Wednesday, October 9, 2013

TENplay TV: catching up on catch-ups

Technology News Digital Life News Depths: <i>Homeland's</i> Carrie and Brody.

Depths: Homeland's Carrie and Brody.

Network Ten has overhauled its online catch-up TV service to help fast-track blockbuster US dramas to Australian viewers. Launched to coincide with the series return of Homeland, Ten's new TENplay service screened the first episode on a 15-minute delay behind the live US broadcast. The move gave Australians the chance to watch the show several hours before Ten broadcast it locally. TENplay also beat the rush of illegal downloads that appear online soon after each episode of Homeland screens in the US.

Running on Adobe Flash, Ten's service offers foreign and local programming, with plans for live streaming including next year's Sochi Winter Olympics. Advanced features include the ability to resume playback when switching between computers and handheld devices, with an iOS app available now and an Android version to follow.

Ten's efforts in online offerings come amid growing talk of US streaming video giants Hulu and Netflix launching locally. Geo-blocking keeps Australians out of these US services, although such restrictions are easily bypassed. Australia's Seven and Nine networks are also reportedly working on a joint catch-up TV service.

Ten's online fast-tracking efforts follow ABC iView's move last year to screen Doctor Who episodes immediately after the British broadcast - early Sunday morning, days before ABC TV broadcast them locally. ABC TV is offering the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special as a live simulcast early Sunday, November 24.


Despite the growth in legitimate alternatives, Australians are still some of the world's most prolific TV pirates. Australians led the charge to download the final episode of Breaking Bad, according to TorrentFreak, and earlier also led the way for the season-three finale of Game of Thrones to break BitTorrent records.


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