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Australian public broadcaster SBS’s dedicated catch-up viewing service, SBS On Demand, will now be available to the public in beta (pre-release test version) via HbbTV enabled televisions, which are launching in Australia in coming
months. The launch anticipates the delayed introduction of hybrid service FreeviewPlus.
From today, users with new HbbTV-enabled televisions which are connected to the Internet will see a ‘Red Button’ appear on screen when tuning into SBS’s three free-to-air channels – SBS ONE, SBS2 and NITV.
Pressing the red button on the remote control will then launch the new SBS On Demand application on the television screen and allow viewers to access to the vast range of content on offer from SBS.
SBS Chief Digital Officer, Marshall Heald, said the launch continued SBS’s leadership in the on-demand and catch up television space with SBS On Demand available on more platforms than any other catchup service in Australia. “Innovation in the digital space is key to the future of delivering uniquely SBS content for all Australians, and adding SBS On Demand to HbbTV-enabled televisions was a logical next step with the imminent launch of FreeviewPlus. It continues our commitment to bringing content to audiences when they want, and where they want it. We’re releasing the app in beta today to elicit feedback from audiences to help us make further enhancements and improvements to the product during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and ahead of the Tour de France next month. Early adopters of this new technology will be able to provide us with valuable feedback to maximise the SBS On Demand experience,” he noted.
FreeviewPlus is an industry-led initiative launching soon on HbbTV-enabled televisions, which will offer a combined electronic programme guide, as well as catch-up digital services from across the free-to-air networks, including SBS.
SBS On Demand offers free, unlimited access to programmes and clips, including documentaries, feature films, food shows, dramas, and news and current affairs. The catch-up viewing service currently attracts over six million video views per month.
Currently Panasonic has HbbTV-enabled televisions on sale in Australia (TH-32AS610A, TH-42AS700A, TH-50AS700A, TH-55AS700A, TH-60AS700A, TH-55AS740A, TH-60AS740A) with sets from major manufacturers including Sony, LG, Samsung, TCL and others becoming available in coming weeks and months.