Irish broadband provider, Magnet Networks, has launched a free web-based live TV service with Twitter and Facebook integration.
The service offers live streaming of five Irish channels for free, regardless of provider.
According to Magnet Networks, anyone with a 1MB broadband connection can log on to magnetwebtv.ie and register to watch RTE1, Network 2, TV3, TG4 and 3e live from any web browser. The service involves no TV licence fees, no cable subscription, no contract, no monthly subscription fee and no software downloads.
From the same web page, users also have the option of running their Twitter and Facebook feeds to comment, tweet and watch updates alongside their TV stream. Similar to other online services, users need only register their full name, username, password and email to avail of the service.
“Apart from the fact that this is a free, no-strings-attached service, we expect the social media features to be a big draw,” said Mark Kellett, CEO of Magnet. “People in Ireland can now watch TV and comment, or just observe comments, from one device, which we now know is a very popular activity for many.
“There really is a huge appetite for this. Big TV events like The X Factor attracted over 11 tweets per second and more recently TD Joan Burton’s appearance on The Vincent Browne show became a trending topic worldwide.
“There’s no obligation to sign up to Magnet. We are however hoping that people will be so impressed with the service that they will want more and sign up to our broadband packages to avail of additional channels together with our great speeds. But there’s nothing to stop people just availing of the free five.”
From launch, users can tweet or update their Facebook status and receive updates from followers and friends. Additional features like replies, retweets and comments will be added in the coming weeks.
“This service puts Ireland at the forefront of converging television and social networking,” added Kellett. “Our technical teams have solved issues that have caused others to stumble in the race for convergence. We here in Ireland are now actually ahead of efforts in the United States. The local network, internet and software assets we have assembled now make MagnetWebTV.ie possible for the whole country.”