Pioneer-SpinOff SyncTV Tries A La Carte Online Channel Subscriptions And Downloads

SyncTV is a new company spun off from electronics company Pioneer, and is says it is trying a slightly novel tactic: it is offering a la carte channels to subscribe to, for online viewing. Not really. Sites such as JumpTV (TSE: JTV) have been offering international/ethnic channels for some time now, as are others. The spin here is that SyncTV will offer the shows not just as streaming, but also for download.

The site/service launches in private beta Monday. Subscription fees range from $2 to $4 per month per channel, reports Reuters. Shows will also be offered for sale at $2 per episode. The service is also advertising supported. The company says the service would offer “home-theater quality” videos that will include surround-sound capabilities and picture resolution at least comparable to DVDs and, in some cases, HD.

SyncTV said downloaded files are based on open-standards and will work on PCs and Macs. The service uses the Marlin DRM system. It doesn’t really have any mainstream channels as of yet, except Showtime, says this FT story.

The company started as a project inside Pioneer, but was spun off as its own company in August, reports It can play content on up to five devices in the home, and up to 10 different portable devices (not on iPod)….no devices have yet been launched, but the company says that third-party devices will start to roll out in the first half of 2008.

All in all, sounds a bit too nuanced of a differentiation to work, but will wait to see the implementation before I can comment further. Some more info in the release here.