• Savvy

Ireland's TV players and streaming apps

Updated: Mar 20

The Covid-19 pandemic crisis catapulted online TV streaming services from ‘Netflix n chill’ to ‘Watch me for thrills.’ Streaming was a real godsend while we were all ordered to stay safe at home.


With platforms like Disney+, Apple TV and Now TV all introduced to the market, it means that Netflix and Amazon Prime face stiff competition in trying to dominate your screens.

In fact, it’s fair to say that there’s probably too much choice these days, especially when you have to pay for that bigger choice.

So, does Netflix still offer the most bang for your buck, and how attractive are some of the newer kids on the block?

We take a look at what’s on offer below.





 

RTÉ Player

What it costs

This service is free on the island of Ireland, though rights are restricted on some programming within Northern Ireland.

How it works

Stream live TV. Catch up on shows watched recently.

What’s on?

All the best local programmes, live sport and news that RTÉ has to offer. Plus, some old classics. Highlights include: Normal People, The Fall, Love/Hate, Line of Duty, Room to Improve, Gossip Girl, Dawson’s Creek.

What devices can I use it with?

Laptop broswer, newer Apple devices (iOS 9.0 onwards), Apple TV, Android devices, Google Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV. It’s not currently available as an app in Amazon Firestick.

Any limits?

The app is free to so everyone can watch once downloaded. You might consider the content limited depending on your viewing tastes. Unlike some streaming services, it doesn’t contain algorithm-driven recommendations on what to watch.

Any ads?

Yes.

 

Virgin Media TV

What it costs

Like RTE Player this service is free in Ireland.

How it works

Stream live TV and catch-up TV. A limited number of TV series (around 60 at when we checked).

What’s on

Apart from what Virgin are showing live, catch-up on anything that’s been on recent weeks on Virgin Media stations. Boxsets include: Ru Paul’s Drag Race, The Bay, re-runs of Baywatch, Darklands and more.

What devices can I use it with?

Laptop browser, Apple devices (laptops, iPhones & iPads), Apple TV, Android devices, Google Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV. It’s not currently available as an app for the Amazon Firestick.

Any limits?

As per RTE, they don’t have recommendations on what to watch based on your previous viewing history.

Any ads?

Yes.

 

All 4 app (Channel 4)

What it costs

This app is free and most content can be streamed in Ireland.

How it works

Stream live TV. Catch up on shows aired recently. Watch a large selection of box sets.

What’s on

Apart from live TV you can enjoy highlights such as Catastrophe, The Inbetweeners, Father Ted, Derry Girls, Made in Chelsea, The Undateables, Shameless, Skins and more.

What devices can I use it with?

Laptops, Apple devices, Apple TV, Android devices and Amazon Firestick. It’s not currently available as an app on Chromecast with Google TV.

Any limits?

None, as app is free – and there’s around 370 shows with an IMDB rating of 7 or over to enjoy.

Any ads?

Yes.

 

Sky Go Extra

What it costs

Free to those who have a Sky Go subscription (can be part of the main TV service).

How it works

Like having Sky TV on your phone or tablet. Watch content live. Catch up and record on your Sky TV box.

What’s on

Depends on what content you’ve paid for.

What devices can I use it with?

Laptops (you need to download a windows app), Apple devices. You can use AirPlay to cast from an iPhone to Apple TV. You can also watch on app on Android devices.

Any limits?

Need to pay for Sky TV to enjoy access.

Doesn’t work with Apple TV.

Any Sky Go hacks?

If someone you know has a Sky Box but doesn’t use Sky Go – you can use it for free on your devices.

Any ads?

Yes.

 

Now TV

What it costs

Modular: - Usually €14.99 a month for cinema or entertainment packages.

How it works

Sky’s dedicated streaming platform – you can watch live TV, catch up on shows and a big selection of box sets.

What’s on

Now TV has a huge range of content including bit hitters Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Chernobyl, Downtown Abbey, Billions, Succession, Family Guy, Band of Brothers and more.

Any limits?

Add up to 6 devices and watch on any 2 at the same time.

Any NowTV hacks?

If you go to cancel a subscription, NowTV will usually offer a discounted rate to continue your subscription.

Pigsback and Groupon often have great value deals.

Any ads?

Yes.

 

Amazon Prime Video

What it costs

It’s free with Amazon Prime membership. As a standalone it costs €5.99 a month.

How it works

Stream TV series and movies. And you can stream on 3 devices simultaneously.

What’s on

Perhaps Netflix’s biggest rival the channel initially struggled to rival them for original shows but is starting to catch-up. Some shows like the Reacher, Man From The High Castle or Transparent have rated well. Other shows include Top Gear, Lost, Fleabag, Downton Abbey, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Americans, The Walking Dead… and more.

Any limits?

No live TV. But lots of TV series and movies

Any Amazon Prime Video hacks?

Lots at the moment:

· Students can get 6 months free.

· Ask a friend who has it if you can be one of their 3 assigned devices.

· If you sign up with Eir TV packages, Amazon Prime is free

Any ads?

No

 

Disney+