The latest iteration of the Seven Network’s catch-up service, 7plus, offers some much-needed freshness to what was one of the earliest such Free to Air services offered by Australia’s broadcasters. It’s still going strong.
As Channel Seven’s parent company and veteran internet behemoth Yahoo part ways, 7plus moves away from the top-to-bottom Yahoo!7 branding, with a fresh, clean interface that’s easy to navigate. The main 7plus Free to Air site offers a straightforward list of the network’s shows airing live, as well as those available for on-demand viewing and Live Mobile Streaming.
Most of the programs offer show between 4 and 25 off the most recent episodes to catch up on, though there’s occasionally more – Greys Anatomy, for example. You can sometimes watch complete seasons of shows, but it seems somewhat random as to which season is available. Of course, this should be taken in context with the fact that Free to Air is free, and the licensing changes between program producers.
The website is organised into sections. Starting at the top, you have a carousel of promoted content, follwed by an “On Now” section that displays what’s currently on air. Then there’s a “Trending” section, followed by a “Categories” scrollbar that lets you pick viewing options by genre.
While the former website looked a bit chaotic, it’s clear that the people behind the new site have taken notes from other streaming providers like Netflix and Foxtel Now. It’s clean, and has the slick “zing” you might find on its rival sites.
Get the Apps!
7plus apps are available on iPhone, iPad & Android, as well as Smart TVs and a range of other devices. Photo: Channel 7 Facebook Page.
The apps follow this trend, offering a a laser focus on the TV network and the shows.
|Android||Devices using Kitkat 5.0 and above|
|Freeview Plus certified TVs||Yes|
|iOS||iPhone 5 and above running iOS v10.3 or later
iPhone 6 and above running iOS v10.1 or later
iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini running iOS v10.1 or later
Apple TV 4th Gen+
|PCs and Macs||Modern Chrome, Firefox and Edge Browsers.|
|Sony Linux TV||Yes|
Everything’s sorted and categorised so you can find it fast, including sections for newly-added episodes and ones that are about to expire. You can browse by genres, and keep track of your favourites across devices by signing in with a Seven account – although you don’t need an account to use the service or the apps. It’s a much leaner, faster way of consuming Channel 7’s content and it’s vastly better looking than its past website and app offerings.
You can view your shows on TVs thanks to the wide range of devices the 7plus app is available on.
Picture quality is best described as “adequate.” It’s unavoidably blurry on a large display, but perfectly serviceable for catch-up purposes. In relation the HD streaming, Channel 7 has stated that it is “… looking to add this feature in the future”. On a broadband connection the stream upgrades itself to a higher bitrate after a short time. Don’t judge what you see based on the first few seconds after pressing play. It doesn’t offer state of the art in video quality terms, but it’s far from the worst (ABC’s iView, we’re looking at you).
Like most other Free to Air catch-up services, 7plus relies on advertising before shows and at commercial breaks. It’s kind enough, though, to actually tell you how many (unskippable) ads it’s about to show you and how long they’ll run for. The average ad break is less than 90 seconds; so far less painful than the long breaks you might be familiar with.
What’s New for 7plus
The 7plus site – and especially the mobile apps – have been undergoing constant improvements over the past months, with improved picture and streaming quality and better organisation of the available shows and channels. This review was last updated in May 2018. See what shows are trending on 7plus.
Overall, 7plus is a handy thing to have around, updated daily and performing its core function well. The website has seen a lot of improvements and design renovation. And the apps go a long way to match these improvements, which makes 7plus one of the the best ways to get what you want from the world of Seven.