Seems virtually everyone wants a crack.
Much as love Pioneer (and I really do love Pioneer!), this is wildly ambitious…
The plasma genius is going to create its own ad-supported video download service which will offer users the chance to subscribe to individual channels or specific programmes.
If all this sounds a little vague that’s because Pioneer has yet to reveal exactly which ‘channels’ it will be providing or what shows for that matter (though the iTunes-ish mock-up on its holding page does show viciously entertaining hit show ‘Dexter’ and dubious generic channels like ‘Far Out’ and ‘Ultra Z’).
Little in the way of hard facts were given about SyncTV’s video quality either, though the ambiguous phrase “home-theatre quality” was thrown around suggesting DVD rather than HD. That said, this being Pioneer expect it to come up with something in at least 720p sooner or later.
Finally, as for a delivery method Pioneer says SyncTV will be both Windows and Mac compatible and content will be laced with a ‘Marlin’ DRM wrapper initially compatible with its own players as well as those by Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Sony. Whether this means playback via a computer is out of the question or if plans for TV set-top boxes are afoot is unclear at this point.
According to Pioneer, SyncTV is already undergoing private testing with a limited public beta to follow in January. So will AppleTV, BBC’s iPlayer, Sky or even Virgin be quaking in their boots right now? I severely doubt it, but perhaps we’ll get a better picture (pun sadly not intended) early next year…