Our 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
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.