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by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

Accepting that the seller may well be breaching EE Ts & Cs, I like the EE TV box, my fully paid for one works nicely, and I'd like to be able to have a second one going in another room, almost entirely for use as a bog standard PVR.

 

Any pitfalls or experiences?  If you have done this, do are you getting full "replay" functionality etc etc?

 

Cheers!

43 REPLIES
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

It'll be useless. Nearly everything will be locked & disabled when its original contract was ended. It'll be no more than a Freeview HD tuner.

 

c. If we or you end this agreement for any reason, you must return the box to us. If you fail to return the box we will charge you for the replacement cost, including any reasonable costs connected with getting the box back from you and lock the services provided on the box, including pause, record, rewind, replay, restart, multi-screen and catch up services. If we lock your box, you will only be able to watch the free to view channels.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Star" button below.
To phone EE: The local rate landline number 020 7362 0200 or Freephone 0800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

Is that certain?  I've seen various reports by others on this forum (admittedly from a couple of years ago) that seemed to suggest it was OK and you get full functionality.

 

Are you saying that the EPG etc don't get populated unless its the box's hardware ID linked to the customer account at that WAN IP address etc?  So therefore no PVR functionality, no replay, etc etc?  

 

There seems to be a small market for them on Ebay, and for £30 or so it almost seems worth a punt as it would be plugging into an EE Fibre household etc.  I can understand it if they don't work after switching providers etc, but it would surprise me if the hardware was locked to one specific account etc etc.  I could be wrong of course!

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

I have never seen anyone come on this forum to say they have got a second box running.  can you point me to such a thread?

 

A few have split the output and video-send the signal.. but that is not a second box.

 

At best you might get the EETV box to work as a PVR, but I think it will fall foul of the regular connect to the EE servers requirement and that might cause an ID mismatch to a single user account.

 

The simplest, authorised approach is to buy a £39 Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet, sideload Google Playstore, and then install the EETV app.  That works really well on the tablet.

 

If you really want to see it on a big screen, then you could Mirror from a tablet, or install a Amazon Firestick (£29) in the HDMI input of your TV and then sideload Google Playstore and EETV app (I have not tried this last suggestion).

by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

https://community.ee.co.uk/t5/EE-TV/Can-I-have-more-than-1-EETV-box/td-p/281301

 

Freddie's response on here down the thread suggested he had it working fine.

 

I'd prefer to have an aerial based TV reception for the second TV rather than internet based (or LAN based, as the Fire tablet implies I think?) but if it isn't feasible, then that's fair enough.  It just seemed that having two boxes in the house would be ideal - everyone knows how to use the remote (including grandparents who visit for babysitting purposes etc!), the functionality is excellent (is there a cheap PVR box which gets anywhere near?) and I've not had an issue with usability.

 

It's a shame EE don't facilitate this.

 

Are customers routinely asked to return boxes when contracts expire?  I wouldn't have thought they were well re-cycled so better to leave in the customer's house?

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

OK - I'd like to see it working, but as you say, it is worth a punt.

 

FireTV relies only on your LAN so if you have iffy wifi then it might have trouble.  I use the tablets to steam EETV output in most of the house... and of course you only have one set of recordings so you can choose what you watch rather than hope the second box has duplicates.   Note: there is one big downside to the EETV android app - it can't stream HD  (it actually can but EE disabled this function early after launch). So if your favourites, or Replay are recorded as HD (as most of ours are) then they can't be watched on a tablet.

 

The EETV box is owned by EE although I have not heard of any being collected - hence the few that turn up on eBay.

 

by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

When you say you stream to the tablet, are you saying you do that and then cast it up to a compatible TV?

 

I do use the app around the house on my phone or the work iPad and that's great - but sometimes you just want to sit in front of the TV.  

 

The Android HD limitation is really annoying isn't it - I'd got used to using the iPad and iPhone (both work devices) but switched back to an android phone, and was really surprised when I couldn't watch replays that way.

 

I did briefly experimenting with trying to grab the streams directly from the box which I suspect is actually do-able using VLC or similar, but didn't have more than about 20 minutes to play with it.  

 

I might take a punt on a box and see where I get to.  

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?


@larkim wrote:

Are you saying that the EPG etc don't get populated unless its the box's hardware ID linked to the customer account at that WAN IP address etc?  So therefore no PVR functionality


No, I & EE never said that. You'll have the EPG for direct viewing purposes only but not for recording.

