SeeSaw Online TV Service Gets Online Rentals In 2nd Generation UpgradeWritten by Rob Nichols on May 21, 2010 · Filed under Internet, Review
The recently launched UK online catch-up TV streaming service SeeSaw is announcing its upgrade to its second generation. A collection of new features will hopefully bring the service up to scratch after the initial disappointment among some of its first efforts.
The first of these new features is the additional premium content added to the site. Apart from the usual free stuff gathered from BBC and Channels 4 and 5 you can now rent shows too for a small fee. For example, the current season of Lost, which you may know is not aired on any of the above channels, can be rented in its entirety for a modest £12.99.
Alternatively, you can simply rent the episode you missed for a mere 99p. So what do they mean by rented? Well, the outlines of the rental package are simple. Renting a single episode gives you 30 days to view it. Renting a series gives you a full 90 days to watch it all. However, once you have pressed play, you only have another 48 hours before that particular episode is deactivated.
The second of these impressive additions is the content streamed from abroad, most notably from the USA. Seesaw has secured deals with MTV Networks allowing them to air content over the Internet from Comedy Central and MTV. So in case you’re not familiar with the channels yet, shows such as South Park, The Hills, My Super Sweet 16 and Laguna Beach will now be available through SeeSaw.
In addition to that, there is also a deal being struck a little closer to home with BBC Worldwide. This will potentially bring exciting new content to the service across various genres, for example favourite comedy series such as Fawlty Towers, The Royle Family, Gavin & Stacey, I’m Alan Partridge and Only Fools and Horses. Plus, factual series such as Louis Theroux, Planet Earth and Top Gear will be available on SeeSaw.
So what does all of this new content amount to? Well SeeSaw claim that the current deals, plus a couple of others which they hope to secure in the near future, will bring the sum total of 5,000 hours of programming. An impressive feat no doubt considering the service is only a few months old.
On top of all of the new content being provided by SeeSaw, they have indeed improved the functionality and have implemented many premium features as you may remember, I myself called for in my initial review of the SeeSaw service. As well as that they have improved navigation on the site with new search and filtering facilities in addition to new editorial collections providing an insight into SeeSaw’s favourite shows.
In keeping with many other services, namely Spotify, they have integrated their service into a heap of social networking sites including all of the major ones like Facebook and Twitter. Without adding much in the way of functionality, it does allow for sharing your favourite episodes and shows with your friends.
Having briefly used the new features this morning, I have to say I am hugely impressed with the improvements. Although on the face of it the site is fairly similar, maintaining excellent usability and great functionality, the added content definitely adds a new dimension to the service.
Pierre-Jean Sebert, CEO SeeSaw commented: “Today’s announcement marks the next phase in the evolution of the UK’s most exciting online TV service. Since launch, SeeSaw has connected with one million TV lovers across the UK with a mixture of great content, a high quality viewing experience and simplicity of use. Going forward, we are confident that our blend of free and premium programming will enhance the appeal of SeeSaw to both viewers and advertisers.”
John Keeling, Platform Controller, SeeSaw said: “SeeSaw offers the richest selection of content available on any online TV service in the UK. We continue to roll out enhanced functionality and new services ahead of schedule and feedback from users to date has been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to introducing great entertainment content from the major Hollywood studios across the summer months and to giving our viewers what they are asking for.”
So I think it’s fair to say that there is a fair deal of excitement surrounding SeeSaw and it’s recent improvements. It’s understandable considering SeeSaw has already attracted 1 million unique visitors since it began. An impressive figure to say the least, and it’s almost a certainty that it will continue to grow what with the new features improving the service even further.
There are still a few inconveniences that need ironing out but that is to be expected like in any new service in any market, and for the mean time, SeeSaw is providing a service which UK users have been craving since Kangaroo got blocked and US providers such as Hulu abandoned plans to move over to the UK.