Is SeeSaw the UK equivalent of Hulu?

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


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I'm in too. It's really good. I can't see it replacing iPlayer, rather more a place for the classic shows that aren't available after 7 days.

I don't see how watching SeeSaw is any better than watching Skins on 4oD or The Gadget Show on DemandFive ... it's just another video player which has the same, if not MORE ads than iPlayer, 4oD and DemandFive. Since when were their ads on BBC iPlayer programmes? Never. So why should I watch them on SeeSaw with ads?

I got an invite for this yesterday so I gave it a good look.
Firstly, I love the iPlayer, it definitely sets the standard for web TV (especially by having a free channel for the Wii).
SeeSaw impressed me a lot more than I thought it would. It's very simple to use and has a clean interface and doesn't constantly ram ads down your throat. It worked fine in Google Chrome (my default browser). It also has got loads of great archive content. The comedy shows on there will keep me going for months! I think it's much better to have one consistent site like this rather than having to switch between all the other channels' websites.

oh no!!

The service is simple to use and requires no third party applications except the Adobe Flash plug-in
means it wont work on the ipad!

Signed up to get an invite a couple of weeks ago, although I don't have high hopes for getting access any time soon since I figure that everyone and their dog has requested an invite.

gawd I just had a family guy flashback with that name... the one where carrot top has a saw with glasses and calls it his seesaw...

I can't see it dong very well, since channels such as BBC, Sky ITV and C4 all have their own online streaming services, some even pay based.

WelshBluebird said,
Looks really nice, but I'd imagine the BBC won't put all its stuff on there.

They do, but under BBC Worldwide at the moment.

Maximum Error said,
I'd love us to get a service like this!

Surely we already have a service(s) like this? It will be hard to be better than iPlayer, great stream quality and no adverts.

Channel4 and Five have their programs on YouTube now, all that needs is the 720p option for decent quality. Although the 480p/HQ for those shows it not too bad. The adverts for C4/5 shows on Youtube are pretty unobtrusive.

No one watches ITV so you don't need to worry about that All that is missing then is American TV, but that will get syndicated on BBC/C4/5, and we will get on demand/streaming through their services.

phatfish said,

but that will get syndicated on BBC/C4/5, and we will get on demand/streaming through their services.

They don't put american content online(bbc anyway).

acnpt said,
They don't put american content online(bbc anyway).
They put all of the films they aired over Christmas online. Since then a couple other American films have gone up, too. If they can get films online then I'm sure it isn't a far stretch to get permission for other American media.

acnpt said,

They don't put american content online(bbc anyway).

Yea, BBC has family guy running on BBC3 doesn't it? Doesn't get put on iPlayer though... :/