When you join EE TV, there’s now a choice of three different boxes. Compare the EE TV Box Pro, the Apple TV 4K, and the EE TV Box Mini.

If you’re joining EE TV, there’s now a choice of three different boxes: the EE TV Box Pro, the Apple TV 4K, and the EE TV Box Mini. All of them will give you access to the same channels through an internet connection but there are some differences in terms of the other features available (e.g. whether you’re able to record live TV, and the range of apps available on the box).

In general, you’re best off getting the EE TV Box Pro if you want the ability to store recordings on your own box, as opposed to relying on catch-up services like BBC iPlayer. It also gives you the option of receiving Freeview channels through an aerial. Meanwhile, the Apple TV 4K gives you a wider range of apps, along with powerful voice search functionality through Siri. However, you won’t be able to store your own recordings and there’s no aerial functionality for Freeview.

When you take EE TV with EE home broadband, you’ll be able to add their multi-room service at no extra cost. With multi-room, you can have up to two EE TV Box Minis at no extra cost, allowing you to watch TV in another room at the same time.

In this article, we’ll compare the range of boxes available on EE TV, and whether you should choose the EE TV Box Pro or the Apple TV 4K. We’ll also take an in-depth look at the features and the specifications of each box.

Plans From: £45.99 per month
(annual price rises apply)
EE TV Channels: Up to 145 channels
(choose your plan and tap on the ‘See details’ link)
EE TV Box:
Contract Length: 24 months
Requires: BT Broadband or EE Broadband

Which EE TV Box?

In the UK, EE TV is the flexible television service that’s available as an optional add-on for BT Broadband and EE Broadband customers.

When you join EE TV as a new customer, you’ll be given a choice of three different boxes: the EE TV Box Pro, the Apple TV 4K, and the EE TV Box Mini. Here’s how you can decide which box to choose:

If you want the ability to store your own recordings, choose the EE TV Box Pro.

The EE TV Box Pro is the only box to have recording functionality. With it, you’ll be able to record up to 4 channels at a time (or 2 channels at the same time if you’re using ‘internet mode’). You’ll also be able to store up to 600 hours of recordings on the box, and there’s remote record functionality with the EE TV app.

A major advantage of having your own recordings is the fact you’ll get a lot more control with them. You can keep the recordings for as long as you like, and you’ll normally be able to rewind and fast forward through them (including through the adverts). With the other two boxes, you’ll need to rely on on-demand playback instead, where programmes will sometimes be removed after broadcast (e.g. normally 30 days on BBC iPlayer, but sometimes as little as 7 days for shows like Match of the Day). In many cases, you’ll also need to watch adverts (or pay extra to remove them).

If you’d like the widest choice of apps & games, choose the Apple TV 4K.

With the Apple TV 4K, there’s a much wider range of apps and games available. For starters, there’s Apple Photos, Apple Fitness+, Apple Arcade and FaceTime. Some of your favourite iPhone and iPad apps may also be available for it. There’s also AirPlay functionality so you can cast from compatible apps on your iPhone or iPad.

In contrast, the EE TV Box Pro is built on the YouView platform. This is a home-grown UK platform so there aren’t as many apps available for it. However, all of the major TV streaming apps are available for it (including BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, Netflix, Prime Video, etc) so it may not make too much of a difference.

If you’d like to use a television aerial, choose the EE TV Box Pro.

The EE TV Box Pro is the only box that allows you to receive live Freeview channels through a television aerial. In contrast, the Apple TV 4K will only allow you to receive Freeview channels through a broadband connection (‘internet mode’).

There are a number of key advantages to using a television aerial:

  1. A television aerial may give you a wider range of channels. Some of the Freeview channels are not available in ‘internet mode’. For instance, you won’t be able to get Dave or Drama when using ‘internet mode’.
  2. A television aerial doesn’t rely on your broadband connection. This means, for instance, you’ll still be able to watch Freeview channels using a television aerial if your broadband connection goes down. In addition, it’ll save your internet bandwidth for other things (typically, a HD quality stream will ‘use up’ about 5Mbps of your connection).
  3. A television aerial has less delay for live broadcasts. When you’re watching live TV through an internet connection, there’s normally a delay of about 30 seconds or more. This could be problematic if you’re watching live sports as that goal can sometimes be spoiled (e.g. by a cheer from the local pub). If you’re using a television aerial, there’s much less delay compared to the live broadcast.

On the other hand, you’ll need to have a good signal on your television aerial to fully take advantage of these benefits. If there’s a poor signal from your aerial, you’ll likely be better off using ‘internet mode’ (where your Freeview channels are streamed over broadband instead).

It’s also worth noting that your premium TV channels such as the Sky Entertainment and Sky Sports channels will always be streamed over your broadband connection. Therefore, these benefits only apply when you’re watching free-to-air channels.

If you’d like to use voice control (Siri), choose the Apple TV 4K.

