A new online TV service called TVPlayer is to roll out in the UK from June, offering premium programmes from around 25 partner companies from launch.
The TVPlayer platform should be available on home computers, tablets and smartphones, including Apple’s iOS, Android and Blackberry. It is also expected to be available in a few internet-connected TVs and set-top boxes, with more to follow.
The service works a little like Top Up TV for the broadband age and will compete with the likes of Sky Go, which provides access to pay-TV content on mobile gadgets and computers for a subscription. Sky is in the process of opening up its internet TV offering beyond customers who have a dish on the roof, so TV Player will need to carve out a niche in the market.
One of TVPlayer’s benefits over Sky Go is that it will work on up to five registered devices, in contrast to Sky Go’s two. Only one programme can be seen at a time per account but you can start watching on one device and pick up where you left off on another.
The TVPlayer will focus on the live streaming of programmes from various premium channels, sticking to the same schedules as cable and satellite platforms where appropriate. There will also be a seven-day catch-up option, accessible by going backwards in the on-screen programme guide or through its “recommendations engine”.
The subscription pricing and line-up of content is due to be announced officially by its developer SimpleStream in May. The service will soon be running a private beta (you can register for an invite at the website below). Having seen a sneak preview, we can confirm that there are familiar broadcasting brands involved, covering genres such as factual, wildlife and classic reruns.
TVPlayer will not include movies, as that area is fairly well served by the likes of LoveFilm, Netflix and iTunes, not to mention Sky and Virgin Media.