 

Still, it's worth a cheap try to see how much you can get outta it.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Star" button below.
To phone EE: The local rate landline number 020 7362 0200 or Freephone 0800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

The only reason I suggested the EPG not being populated is I could conceive of a design which forces the box to get the EPG from EE's servers (it must use the internet in some form to get the EPG to get the thumbnail images etc), so it would be trivial to "neuter" the box by preventing it from getting an EPG.

 

But surely once the box has got an EPG, all other functionality would be local to the box - i.e. the PVR functionality in terms of recording, pausing, replay etc.  They all feel like features which don't "need" the connection to the server.

 

Of course, I could trial all of this by simply disconnecting my EETV box from the internet for a period of time and see what happens, but I'm surprised given how long the EETV box has now been out there that there isn't a deeper understanding of this just yet - running two boxes just seems such a no-brainer thing to be able to do if you can get hold of a second one!

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?


wrote:

...I'm surprised given how long the EETV box has now been out there that there isn't a deeper understanding of this just yet - running two boxes just seems such a no-brainer thing to be able to do if you can get hold of a second one!


Do try it and come back to us - I'd be interested to see what the actual practical possibilities are.

 

The reason the 2nd box has not been promoted is twofold:   EE have no motivation to boost the 2nd hand illegal resale of their boxes, and secondly they have no development path for the box, and in fact EE hardly understand anything about it or it's potential.

by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

I can see why they don't want to promote resale of contract boxes, but it would be nice to offer a second box via EE to existing customers.  Even just refurbs of old contract ones would be nice!

 

Anyway, I'll post back if I take the plunge!

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

@larkim, if youy want to use the EE TV App to watch programs on your TV, you need a cable that plugs into your phone or tablet and then into the hdmi socket on the TV. I have done this and it works ok.

 

When I lost the internet, I could not watch my recordings or record, but as soon as the internet was backup, all recordings etc were back, this was after I did not have the internet for a while, just thought you would like to know.

by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

OK.  Just to explore that a bit more:-

- we're talking hard wired tablet into TV - so any changes of channel / choice of recordings etc has to be done physically on the device (i.e. no remote control or similar)

- when the internet is lost, the app doesn't connect to the box (I've seen this myself when the wifi goes down etc) - but presumably the PVR itself when operated with the TV remote operates perfectly fine.  For example, I know I could switch off my router and still watch TV via the box in the lounge.

 

I am watching / bidding on some second hand boxes at the moment, but I'm getting the impression that as a device to be used "online" with tablets etc, the box would be redundant without an ability to connect to EE services.  But the PVR itself may well work (at least for a period of time) without that connection.  Perhaps there's a polling interval of a week or similar which disables the box if it still can't find an EE connection, though as I've got EE fibre that won't be an issue for me.

 

I'll post back if I get any interesting results.

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

A tablet running the EETV app can ‘mirror’ to a big TV either by hard wire or via a mirroring app  ( like apples airplay function ) to a suitable app on the TV ( or in my case on my Amazon Firestick plugged into the TV)

 

As said before, assume a 2nd box will work as if it has no internet connection even if you have EETv BB.  It could be your BB account will only recognise one valid EETV box, and duplicate boxes will hsve conflicting ID issues.  It polls servers every day or so. 

by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

Can you load the EE TV app onto a firestick, so it's already "in" the TV, and then controllable either by the firestick remote or via Alexa (? might not be an app for that?)

 

Having said that, I'd lose HD if I went down the Android / Amazon device route, so that diminishes its appeal somewhat.

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

If you can get the Eetv app into Amazon HD tablet (i have) then I think you could into Firestick.

 

The HD restriction is a pain. 

 

I don’t think Alexa is viable as a control method. 

by Star Contributor
Star Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

PS. alexa has a new EE Skill.   This will run on Amazon Echo and Dot.  It purports to give control over the EETV box.  It is rubbish, has very limited function and fails 90% of requests. I trialled it and deleted it. 

by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

He he - just read what I presume is your review of the Alexa skill, and I now need to try this out with my Echo Dot and EETV tonight just, as you suggest, for a laugh about how rubbish some of the alexa stuff is!

by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

Read more
Just to add one last thing - here's a link to a poster who had 4x boxes running in the same house simultaneously.  Gives me more confidence that multiple boxes is the way to go if I want multiple aerial-based services (I've got aerials with both TVs that I own).

https://community.ee.co.uk/t5/EE-TV/can-2-EE-TV-boxes-connect-to-each-other/m-p/435931#M2760 
by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: How safe is it to buy a second EE TV box for use?

OK, took the plunge with £25 so when the box arrives in a few days time I'll report back.  Fingers crossed!

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