VuTV, which first appeared on the Freeview EPG earlier this week will soon launch on channel 238 and allow subscribers to add on a range of premium channels from established and well-known brands to their existing Freeview line up. The channels will be broadcast via the internet to Freeview HD devices that support streamed channels.
Generally, only 2012 or later Freeview HD devices will be compatible with the service, in line with other streamed channel services operating via the Freeview EPG from channel 225.
A+E Networks, Viacom International Media Networks and Turner Broadcasting are the first major broadcasters to sign up to VuTV, making channel favourites such as Comedy Central, BIO®, MTV, CNN, HISTORY®, H2®, Crime & Investigation Network®, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Nick Jr., Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Cartoonito, available to Internet-connected Freeview HD homes.
Unlike traditional Pay TV providers, VuTV will offer these channels for a low monthly subscription with no long-term contract, providing consumers with great value and hassle-free flexibility. Final details about pricing have yet to be confirmed.
The concept of VuTV has evolved from working with broadcasters over the last couple of years. Dan Finch, Director of Simplestream, commented “We work with a wide range of broadcasters to stream their linear and on-demand TV to multiple devices. The content owners we engaged with embraced the idea of targeting the Freeview HD market with their portfolio of channels. As the public get wiser to connecting up their TV’s, and the TV’s get smarter, it’s a great opportunity for channel providers to tap into the Freeview market and gain access to real time viewing data of their channels that can be used to help shape their own marketing strategy”.
BARB will measure viewing of all VuTV channels in the same way as traditional over-the-air (OTA) channels, helping to increase the broadcasters’ advertising revenue generation. In addition, the underlying solution from Synapse offers detailed analytics of channel consumption, providing unique insights into viewer behaviour.
VuTV is the first of a number of services to be powered by Synapse TV, a joint venture between Simplestream and Strategy & Technology (S&T), which has been broadcasting a test channel on Freeview channel 790 over the past few months.
Synapse offers an integrated, end-to-end solution for the simultaneous over-the-top (OTT) delivery of linear and on-demand content to multiple connected platforms, such as Freeview HD as well as tablets, smartphones, PCs and games consoles. On Freeview HD, Synapse services are accessed via a dedicated channel number listed in the electronic programme guide (EPG) and easily accessed directly by viewers using their existing remote control in exactly the same way as traditional over-the-air (OTA) channels. Synapse allows content providers, broadcasters and platform operators to deliver their services via the rapidly growing base of connected Freeview HD receivers, all at a fraction of the cost of traditional OTA delivery. Services can be free-to-view, subscription-based, advertising supported, or pay-per-view, with content protection and industry-standard encryption available if required.
VuTV will give the fast growing connected Freeview HD audience more choice of content than ever before. Synapse is working with leading manufacturers to ensure maximum receiver compatibility and deliver the quality of user experience demanded by consumers. David Cutts, Managing Director of S&T, says, “The underlying technology is complex, with specialist knowledge and experience required to deliver an integrated, end-to-end, solution. However, we have worked to provide a viewing experience for VuTV that is simple, already familiar to consumers, and just works.”
Content will be streamed to subscribers via Synapse TV’s secure Content Delivery Network (CDN), built using Amazon Web Services, which will ensure that VuTV can adapt to any scale that the market demands.