January 6, 2016 10:59 am
Updated: January 6, 2016 1:30 pm

Shaw introduces new mobile streaming app, FreeRange TV

TV as you know it has flown the coop with FreeRange TV.

FreeRange TV/Shaw Communications

Shaw Communications introduced a new app Tuesday which can change the way Canadians watch TV shows and movies.

FreeRange TV, is a mobile destination that combines TV and content subscriptions in one place, and whatever you want to watch is available no matter where you are, thanks to Shaw’s partnership with Comcast, the largest broadcast and cable company in the world.

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“FreeRange TV uses Comcast’s world-class X1 platform – the latest in cloud-based and mobile video technology – and represents the first step in the evolution of Shaw’s new television product roadmap,” said Brad Shaw, the chief executive officer of Shaw Communications. “FreeRange TV stands out by offering you access to all the content you love in one place without requiring you to switch between apps or services.

“The quality of the in-app experience and the flexibility it provides users to watch content on or offline, in and out of the home, puts it far ahead of anything else out there,” Shaw said. “By enhancing functionality, expanding the quality of content offered, and by making navigation intuitive and easy, FreeRange TV addresses the challenges many TV apps have typically faced.”

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At this point, iOS and Android are the supported platforms for FreeRange TV. Shaw Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jay Mehr says that additional devices and web availability will be introduced in the coming months.

Shaw is a cut above the competitors, too, he asserts.

“We’ve got a best-in-class global experience here,” said Mehr. “It’s developed by Comcast and on the Comcast roadmap, so we’re on a moving train. It’s a constant innovation upgrade. In terms of what’s available in western Canada today, a bunch of this content is already available but not in an aggregated way, and not in a next-generation experience. We have essentially leapfrogged our competitors.”

Canadians’ entertainment consumption has changed drastically over the last several years. More and more people are choosing to watch streamed and on-demand TV shows and movies on their tablets or smartphones. The most recent annual Canadian Media Usage Trends report from Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada and PHD Canada estimates that Canadians now watch approximately 500 minutes per week, on average of video on mobile devices.

Some of FreeRange TV’s new features include:

  • Over 80 live TV channels
  • Up to 30,000 on-demand titles
  • Over 1,500 download-to-go kids’ titles
  • Sports on-the-go (Sportsnet and TSN)

Another FreeRange TV perk is you’re able to download content directly to your device for viewing offline. The interface for FreeRange TV combines all of your subscriptions into one app, meaning customers can find and watch TV shows and movies they want without needing to remember what network, channel number or platform is carrying them.

Once downloaded, Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct customers can log in to the FreeRange TV app by using their Shaw.ca email address, or account number and password. Additional content and features will be announced in the coming months, but Mehr teases that the experience you have on the FreeRange TV app will soon be brought onto your TV screen.

“We’ll bring this experience — almost identical to what you’re seeing here — to your TV later on in the year,” said Mehr. “While you’re turning your device into a TV with this app, you’ll also be able to turn your TV into an internet device. It’ll change your TV experience. This is just a small step in the delivery of the overall X1 experience.”

Shaw Communications Inc. is the parent company of Shaw Media and Global News.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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