This week Neowin gained access to the beta version of SeeSaw, a new online TV service that aims to provide viewers with a selection of quality UK TV.
SeeSaw is a service that originated from the Kangaroo joint venture, a proposed online video-on-demand partnership between UK broadcasters BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Unfortunately UK antitrust regulators blocked the plans, worried the joint venture would possess too much power over UK web telly.
SeeSaw offers a variety of content from BBC, Channel 4 and FIVE. Popular shows like The Gadget Show, Skins and Peep Show are all available. There's also a number of classic shows including Fonejacker, Bottom and Doctor Who. The majority of content at the moment is provided by Channel 4's "4OD" service. There are plans in the works for US content and sport events such as the London 2012 Olympics but deals are yet to be signed.
The service is simple to use and requires no third party applications except the Adobe Flash plug-in. Content is streamed via three settings, low, medium and high and users require a minimum of a 1 Mbps broadband connection. Picture quality full screen on the high setting seems consistent with other web TV offerings. The interface is well thought out and attractive. If you choose to watch a video windowed mode the site dims the background to concentrate your vision onto the video content, a neat little touch that works well. Each channel is styled individually with a backdrop to suit the content provider. Watching a video is as simple as point and click. There's no option to download the content at the moment. SeeSaw also features parental controls to lock children out of inappropriate content.
It remains to be seen whether SeeSaw can persuade other content providers to join. American drama and comedy shows are popular amongst British viewers and if the start-up is able to pull in a decent variety of shows then it could easily become the UK's Hulu.
SeeSaw is expected to go public in March with over 3,000 hours of content. If you can't wait until March then register your interest for the beta at SeeSaw.com