Broadband provider Magnet has launched a free web-based live TV service with Facebook and Twitter integration. The service comes with RTE1, RTE 2, TV3, TG4 and 3e and can be viewed on any web browser.
The service, which requires a minimum connection of 1Mbps regardless of provider, allows users to run their TV programming alongside their Twitter and Facebook feeds. Users need only register their full name, user name, 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,” Mark Kellett, CEO of Magnet, explained. “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.”
According to research from Intel (August 2010) 35pc of 18-24-year-olds post comments on social networking sites to converse about broadcasts and 22pc of us want a quick and easy way to recommend shows to friends. Almost half of people in the UK have admitted to using sites like Twitter, Facebook and MSN messenger to discuss a TV programme while it’s on air.
“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.”
In addition to the free services, for a monthly fee of €3.99, 21 channels are offered to Magnet broadband subscribers, including BBC’s full range of channels, MTV, VH1 and kids channels Nickelodeon, Nick Toons and Nick Junior.
“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.”
For now, users can tweet or update their Facebook statuses and receive updates from followers and friends. Additional features such as likes, replies, retweets and comments will be added in the coming weeks.
“This service puts Ireland at the forefront of converging television and social networking,” Kellett said.
“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,” he added.