ABC’s catchup tv service, ABC iView will be accessible on Sony’s new range of BRAVIA internet connected televisions as well as the new range of Sony internet-connected Blu-Ray players which will launch mid next month.
The BRAVIA Internet Video deal comes at a time when the Australian launch of the new Doctor Who series, will premiere on ABC iView Friday night at midnight, before its ABC1 screening on Sunday 18 April.
With more and more Australians turning to online to catchup and view television content, the collaboration between ABC TV and Sony to bring iView to their new range of televisions was a logical next step, says ABC Director of Television, Kim Dalton. “Australians enjoy using iView because it gives them convenience and choice. Now, those benefits can be accessed directly on a television screen, as well as on a computer or via the Sony PlayStation®3.”
“ABC is a leader in the delivery of web-based TV content to Australians and is an ideal partner for our BRAVIA Internet Video service,” said Paul Colley, Sony Australia’s Technology Communications Manager. “With an understanding of the value of catch-up TV services and pioneering with the debut of television programming online, ABC TV has demonstrated its desire to keep TV content relevant and engaging in Australia.”
ABC iView is Australia’s favourite catchup tv service. Currently more than 175 programs are available from ABC1, ABC2 and ABC3. In March, ABC iView recorded 471,000 visitors and 1.671 million visits. This was the highest number of monthly visits ever recorded. Top programs for March included The IT Crowd, Sanctuary, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, QI, Good Game, Total Drama Action, Hungry Beast, Peep Show and The Young Ones.
The BRAVIA Internet Video launch comes five months after ABC TV and Sony Computer Entertainment successfully worked together to offer ABC iView on Sony’s PlayStation 3 in November last year.
The move to deliver ABC iView content to internet-connected televisions requires a change in the way the content is formatted. This presents a number of challenges, which the iView team is working to resolve, but in the short-term, it means that some of the news content (7pm Bulletin, Four Corners, 7.30 Report, Insiders, Lateline, Lateline Business, Midday Report and Foreign Correspondent) will not be available at launch.
In addition, accessing ABC iView on a BRAVIA TV will be metered, even in those households which are connected to an ISP that offers unmetered access to ABC iView on a PC. Currently in Australia, no video content served from the internet to TVs and mobile devices is unmetered.
Finding out about the latest content available on iView will also be easier from today, with the launch of the ABC iView widget. The widget is a small, compact window that lists and lets you watch the latest programs available on iView. It can be embedded on any webpage such as a blog, social media site, website or even installed on a computer desktop. The widget allows users to see directly what new programs are available without having to visit the ABC iView homepage every day, and then launch playback. The widget can be accessed from http://www.abc.net.au/widgets