A new age dawns today. We enter the age of ABC iView: version three. Here’s what’s new in the redesigned and souped-up version of the national broadcaster’s streaming platform.
Hold Up, What’s iView?
Where have you been?!
iView is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s catch-up platform. It’s pretty rad.
It plays host to thousands of videos both from the ABC’s vaults and from the previous week’s programming.
It’s available on both iOS and Android (finally!), with 1.5 million unique users browsing from the former. In total, there have been 20 million video plays across all platforms since launch. It’s pretty popular.
And because it’s the ABC, there’s no charge and there are no ads.
The third version of streaming platform premiered today over at the iView page. Here’s what’s new.
iView for Android is finally here! Now you ‘droiders (probably not a word, right?) can stop complaining that you can’t watch Pride And Prejudice on your Nexus Galaxy S G2 Droid thing. Seriously though: this is great.
For those of you with Apple TV, you can now stream iView onto your iPhone or iPad and then beam it to your AirPlay compatible TV or audio device for some big-screen goodness.
The ABC TV guide for all of its channels, including ABC 2, 3, 4 and News 24 are all integrated into iView now.
That’s handy for when you want to find out both what’s available for catch-up and when it starts next.
iView now has what it’s calling a Watchlist. Basically it means you can add your favourite weekly shows to a list that will aggregate all the new episodes that drop into the one place to save you hunting about.
Say you like Doctor Who, Good Game and 7:30. You can now add those into the Watchlist and all new episodes will be aggregated here so you don’t have to go and find them in the search box.
If you wanted to use the search function, however…
iView has always had a search box, but it could have been better. Now it is!
The ABC has optimised the search functionality so that it now finds more shows than ever.
Rather than just providing you with a link to a show page, the new iView Search allows you to jump straight into episodes of said show without having to view a results page. Everything just pops up in the main search box. Nifty!
The ABC has also done a bit of a spruce and polish on the way iView looks as well as the way it works.
iView now has a better-looking homepage, as well as dedicated channel homepages for ABC 1, ABC 2, ABC 3 and ABC 4.
The new homepages also serve to slightly alter the way shows are organised in iView: recommended programs are now grouped for you by theme and genre.
Don’t want your little-uns straying into ABC for grown-ups and seeing things they shouldn’t? That’s cool: now you can set up a parental control option that keeps your kids on ABC 3 or ABC For Kids sections only.
This isn't something that has changed, but it's worth highlighting: The ABC isn't streaming stuff in high-def yet.
Here's why (hint: it's expensive):
While we endeavour to provide the best possible online viewing experience, delivering SD or HD resolutions to millions of viewers over a content distribution network has a considerable cost impact, and funding this cost is a significant challenge.
That's not to say it isn't coming, however. The ABC hopes to provide "enhanced resolution" for viewers in a future update.
If you prefer a visual explanation of iView v3, let Bajo and Hex from ABC’s Good Game talk you through it.
What do you like about the new iView?