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October 23, 2014

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Joost to launch browser-based video player

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 21st 2008 10:57AM
Joost web application
Almost a year ago, Flash developer Paul Yanez put together a web-based application that looks and feels like Joost, but displays online video from other sites like YouTube, Veo, and MySpace. But if you want to actually watch Joost content, you still need to download and install a standalone application to access Joost's peer to peer network. There's no web player... yet. But Joost CEO Mike Volpi tells Portfolio Magazine that a web based player is in the works.

It's not entirely clear at the moment how the player will work, or how Joost hopes to set itself apart from other services like YouTube or Hulu. The former has the lion's share of the online video market, while the latter has a much wider selection of popular full length TV episodes and movies than Joost. But considering the fact that only 6 million people have downloaded and installed the Joost client, while more than 10 million people watch YouTube videos every single day, it's clear that Joost had to do something.

What do you think, is Joost grasping at straws here? Or does the company's recent test of live streaming video and its plan to launch a browser-based player make sense as a competitive business strategy?

[via Silicon Alley Insider]

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Joost to offer live streaming March Madness

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 12th 2008 11:06AM
Joost basketball
Online video platform Joost is may offer full length TV episodes, but Joost is more of a video on demand service than a live TV service. But that could change, starting today. NewTeeVee reports that Joost will offer live streaming video of the NCAA's March Madness tournament.

Personal video recorders are changing the way people watch scripted television shows and movies. But for the most part people like to watch sports and other live events, well live. The odds of taping Lost and then walking down the street the next morning only to have the plot spoiled by a front page newspaper story are fairly slim. But that's exactly what happens if you record last night's basketball game with plans to save it until the weekend.

So while video on demand is absolutely the right business model for most online video, the ability to provide live streams of some content seems crucial. Now let's see how many people actually turn to Joost instead of, you know, a television set for their March Madness coverage.

[via NewTeeVee]

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Hulu public launch coming Wednesday

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 11th 2008 10:56AM
Hulu
Online video site Hulu officially launches tomorrow. The site which was founded as an online content distribution clearinghouse for NBC and News Corp TV shows, movies, and clips, has added a ton of content partners over the last few months. And when it emerges from private beta tomorrow, there will be a few more, including:
  • Warner Brothers
  • Lionsgate
  • NBA
  • Wine Library TV
  • NHL
  • CNet
  • MGM
All told, the site will have a few dozen content partners, about 100 movies and full length episodes from about 250 TV shows.

I've been relatively impressed with Hulu so far. The video quality is good, and it's relatively easy to find the content you're looking for by searching or browsing. But as the content library gets larger, I'd like to see Hulu improve its site navigation a bit or browsing is going to become nearly impossible.

[via NewTeeVee]

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Popcorn Hour A-100: Geeky alternative to the Apple TV

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 22nd 2008 2:02PM
Popcorn Hour A-100
I'm still not convinced that there's a huge market for set top boxes that let you use your TV to access content from the web and computers on your home network. I'm not saying these little boxes aren't cool, I'm just not sure people are clamoring to pick them up. But if you're looking for a media streaming device there's no lack of selection. There's the Apple TV, a whole slew of Windows Media Extenders, and you can even use an Xbox 360 to watch content from your PC running Windows Vista.

But in terms of feature for the price, it'd be hard to find a better bargain than the new Popcorn Hour A-100. This $179 box supports YouTube, Flickr, Shoutcast, BitTorrent, and a slew of other internet protocols. It can handle MPEG 1/2/4, WMV, H.264, MP3, AAC, and WMA audio and video files in addition to most standard image and subtitle formats.

The box itself has S-Video, Composite, HDMI, and Component outputs, and 2 USB ports for plugging in an external hard drive. There's no hard drive included. There's also no WiFi support. You'll need to connect the A-100 into your home network via the Ethernet Jack, which will probably do a better job of streaming HD video anyway.

