SeeSaw Review; British TV On Demand

Anphicle October 11, 2010 0

SeeSaw is a website available to a British audience that allows users to watch thousands of TV programmes over the internet completely legally. Some programmes are free whereas others are available at a Premium. It is similar to the US website Hulu, which also operates a Video-on-Demand service. If you are in the US, this review is most likely transferable though I cannot confirm.

SeeSaw is what I would call a boredom buster, or something to switch off to when there isn’t anything on traditional TV or in the DVD collection. The range of programmes is great, particularly in the Comedy section where such classics as ‘Father Ted’ and ‘Only Fools and Horses’ are available alongside the more obscure forgotten ones such as ‘Desmond’s’ and ‘Murder Most Horrid’.

seesaw programmes

You can ‘Catch-Up’ too with the latest TV on SeeSaw, where it shares the latest on demand video from Channel4 and Five. In my opinion it seems to be quicker to load than 4OD or YouTube too, though I would prefer to watch minus the adverts on YouTube. Having said that, I like the ‘Turn Lights Down’ feature on Seesaw.

SeeSaw screenshot

Is SeeSaw Premium Worth It?

Here is where the praise for SeeSaw slows. The free and legal service is great, but the price of Premium and legal probably won’t convince Pirates, i.e. people who download free TV programmes illegally, to switch to SeeSaw. The prices are just too high.

Doctor Who is priced at £9.99 to rent an entire series available for 90 days, or £1.19 per episode available for 30 days. I could own forever a collectors edition box set for £12.99. Not only is the price too high to rent in my opinion, but the payment structure is wrong. If SeeSaw was available on a subscription method of payment it would be a lot more attractive to me.

Compare the one-off payment method to Spotify, the most popular music streaming service available. Spotify allows users to stream unlimited amount of music from a nearly complete range for a fixed monthly fee. In the years before Spotify I had only ever paid for about 3 mp3s ever. Now I don’t use any other music player and I am completely legal.

Would Sky make as much money if they charged viewers per episode? Perhaps once-watched programme views would remain high but ad revenue would go and people wouldn’t pay for those ‘extra’, useless channels, i.e the +1’s or the discussion shows. People would anticipate higher bills and be put off watching casual TV in favour of appointment viewing such as news, events, sports and new series.

If SeeSaw went to a subscription method it could also be an alternative to subscription TV. I was going to say it could be an alternative to the TV license but the rules must have changed without me knowing. Though you never needed a TV license to watch previously broadcast TV over IP (such as on SeeSaw), you would need one to watch online TV at the same time as it is broadcast on TV such as BBC’s live-casting of sport and news.

For me I don’t think I would pay to watch SeeSaw TV in its current format. I am very happy though to put up with the adverts to watch ‘Men Behaving Badly’ when I can’t think of anything productive to do, and that is only occasionally to be honest.

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