The first catch-up TV service from Channel Ten will launch from June 2012, offering programs such as Bondi Vet, The Graham Norton Show and The Bolt Report as streaming video on Sony Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. The catch-up TV service will allow viewers to watch a show after it has been broadcast, in much the same way as they would a TV recording from a PVR or DVD recorder. Instead of shows being recorded to a hard drive or disc, however, they are stored on a website which serves as an internet TV channel for select network programming. Catch-up TV programming is accessed via a TV app, with Sony saying Ten’s will automatically download to the main Smart menu of Sony’s compatible internet-enabled devices once the service goes live.
Channel Ten has been slow to offer catch-up TV programming, with other networks – including SBS, ABC and Channel 7 – already providing services to Sony Smart TVs. The ABC iView and Channel 7 Plus7 catch-up services are also available on LG and Samsung Smart home entertainment products, and with all electronics makers seeking to add value to via free video 0n-demand services, we predict that Ten will partner with other brands in the future too.
With catch-up TV services from the Australian broadcasters likely to be ubiquitous across TV brands, buyers should be looking to unique content services when choosing a Smart TV or Blu-ray player. Sony currently has the greatest number of niche internet TV channels, plus Quickflix, Wiggle Time TV, the arthouse movie service, Mubi, and the subscription music service, Music Unlimited. LG has BigPond Movies, Red Bull TV and is set to pen a deal with Disney for access to its 3D movie catalogue. Samsung has BigPond Movies and Quickflix, plus the Music Hub subscription service, and from July 1, 30 Foxtel channels on a pay-per-month basis.