Many know it’s been possible to watch catch-up TV or video-on-demand online via the popular BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Channel Four's 4oD and five's Demand Five for sometime. See Saw, previously in private beta, joins the ranks with a range of content from the BBC, Channel Four and five put together by Arqiva, out of the ashes of Project Kangaroo, a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, which fizzled out last year. Now in public beta, See Saw is ad supported, which means the viewer needs to sit through a few commercials, that may or may not be an intrusion depending on your current viewing habits.
See Saw mixes recent shows, broadcast up to 30 days ago, with what the service calls much-loved classics. The site is easily navigated, with the ability to browse by broadcaster and channel categories, including comedy, drama, factual, lifestyle, entertainment and sport. Currently only the sports section is a disappointing selection, a rag bag of past Olympics and World Cup qualifier highlights. Each selection includes information on the programme you are about to watch, including viewing length, adult content alert, and where possible when it was first broadcast. The lag between a show being show on TV and on See Saw is often impressive, offering programmes shown only hours earlier in some cases. The ability to watch a whole series, or season, in one sitting or over several days is a big plus, potentially saving on DVD purchases or iTunes rentals.
Vintage Doctor Who in full screen mode on See Saw
Watching See Saw requires viewers be in the UK, have a stable broadband connection, with a minimum speed of 1Mbps for a consistent viewing experience and a compatible browser. No TV licence is required. Playback also appears to be dependent on what time of day you watch, peak Internet times not ideal for extended viewing. See Saw offers three different viewing options to suit your internet connection speed - High, Medium or Low. If your internet connection falls below the required speed, you’ll see a message in the Player window to switch to a lower bandwidth option to continue watching the TV show of choice.
While still in beta, See Saw shows great potential for becoming a one stop shop, with the exception for now of ITV, for catching up with content from the five main channels. The selection is impressive, with new content added daily, and plenty in the archives to keep you entertained.