or more people are streaming content at the same time and someone's gaming, you could experience some buffering from time to time.
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