CNN, MTV, Cartoon Network and a brace of other popular US channels headed to Freeview HD with VuTV.
VuTV is a new subscription channel that will stream content over broadband connections on connected Freeview HD TV sets and set-top boxes.
Coming to Freeview channel 238, VuTV (pronounced ‘voo-TV’) will give you access to 13 top US channels from launch.
The cost of VuTV has yet to be confirmed but for your money you’ll be able to access Comedy Central, Bio, MTV, CNN, History, H2, Crime & Investigation Network, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Nick Jr, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Cartoonito.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to FreeviewVuTV represents a pretty big disruption in the pay TV sector as these kinds of channels have typically not been available to Freeview HD customers.
Sky and Virgin Media customers have been able to enjoy MTV since forever and more recently, TalkTalk TV customers have been able to add channels like Cartoon Network and Comedy Central by adding Kids and Entertainment Boosts on top of the basic service.
While sister channel Viva has been a Freeview mainstay, the launch of VuTV will mark the first time that MTV has been available on Freeview.
CNN was part of the Freeview channel line up until its departure in November 2010. VuTV is due to launch soon, ending CNN’s absence by almost three years.
VuTV is powered by SimpleStream, the company behind the Box TV music video service. Dan Finch, Simplestream’s director told us that the launch of VuTV coincided with the rise of smart TVs and services like YouView: “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.”
There are over 20 million Freeview homes in the UK which VuTV is hoping to reach when it launches. Though Freeview boss Isle Howling isn’t confident we’ll all have shiny superfast broadband by 2020, VuTV requires download speeds of just 1.5Mbps to stream SD content.
Unlimited broadband packages are recommended if you want to watch VuTV, owing to the amounts of data consumed. VuTV wouldn’t comment on how data intensive the MPEG4 streams will be, but expected demand to be high enough that those on capped packages may have problems.
VuTV will launch on Freeview HD in September.