ABC launches 'catchup' IPTV channel and ABC store downloads

abc_playback.pngOur national broadcaster the ABC has announced four new digital services today including an IPTV station called "ABC Playback" which will allow viewers to stream shows that were broadcast by the ABC in the previous week. It will also launch paid downloads from the ABC shop on 18 March.

The online service is in beta at the moment, showing three channels - ABC Catch-up, which will show a mix of popular and specialist shows which had been screened during the previous week on ABC1 or ABC2. ABC Real will show natural history programs and general documentaries, while there will also be an ABC Shop channel. An ABC news channel is also on the cards one the service goes live.

If you have an ADSL2+ broadband connection you can apply to join the beta here.

The ABC shop is also introducing a paid download service which will offer DVD, CD and download products for rent or purchase. These are accessed by an ABC Commercial integrated media player and download manager. It wasn't clear what format the downloads come in, if they're tied to any particular player or if they use DRM - hopefully we'll have more information from the ABC on that soon.

The ABC is also replacing the old Local radio sites, called The Backyard, with a network of 60 ABC Local websites. These will include localised broadband content including local weather, sport and user-generated content.
It is also launching a  24 hour news service called CNC (continuous news centre). Construction on the purpose built broadcasting studio based in Ultimo in Sydney will begin this year.

They've uploaded a showreel on the new services, which you can view here


    i think is fantastic :) i find the content on free to air tv increasingly unfriendly, what i mean by that is: even if there is a good show on commercial tv - there are too many ads and i don't have the time nor desire to watch all these ads and the shows are on at a time that does not suit me.

    I would love to be able to choose a few shows to watch that I like when I like.

    we have tried using eyetv to record the shows we want to watch for later, but we have issues with that - it takes up a lot of memory on your computer, you have to make sure your computer is awake and recording. this can be difficult in a family of 4 with different accounts on our imac etc etc etc

    i am just hoping that the media player will be compatible with the mac, but really looking forward to what they are going to offer.

    Hey screw you ABC.

    I pay my taxes for your content -- Having your material up for online streaming was great. Somebody even made a nice XMBC plugin that allowed us to stream your vodcasts to our living rooms.

    Now you want to turn it around and start to charge us for something we have already paid for. GOOD LUCK.

    Guess ill be grabbing the torrents like everybody else that has a clue.

    That's not how I read it. The online channels are streaming free content. The only thing that they've added which you pay for is the ability to buy & download stuff from the ABC store, rather than going in and buying a DVD there.

    I think Sarahs got it.

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