The Apple TV 4K supports voice control and interaction through the Siri virtual assistant. This means you can simply press a button on your remote control and say what you’d like to watch or do on your TV. You can also control your other smart home devices if they’re linked to the Apple HomeKit platform.

The EE TV Box Pro does not have voice control functionality.

If you’d like to save a bit on the set-up fee, choose the EE TV Box Mini.

Normally, the EE TV Box Mini is only provided when you choose the EE TV multi-room service. However, if you choose to use the EE TV Box Mini as your main box, you’ll occasionally be able to save on the £30 set-up fee.

Having said that, it’s likely you’ll be much better off choosing the EE TV Box Pro or the Apple TV 4K as your main box. That’s because you’ll get a lot more functionality and there’s no difference to the actual monthly cost. You can always get an EE TV Box Mini by adding the multi-room service at no extra cost.

Compare EE TV Boxes

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the three boxes:

EE TV Box Pro Apple TV 4K EE TV Box Mini
Channels & Content
Freeview Channels:
Choice of aerial & internet mode Internet mode only Internet mode only
Premium Channels:
Yes (plan dependent) Yes (plan dependent) Yes (plan dependent)
Streaming Apps:
Yes Yes Yes
Picture & Sound: 4K HDR & Dolby Atmos 4K HDR & Dolby Atmos 4K HDR & Dolby Atmos
Recording & Catch Up TV
Supports Recording:
Yes (up to 4 channels) No No
Built-In Storage:
Up to 600 hours (1TB storage)
Pause & Rewind TV:
Yes (up to 2 hours) Yes (up to 2 hours) Yes (up to 2 hours)
Supports Catch Up:
Yes Yes Yes
Other
Apps & Games: Yes Yes (more apps) Yes
Voice Control: No Yes (Siri) No
Supports AirPlay:
No Yes No
Platform: YouView Apple tvOS YouView
More Information
Learn More:
EE TV Box Pro Apple TV 4K EE TV Box Mini

EE TV Boxes: In-Depth

EE TV Box Pro

When you sign up to EE TV, the default option is to get a new EE TV Box Pro.

The killer feature of the EE TV Box Pro is its ability for you to record live TV on up to 4 channels at the same time (or up to 2 channels at the same time if you’re using internet mode). There’s enough storage for up to 600 hours of recordings on your box. And once they’re recorded, you’ll be able to keep your programmes for as long as you like: there’s no need to worry about them being removed from catch-up. On top of that, you’ll mostly be able to rewind and fast-forward through the recordings as you please, including through the adverts (except from on ITV channels when they’ve been recorded through Internet Mode).

The EE TV Box Pro is built on the UK’s home-grown YouView platform. On this box, you’ll be able to find all of the major streaming apps and services that are used in the UK (including BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, etc). However, you won’t get the full breadth of apps and games that are available when you choose the Apple TV 4K. That’s because the Apple TV platform has much more of an international reach, with lots of developers from around the world creating apps and games for the device. As such, if you’re looking for games or international apps, you’ll struggle to find them on the EE TV Box Pro.

Apple TV 4K

The Apple TV 4K is another option for your inclusive box on EE TV. It’s actually a customised version of the Apple TV 4K (which normally retails for around £149), with the addition of an exclusive EE TV app and a special remote control that’s optimised for the service.

The exclusive EE TV app is what allows you to watch live TV on this box, complete with an electronic programme guide (EPG) that gives you the familiar TV experience. All of your live TV channels are received through an internet connection as there’s no aerial support. There’s also no recording functionality: instead, you’ll need to rely on catch-up services like BBC iPlayer.

Another difference with the normal Apple TV 4K is the inclusion of a special remote control for EE TV. This adds a number of buttons such as rewind and fast-forward which is handy when you’re using the EE TV app.

On top of the EE TV benefits, you’ll get all of the normal functionality that available on the Apple TV 4K box. For instance, there are lots of apps and games that you can download from the App Store. You can also use Siri to control your Apple TV 4K box, as well as your other smart home devices if they’re connected to HomeKit. The Apple TV 4K also supports AirPlay technology so you can cast from compatible apps on your iPhone or iPad.

EE TV Box Mini

With EE TV, you can add a multi-room service at no extra cost. This allows you to get up to 2 additional EE TV Box Minis at no extra cost. Each of your TV Box Minis can connect to a TV in another room of your home, allowing you to get the EE TV experience on it.

To use the EE TV Box Mini, you’ll need to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network. It doesn’t support an aerial connection. You’ll be able to pause and rewind live TV for up to 2 hours, but it isn’t possible to store your own recordings on the box.

If you like, it’s possible to use the EE TV Box Mini as your primary box on the EE TV service. When you do this, the normal £30 upfront set-up fee may be removed. However, for most people, we’d recommend choosing one of the other two boxes as you’ll get a lot more functionality on it. You’ll then be able to add the EE TV Box Mini as a multi-room device at no extra cost.

More Information

For more information about EE TV and the different boxes available, please see EE’s official website.

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