[via Boing Boing Gadgets]

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Online TV viewing nearly doubles over last year

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 5th 2008 1:41PM
ABC.comShowing why the issue of streaming and download revenue for television programs is so important to the WGA, this report details that online viewing of network primetime shows is up a staggering 18% over last year. That total now accounts for 43% of the total population, or nearly 80 million people. And of those 80 million, 20% say they watch online weekly. God knows I do. There's only so much time at night when I'm at home, so it's nice to be able to spend my lunch hour watching Prison Break or Brothers & Sisters online.

In this "On Demand" era, the idea that we can watch shows anywhere we can get an internet connection (Hi there, Starbucks!) at any time just makes sense. And hey networks, once the strike ends, why not stream your entire primetime lineup rather than just some of it? And With 16 million people watching programs weekly online, what does that do for the ratings of those shows? How is all this new media going to be properly tracked?

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MiraWorldTV: Watch live TV Streams in Windows Media Center

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 30th 2008 1:58PM
MiraWorld
Here's a suggestion for weathering the writer's strike: check out some international TV content. MiraWorldTV is a Windows Media Center plugin that lets you browse through a nice long list of internet TV streams and watch them from the comfort of your couch.

The application is quite well designed and integrates beautifully with Windows Vista Media Center. You can browse TV streams by category, country, or mark your favorite channels for easy access later. When you click play, MiraWorldTV will attempt to load up your video stream in the background. Or you can choose to play the video in fullscreen mode.

The only problem with MiraWorldTV is that the plugin developer has no control over the content. And that's kind of a big problem when it comes to usability. Some of the video streams are high quality and look great in full screen mode (on a standard definition TV anyway), while others look like they're optimized for dialup connections. And some of the streams we couldn't get to play at all.

Content ranges from Discovery Channel nature documentaries to BBC World News with some Japanese pop music videos thrown in for good measure. I can't guarantee you'll find something worth watching, especially since there's no electronic program guide. But if you're tired of complaining about how there's nothing to watch on TV, MiraWorldTV might be worth checking out.

[via Missing Remote]

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BBC iPlayer to support Mac and Linux (using Adobe Flash)

by Brad Linder, posted Oct 16th 2007 11:00AM
iPlayer
This summer the BBC launched its innovative iPlayer software. The service lets UK television viewers watch any program that aired on a BBC channel over the last seven days. Missed the latest episode of Last of the Summer Wine? No problem, just fire up the iPlayer and watch it a few days after its original air date. No PVR required.

But the service drew a few groans for its inclusion of digital rights management technology, and for the fact that Linux and Mac users were left out in the cold. Well, while the BBC isn't lifting the DRM restrictions on downloaded episodes, it looks like Mac and Linux users will soon have a way to watch iPlayer content.

The BBC has partnered with Adobe to create a browser-based version of the iPlayer which will stream video using Adobe's Flash player. Adobe plans to add H.264 support to its Flash player soon. So while we don't know what video quality the BBC videos will stream at, the interface could theoretically support HD video.

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Coming soon(ish): stream live TV to your BlackBerry

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 27th 2007 5:58PM
SlingPlayer for BlackBerrySling Media is working on a SlingPlayer client for BlackBerry devices. No, we're not particularly surprised either. The company already as a Palm Client, a Windows Mobile client, and this morning officially launched the US version of their Symbian client. So it was really just a matter of time, right?

SlingPlayer Mobile lets anyone with a Slingbox hooked up to their cable/satellite/TiVo/other set-top box stream TV from their home over the internet to a mobile device. We're going to go out on a limb and say that SlingPlayer for BlackBerry is going to run you $30, which is the going rate for Sling Media's other mobile clients.

A Sling spokesperson confirmed that a BlackBerry version is in the works. But he says it can take a long time to port the software to a new platform. It took nearly a year to develop Palm and Symbian versions. In other words, don't expect to Sling anything to your BlackBerry before 2008.

[via Engadget]

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AOL to stream ABC programs on the web

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 20th 2007 12:21PM
ABC and AOLABC and this blog's parent company AOL have reached an agreement to stream ABC programming online. You can already watch a number of TV shows directly from ABC's website, but today's announcement brings us one step closer to being able to watch any program from any network without opening up 20 different web pages.

Although ABC's latest deal is with AOL, the announcement is part of a growing trend. When the networks began streaming TV shows online, the goal was to get people to visit a network website. Now we're seeing more networks teaming up to make content available on sites like MySpace, AOL, and Yahoo!.

