TV streaming services in Ireland - how to watch tv online
TV streaming is becoming really popular in Ireland, but what are the options?
Research carried out for Switcher.ie earlier this year showed that one in ten customers now watch the majority of their TV via an online streaming service, like Netflix.
With the variety of content available, the low monthly cost, and the benefit of not having to get tied into a contract, it’s easy to see why people are choosing to stream. Some are even foregoing traditional TV altogether, simply opting for a broadband-only deal alongside their streaming service of choice. There are a number of streaming options, so if you’re not familiar with which ones are available in Ireland, read on to find out more….
With a huge catalogue of movies, TV shows and documentaries across every genre, as well as some much-loved original shows, like House of Cards, Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black, Netflix is undoubtedly the most well-known streaming service in Ireland.
You get the first month free and after that there are three plans to choose from - Basic, Standard and Premium - which range from €7.99 to €13.99 per month. The plan you pick will determine how many people can stream Netflix content at once, and whether you can view in SD, HD or UHD.
You can watch Netflix via your Smart TV, ChromeCast, Apple TV, certain games consoles, and some set-top boxes, like Virgin Media’s Horizon box. Or, if you’d rather watch on the move, you can download the Netflix app on iOS, Android or Windows.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime launched in Ireland back in December 2016, but it has yet to really take off, with the main criticism being the actual content available at the moment. However, there is some good content on there, including The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle and critically-acclaimed Transparent.
You can sign up for a week-long Prime Video free trial at PrimeVideo.com. After the trial period it will cost you €2.99 per month for the first six months, and €5.99 per month after that.
You can watch online at PrimeVideo.com, on Android and iOS phones and tablets, and via some LG and Samsung smart TVs.
NOW TV is the streaming service from Sky, which launched here in Ireland back in May. There are three main Passes available for NOW TV, depending on whether you want access to entertainment, cinema or sports.
The Sky Cinema Pass gives you access to 1,000 movies on demand, as well as a new premiere every day, while the shows available with the Entertainment Pass include big-hitters like Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies. With the Entertainment Pass, you also get access to 10 channels, including Sky Atlantic and Sky Living, as well as over 250 box sets on demand.
The Sky Sports Pass is a little pricier, but could work out well if you just want to watch a particular game or sporting event. You can sign up for a Day Pass for €10, a Week Pass for €15, or get a Month Pass for €50. These give you access to the live sporting action on all seven Sky Sports channels.
NOW TV is available on multiple devices, including PC or Mac, iOS and Android phones or tablets, as well as via the new NOW TV Box.
hayu is a little more niche than the other streaming sites, as it specialises in reality TV. It has over 3,000 episodes of shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Real Housewives of Orange County, and many shows are available on the same day as the U.S.
You can get a one-month free trial of hayu, after that it’ll set you back €4.99 per month after that. However, you’re not tied into a contract, so you can cancel the service at any time. Also, eir Mobile is currently offering a free six-month hayu subscription to anyone signing up to its bill-pay mobile phone plans.
Once you sign up, you can watch via Web, iOS App, Android App, Apple TV, and Amazon FireTV. You can also stream content via ChromeCast or AirPlay.
Players from TV channels
If you don’t think you want to commit to a full streaming service, don’t forget that there are free players available from some of the main Irish TV channels, including RTÉ Player and TV3 Player. These could come in handy if you have the likes of Saorview and you miss of the TV shows you regularly watch.
Don’t forget about your internet connection
If you do plan on sticking with streaming, rather than traditional TV, remember you’ll need a reliable broadband plan with decent speeds to make the most of it.
All of the streaming sites will recommend the minimum speed required to watch content via their service, so take a look at this and then check your broadband speed to make sure your speed is up to scratch before you sign up.
If your broadband is not fast enough, there are some measures that can help to improve your broadband speed, but if they don’t work, try talking to provider to see if they can help. If not, consider switching to a new broadband provider or a different type of connection - this could make a big difference, and you’ll probably get a decent introductory discount, too.