Unauthorized IPTV services that provide competition to traditional broadcasters and VOD providers are a huge thorn in the side of mainstream entertainment industry companies.
As a result, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), an anti-piracy partnership forged between Hollywood studios, Netflix, Amazon, and more than two dozen other companies, is now fighting on the front line, attempting to bring these competitors down.
Two early targets were the Kodi-powered Tickbox and Dragonbox services, who are both been tackled in US courts.
Earlier this year, ACE members launched similar action against Florida-based Set Broadcast, LLC, the company behind the popular IPTV service SET TV. The complaint, filed at a California federal court in April, claimed that Set TV was nothing but a piracy tool which offered copyright-infringing streams to a large number of subscribers.
Despite the threats and a lawsuit, Set TV has continued to provide service to thousands of customers who access media via set-top boxes, laptops, tablets, phones and various other hardware devices. Just before the weekend, however, trouble appeared on the horizon.
A message published on Set TV’s homepage indicated that the platform might be facing difficulties.
Given that Set TV is under intense pressure from ACE, many observers and some media reports put two and two together, concluding that Set TV had probably buckled under the pressure and thrown in the towel.
While that might still transpire at a later date, no official messages appeared on Set TV’s social media accounts to confirm or deny. So, to learn more, TorrentFreak contacted Set TV who emailed back a short message Sunday.
“We apologize for this inconvenience. We are working on getting our system back online,” the company said in response.
A call to the company’s support line was met with a similar message.
This morning Set TV’s service still appears to be down and no updates are available detailing when (or indeed if) the platform will return. The statement that efforts are underway to bring the service back suggest that technical issues may be behind the downtime but what they might be is pure guesswork at this point.
As far as we can see, Set TV was still encouraging potential customers to sign up via Twitter last Thursday, with the downtime apparently coinciding with an unknown event on Friday.
More than 72 hours later the service is still down with no concrete news, so it’s hardly surprising that people are jumping to conclusions. The fact that the company erased all of the posts in its Facebook timeline isn’t helping either.
Only adding to the intrigue are reports from claimed Set TV customers that they were advised that a new IPTV service called Simply-TV was just Set TV under another name.
That site is only partially operational but does have Android APK files on offer. However, trying to buy the service prompts the user with a newsletter option instead and users report that using their Set TV credentials with the service (which is certainly not advised at this point) doesn’t provide any kind of service.
On the other hand, several others report that everything works fine with the new service but a user with a single post giving precise details should be approached with a healthy amount of caution, at least for now.
In situations like these, it’s difficult to know who to trust but as one former user points out, sometimes it’s best to trust no-one if information isn’t being provided directly by the companies involved.
“I am highly disappointed with the lack of response from Set TV or Simply Tv or whoever they are,” he wrote on Reddit.
“I paid for 3 months and got only one. I’ve emailed them and nothing. I don’t think I’ll go with Simply TV either. I don’t trust them.”