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Five television networks' streaming compared

by Brett Love, posted Sep 15th 2007 7:00PM

ABC Web Player - Lost
As we all get ready to dive into fresh new seasons of our favorite shows, it's worth taking a look at the streaming options available from the networks. In this day and age of Tivo, DVRs, PVRs, and holdouts like myself that still have functioning VCRs, there's no reason to actually miss an episode. However, in the event that the cable company bungles your service at a quarter to 8, or the power goes out, or you just totally drop the ball, it's nice knowing that the streaming option is available for an increasing number of shows.

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NFL to stream games online

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 27th 2007 4:02PM

NFLHey football fans, how about games streamed directly to your computer?

Yeah, well, don't get too excited yet, cause it'll cost you. The streaming is part of DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket Package, so unless you already have that, you're out of luck. And, if you do have the $269 Sunday Ticket package, upgrading to the SuperFan package that includes the online streaming will cost an additional $99. Also, it only works with Windows XP and Vista and Internet Explorer.

Now how do you feel?

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List of 2343 (and counting) Netflix watch now movies

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 15th 2007 8:47AM
Netflix watch nowNetflix customers know that the company is rolling out a service that lets impatient subscribers watch videos on their computer. But not every movie in your queue has the "watch now" button next to it. So trying to find a movie for instant gratification can actually take quite a long time.

Someone's decided to step in and make the process a bit easier, compiling a list of over 2300 Netlix movies available for online viewing. Most titles include a link to the movie's page on Netflix. You'll need a subscription in order to watch these movies. But now that you know how easy it is to find titles like Gothic Vampires from Hell, why wouldn't you want to sign up?

[via Brent Evans]

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33 ways to watch TV online (wouldn't one be enough?)

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 19th 2007 1:03PM
TV Links
At this point, television networks have made some prime time content available for free online. We're not talking about $1.99 downloads from iTunes. We're talking free streaming episodes from networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and the CW.

But you can usually find just few episodes of a few programs. Mashable has put together a list of 33 services that provide online access to TV programs in one way or another. Some are 100% legal, like Joost and Babelgum. Others are a bit shadiers, like TV Links, which doesn't host any copyright-infringing video on its servers, but provides links to sites where you can (probably illegally) stream video.

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TNT, TBS offer episodes online this summer

by Anna Johns, posted May 29th 2007 7:09PM
the closerTNT and TBS will offer all seven of their original summer series for free online. New episodes will appear on Turner websites about about 3 am the morning following their debut, and the episodes will be available for viewing for about a month each.

Believe it or not, Turner is one of the first cable networks to do the streaming episodes thing, following in the footsteps of the big four networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. Last summer, only ABC Family offered its original programming for free online. Other networks, such as FX, Sci Fi, USA, and E! have streamed occasional episodes (mostly premieres and finales) but not entire seasons. As Broadcasting and Cable points out, it's probably because the cable networks can't demand a ton of money from carriers if their content is also available for free online.

Beginning next month, The Closer, Heartland, Saving Grace, and The Company will be on TNT.tv, while House of Payne, The Bill Engvall Show, My Boys, and The Frank Show will be on TBS.com. Episodes of The Closer, Bill Engvall, My Boys and The Frank Show will also be available on iTunes.

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CNN Pipeline is now free

by Adam Finley, posted May 25th 2007 2:03PM

cnnAt least, it will be starting on July 1.

Pipeline, CNN's broadband site that was launched in 2005 under a subscription model, include four live streams plus archived video footage. According to The Hollywood Reporter, CNN never talked about how many people actually subscribed to the service, but I must say this seems like a good choice for CNN, considering how the majority of online content, news and otherwise, is offered for free and supported by advertising. If you charge, folks will simply go somewhere that doesn't.

In addition, CNN will also be redesigning the site for its relaunch.

So there you have it, news junkies: now you can have CNN playing on your computer, FOX News on the TV, NPR on the radio, ABC News on your iPod, and your butler reading you the New York Times all at once. It'll be like getting shot in the face with a machine gun of information. Yee ha.

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