Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting For A Freeview Catch-Up Service

One of the theoretical benefits of the much-maligned Freeview alliance -- the grouping of commercial networks which so far hasn't offered much more than a heavily-delayed EPG which is only supported by a handful of set-top boxes -- is the notion that Freeview might provide a centralised catch-up service for watching programs online, similar to Hulu in the US. That idea is still theoretically on the drawing board, but don't expect it to happen any time soon.

Freeview CEO Robin Parkes told AdNews last week that introducing any kind of catch-up service was likely to be delayed by a number of factors and certainly wouldn't happen in 2011:

It's not just about the networks getting together. There are so many external factors – unmetered downloads, the NBN and so-on. I expect it won't be this year

As an argument, that's not particularly convincing. After all, the ABC's iView service managed to negotiate unmetered downloads with a stack of providers and also coped with having to deal with international rights issues. And while the NBN would certainly make downloads speedier in some locations, individual catch-up services do already exist for every network. Why not make Freeview actually useful and collect them in one location?

New Freeview CEO close, catch-up TV delayed [AdNews via TV Tonight]


    "Why not make Freeview actually useful and collect them in one location?"

    Freeview and useful don't actually seem to go together in the same sentance. Freeview actually reminds me of a line from the 1993 film "Dave"

    In one scene, they're discussing changes to the budget and there's an advertising program designed to make people feel good about the cars they have already bought.

    Freeview seems to be along the same lines. It doesn't "offer" anything, really. Everybody has access to it (technically) and when the analogue signal gets switched off Freeview will be the norm.

    Even sillier, Freeview advertises on the /digital only channels/ which essentially boils down to "if you can see this ad, you're already using Freeview"

    Call me when Freeview becomes useful.

      ...what he said.

      AFAIK the *only* purpose of Freeview is to encourage Australians to watch FTA rather than switching to pay TV options. It's a marketing organisation, not an industry body.
      Personally, I catch up on anything urgent via iView (and equivalents). Anything else I miss I'll buy the DVD or see if Uncle Torrence is feeling generous.

        If the stations actually started and finished on schedule, the ads wouldn't be half as annoying as they are now!! Making themselves sound like the second coming whilst at the same time raising the middle digit. "Hey watch us! we have all the best repeats and our new shows aren't too old, plus, we we will only air on time, like never!!" :[

    Do people really even care about unmetered content anymore? Most people have quotas that they never use. As for the NBN argument, well I just don't see what the problem is there. People constantly watch video over the net with their plain old DSL connections, why wait for the NBN?

      "Do people really even care about unmetered content anymore? Most people have quotas that they never use." - Correct 'most people' do have large quotas. But a majority don't.

      " People constantly watch video over the net with their plain old DSL connections, why wait for the NBN?" - Have you tried watching something without having to buffer for ages on your 'wireless' 3g connection because you cannot get DSL in your area?
      I have a good connection speed at home can stream iView fine without buffering issues, but if the wife and I both want to watch iView on our PCs then we run into issues or if I want to game and she watch iView again we run into issues

    We've got a lovely brand spanking new Samsung TV and the EPG guide takes for ever to load on the damn thing, very annoying.

    And in the kitchen the set top box that used to display EPG info doesn't any more *sigh*

    We are actually finding it faster to pull out the paper TV guide you get with the news paper >_<

    That's ok Freeview, the longer you take to implement something as obvious and as popular as Hulu, the less money you'll make. It's not really inconveniencing me at all, I just have to download it from a different place, not the one where you can sell ad space.

    Freeview has only one purpose:

    To squash ad-skipping technology on consumer TV recording devices.

      This is why I avoid anything and everything that has the Freeview logo on it.

    I bet Freeview's centralised catch-up service won't be as good as Hulu (who have been rumored for months to launch here itself).

    Also, a Freeview type service should be available to iPad users (who can't watch 9 or 7 catch-up but can use iView).

    I'm only thinking this is too little too late.

    Why don't they have +1 channels on freeview?

    If a program you like conflicts with another, it'll be on again in an hour so you can watch both.

    Of course if you have a PVR with twin tuners, you can watch one and record the other already. IceTV makes it easy as there's an app and you can record series etc.

    I don't watch too much live TV anymore as I just program my PVR to record what I want to watch and then I watch it when I want to.

    Not paying for cable as you only end up paying Murdoch more money.

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