Tuesday, 24 March 2009

TVU player for iPhone

Again, this is quite an exciting development, as TVU allows live streams to your iphone. I was actually able to watch a live football match on it last week, pretty impressive....

Boxee Remote App for iPhone

It seems that almost every week new technologies are continuing to converge and synergize at a phenomenal rate, this demonstration showing how boxee can now be controlled through a very neat and intuitive application on the iPhone. Genius!

Boxee founder speaks!

Here's a brief interview with Boxee founder Avner Ronen on why it is such a great application...

Joost iPhone Demo

Here's my hastily made demo of the Joost application being used on the iPhone

Thursday, 5 March 2009

The Future pt 2

"The BBC is hoping to launch a new project (codenamed ‘Canvas ’) that will bring web-based programming to the TV. Project Canvas is a partnership with BBC, ITV and BT, and will encourage an open-industry standard that will allow “platform-neutral publishing ”; web-based TV will be able to move from the computer to television. Additionally, the BBC is planning to engage with Adobe AIR, which could allow cross-platform downloading.
Project Canvas includes Freeview ( digital terrestrial TV service) and a next-generation set-top-box. It will combine radio, TV, VOD, web/interactive content and catch-up content such as BBC’s iPlayer and ITV’s player. It will be an open platform, accessible to other PSBs and content providers to exploit."


Back to the notion then of On Demand, whenever or wherever users demand it then. It again demonstrates the synergistic nature of media as it continues to develop.
I wonder as providers are increasingly moving towards platform neutrality, will there eventually be a shift towards regional neutral internet, allowing instant access to content as soon as it airs directly to our TVs using boxee or Joost? Why not pay for a general Media License that allows you access to all content, rather than paying for a TV license.

It is also interesting to note than plans for another VoD service, Project Kangaroo (encompassing BBC Worldwide, ITV.com and 4OD) were blocked by the Competitions Commission, as it was believed that "there was a danger that the platform could be too powerful."

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Video Democracy and the future

Aside from widely publicised legal user-generated content sites such as youtube, there has been a recent growth in such sites and applications that utilise P2P technologies and incorporate aspects of social networking too.

One of these which is starting to make a significant impact is Joost, which legally hosts many classic movies, such as Carnival of Souls, 39 Steps and various TV and music.

Joost is also available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and I look forward to when there is a much less buggy version than the one currently in use.

Another very exciting development is Zattoo which allows users to legally watch channels such as BBC, ITV and C4 live on their computers. It is a fantastic program and I can see great potential for this.

In the last few months, Boxee has been causing great stirs due to the revolutionary way it generates data for the content you have already downloaded to your computer and also the way in which it integrates aspects of social networking. Boxee can also be run on AppleTV thus providing a very powerful media centre to your television.

As various media and platforms start to converge on a much more regular basis, we have seen Boxee provide content from the iPlayer and Joost. http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/19653/
Until very recently, Boxee allowed US users to access the fantastic service HULU, (alas not available to UK users), but HULU have withdrawn their services from boxee, which I consider to be negative for both HULU and boxee users.

Our content providers requested that we turn off access to our content via the Boxee product, and we are respecting their wishes. While we stubbornly believe in this brave new world of media convergence — bumps and all — we are also steadfast in our belief that the best way to achieve our ambitious, never-ending mission of making media easier for users is to work hand in hand with content owners. Without their content, none of what Hulu does would be possible, including providing you content via Hulu.com and our many distribution partner websites.


The Fight

As previously discussed, there has been an explosion in distribution of TV content over the internet, and it is not only the lucrative sports channels who are trying to protect their content. UK broadcasters disable the viewing of services such as iPlayer outside of the jurisdiction, and conversely, in the UK we are unable to view streams from NBC, Fox and other cable sites in the US. Even in the North of Ireland I am restricted from viewing the live stream from Ireland's national broadcaster RTE, but that's a whole different can of worms....... Therefore, I feel it is inevitable that in the democratic nature of the web, users submit data to be shared and enjoyed by others.

There is currently a massive case going on in Sweden at the moment between the IFPI and Bittorrent site The Pirate Bay. It is really interesting and the trial has certainly been colourful to date. http://torrentfreak.com/

The following clip from the excellent movie Good Copy Bad Copy (www.goodcopybadcopy.net) demonstrates the strength of feeling on both sides and the near impossibility of an outcome that will entirely satisfy both sides.... The movie also explores different models of distribution of digital content in Nigeria and Brazil.