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October 9, 2015

Pioneer spinoff SyncTV: cheap downloads of a handful of TV shows

by Brad Linder, posted Nov 19th 2007 12:03PM
There's no shortage of places to get your TV download fix these days. You can legally download shows from Amazon, iTunes, and even NBC. Of course, there's still no one-stop shop. And until there is, we'll probably continue to see companies popping up and hoping to become the next big thing.

The newest kid on the block is SyncTV, a spinoff of Pioneer Electronics. There are a few things that set SyncTV apart from the competition.

First up, the service uses a subscription model. Just pay a low monthly fee (Engadget reports it's $2 to $4 per channel) and you can download and watch any shows from any available channel. You can download individual episodes or entire series, although we get the feeling that you won't be able to watch them if you stop paying your monthly bill. A handful of channels will also make content available on a pay per download basis.

Another thing that makes SyncTV different is that although the service uses DRM, the platform appears to be much more flexible than anything else we've seen. You can run the service on Mac, Linux, and PCs. And you can specify up to five devices you'd like to playback your videos on. Once portable devices compatible with SyncTV become available you'll be able to designate up to 10 devices for playback. You know, in case you have a really big family.

All told, SyncTV looks pretty promising. The only real problem is the same one that plagues every startup in this space: lack of content. Right now the only big channel with a name you'll recognize appears to be Showtime, meaning there's far more content worth watching on Hulu than SyncTV right now.

SyncTV launched in private beta this morning. No word on when the service will be open to the public.

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Sounds like a great service, but if at all possible, please don't support sites like this until the WGA strike is over. No money paid (and dollars earned in advertising, if there is any) right now for this service will go to the people who wrote the shows - it will go to the studios and networks. Once the strike is over and the writers have negotiated "new media" into their contracts, have at it, but please support the writers until that happens.

November 19 2007 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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