Less of a "channel" and more of a "bookmark", ABC's iView service went live on the Sony PlayStation 3 on the weekend after months of anticipation. Is this a new area of video-on-demand free of the shackles of Freeview? Hell no.
The new TV icon and subsequent ABC iView link, which came at the same time as the latest 3.10 firmware update, is part of Sony's push to make the PS3 the centre of the living room. It now supplies games, movies, internet and live TV — with the addition of the PlayTV module.
The new "channel" is essentially the same thing you'll see if you type the address http://www.abc.net.au/tv/iview/ into the PS3 browser, or any browser for that matter. We were expecting a dedicated app, but it was not to be.
The one downside? Whether you use the Blu-ray Remote or a third-party solution such as the Logitech Harmony Adapter for PlayStation 3 it won't work with a remote control. But then again, neither does the PS3 browser. For it to work you need to use the PS3 controller. If this was to change, Sony would need to adapt the browser itself: say, for example, to have the cursor jump automatically to hyperlinks.
Video quality varies, but is mostly equivalent to YouTube quality. That being said, it looks great in a browser but pretty cruddy on a large-screen TV. Download limits still apply, unless you belong to one of these ISPs
You can expect to see more "channels" appear in the near future as other media companies struggle to get their names (and perhaps content) on the console as well. Let's hope they put a bit more effort into theirs.