Last weekend, very quietly, PlayStation 3 owners noticed the appearance of a new TV icon on their Xross Media Bar (XMB). This was the ABC iView, the ABC’s excellent catchup TV service, getting a soft launch.

Today, at the launch of its new PlayTV device, Sony officially announced the addition of the streaming ABC content via the PlayStation 3.

At the time of writing, ABC iView has about 100 programs to choose from, amounting to over 300 episodes. Programs include:

  • Doctor Who
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • The Wire
  • Poirot
  • Ashes to Ashes
  • Compass
  • Lilies
  • 7.30 Report
  • Australian Story
  • The Bill
  • First Tuesday Book Club
  • Four Corners
  • Hope Springs
  • John Safran’s Race Relations

If you’re lucky enough to have one of the following companies as your ISP, then there’ll no data cost:

  • AARNet
  • Adam Internet
  • Apex Internet (TransACT customers only)
  • Cinenet
  • Comcen/SPIN
  • iinet
  • Internode
  • iPrimus
  • Westnet

If your ISP is not one of these, then check your broadband plan, and see how much data allowance you have. It would also be a good thing to check the speed of your internet connection. The ABC recommends 1.1Mbps (1126Kbps) as the speed for optimum viewing. If you’re unsure of the speed of your connection, there is a tool on the iView website (link will open in a new wondow) that will determine it for you.

One letdown with the iView via the PS is that you have to use your PS3’s gaming controller, rather than the Sony Blu-ray remote or a universal remote control, to negotiate your way around the iView interface.

Sony is talking to other content providers, has been for some time, but no other streaming content services will be added until March 2010.