SeeSaw Online TV Review

SeeSaw, for those who don’t already know what it is, is the attempt at co-ordinated online TV for all the major networks in the UK. You may have already heard of it under the heading of Project Kangaroo, a project that was blocked by the European Competition commission amid fears that it would turn into a monolithic beast of a service, and promptly eat any startups in its way.

SeeSaw Splash Page

That said, Arqiva saved it from certain death and continued to develop it until this point in which they have started inviting people to try their private beta.

Now I am lucky enough to have one of these invites so I shall give you an insight into the service itself.

Firstly once in, you are presented with a very intuitive screen laying out the popular shows, the last few shows you might have missed and a channel selection.

As with most of the web services delivering video, the site uses Flash to stream video straight to your computer offering no chance to purchase or download shows for later viewing.

The range of shows for a very new service is very good but I noticed that despite agreements with ITV, no content was available at the time of this review but this is likely to change. The shows listed tend to have a few series available so you can start watching at series one and follow it all the way through to the latest episodes. The content wasn’t just limited to any one genre with everything from reality tv to documentaries and I was very impressed with the catalogue.

Now as a free service, it goes without saying that see ing that none of the TV license’s money is used t support this, it is a commercial service which does means there are adverts. Now personally I’m not a huge fan of ads being shown as a pre-roll to every episode or clip of television but the ads themselves aren’t a bore and are a huge amount better than pop-ups and side ads like those on youtube that interrupt your viewing experience.

SeeSaw Player

The player appears to be minimalistic and very CPU efficient. It offers standard features like scrobbling through the video, volume, pause etc.

The quality of video is fairly good, with it being standard definition broadcast quality or higher and it you have not got the bandwidth, it shows a message to gracefully downgrade.

I haven’t yet found any episodes in HD yet, but that is sure to be in the pipeline when the bandwidth of most home users increases to a stage where it becomes fairly mainstream.

Another good feature, that is featured in Hulu, is the site shade so when you are watching a video, a dark shade covers the site content so as to now distract from the video being watched.

I did find however while using the service, if your internet slows to under 1.5Mbps – you will be unable to watch much even on the lowest setting. Sorry 1Mbps users!

Conclusions

The SeeSaw service looks very promising and I would class it as a serious contender in the IPTV space. The range of shows is comparable to that of Hulu with each member broadcaster giving a broad range of shows in a wide selection of series. A version of the site for mobile devices with the ability to watch on Android or iPhone would be desirable for those on the move. All in all a very good service!

You can sign up for your beta invite at http://www.seesaw.com

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