Slowly but steadily, Australia’s TV networks have realised that people with busy lives just don’t always have the opportunity to watch their favourite shows as they go to air – and whether the show is a serial drama like Neighbours or a reality competition show like Masterchef, missing even a single episode can put you totally out of the loop.
The channel Ten free-to-air offering in the catch-up department is Tenplay. The home of TV from Network Ten, 10 Peach and 10 Bold, there is an array of great content here for you to either catch-up on if you missed it the night before, or binge in a single sitting.
What makes Tenplay different?
Tenplay isn’t just a catch-up site. Every show has a destination page – even if it’s not currently on the air – as well as live online streaming availability. This feature is most popular with their sport offerings, such as the select V8 Supercars racing events they televise in real time.
From those pages you can not only watch the most recent episodes of the show (and in some cases, such as with Masterchef, entire seasons), but also find interviews, trailers, information on the cast, and the latest news. There’s also an interface with social media content directly related to the show – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus, they’ve included photo galleries, blogs, and more – even Masterchef recipes message boards.
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What does Tenplay deliver?
Every show which is aired on Network 10, 10 Bold, and 10 Peach. On top of that, you’ll be able to find news and sport which has been aired on the network. What this ends up as is a huge amount of content, all available at your fingertips anytime of day, wherever you may be.
Does Tenplay have unique content?
It sure does. Of course, lots of the programming which is available on the service is exclusive to Network Ten, meaning you’re invariably getting unique content in that regard. The extra lengths which Ten have gone to in order to create a comprehensive service, however, gives you even more unique content which you wouldn’t even be able to find on their free-to-air networks.
What about sport?
Network Ten doesn’t have the range of sport that it used to – the AFL, for example, was wrestled from their grasp by Channel Seven a few years ago, while more recently the Big Bash has made the same transition just this year – but it does still have plenty on offer.
The A-League finds itself on Network Ten once a round, and these matches can be streamed live on Tenplay – they cannot, however, be watched on-demand at a later time. Ten’s strong focus on motorsport is also evident on the catch-up service, and much like the destination pages created for Network Ten shows, sports shown on Ten also have their own page full of news, photos and other features.
You can also catch short sports news clips on the Tenplay Sports page, while full episodes of popular motorsport show RPM are available as well.
Live sport on Tenplay
The following is a list of live sport you can watch on Tenplay:
- Hyundai A-League Premiership Season
- Australian Grand Prix
- MotoGP World Championship
- Virgin Australia Supercars
The idea of creating destination portals for each of their shows makes Tenplay’s website an all-encompassing information site first, catch-up TV service second. The app, however, is a whole different story.
Ten realises that when you grab your phone or tablet and fire up their app, what you want to do is actually watch something. So the informational side of things is largely left behind, with the focus shifting almost entirely onto on-demand catch-up episodes.
Picture quality on Tenplay is a mixed bag. Out of all the catch-up services, it ranks near the bottom in terms of picture quality when viewed on a decent-sized screen. Interestingly, though, that appears to be app-dependent, with the same service on some platforms (such as the Xbox One) kicking in to a higher quality version of the stream after a little time. Others, meanwhile – including Apple TV – seem to remain on a low-resolution stream right through. This seems to depend on the show being viewed. For example, The Project remains in standard definition throughout, while more recent episodes of Masterchef ramp up to a pretty acceptable near-HD resolution.
Free-to-air shows on Tenplay sourced from HD masters look substantially crisper. Our guess is this will get better with time and with just a little more TLC on Ten’s behalf.
Like most of the catch-up services on offer, there’s mandatory ads both before an episode starts and at the points that would have been natural ad breaks during broadcast. You can’t skip these like you would if you’d recorded a show off the air. It’s a necessary evil, of course. But the good news is that the ad breaks are much, much shorter than the ones you’d see on the broadcast.
How to access Tenplay
In order to access Tenplay, you need to register as a Tenplay member. That won’t cost you a thing though, and is as easy as either heading to the website or downloading the app and clicking on the sign up button. Once you’ve entered a few basic details, the entire world of Tenplay will open up to you.
Tenplay is available on the following devices:
|iOS||iPhone 5 and up using iOS 7 and up.|
|PCs and Macs||Modern Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari Browsers.|
|Sony Bravia TV||Yes|
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Summary – not just a catch-up service
Overall, if you’re a fan of any of Ten’s library of shows, you’ll want to keep a Tenplay app around. There’s a terrific array of content, and if you want to dive even deeper into your favourite shows, the level of information available on the Tenplay website is unmatched.