Archive for the ‘TV via Web’ Category

Not that there enough services available for users to access streamed TV content already, but now Microsoft has joined the party with MSN Video.

With the recent success of streaming services like the iPlayer in the UK, Hulu in the US and Joost worldwide, Microsoft has acted fast. But the question of whether this site will be successful would be down to the library of content available.

Microsoft has stored an entire series of content per TV show which is definitely a plus point. But apart from content which can only get bigger how do the other properties weigh up?

The quality of the streaming service is watchable but not excellent. When the site becomes more popular we will see how the streaming will cope. Users have to watch an advert before watching a show, but then if you want free, then this is the usual price.

If you leave a TV show and return at a later time, the service does not go back to the exact point you were watching last, there is also no history button, in case you want to watch a show again. So in terms of usability at this stage its average, but not certainly not smart.

One plus point that I noticed on this service is the ability to full screen content on a second monitor whilst you continuing to use your computer on the other screen. Most services in full screen mode don’t let you do this, so Microsoft…well done. Now let’s see if you have a competitive model.

Find out more about MSN Video at : http://video.uk.msn.com

Find out more about Hulu at : http://www.hulu.com

I recently found myself looking for a new media center software and came across Boxee.

It has a slick interface and allows you to access all of your computers from one place, throws in content from the Web and is built on open source, not to mention it runs on Windows, Apple and Linux.

The twist for this media center is that you can now share what you watch and find with your friends, which is definitely a neat little touch.

It also allowed me to play my DVR-MS files no issue through my mac, which is another piece of software I have needed. Still testing the Boxee services, but so far so good.

Find out more about Boxee at : http://www.boxee.tv/

If you are interested in looking at other ways to access files across your home network then you might want to take a look at :

https://vyber.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/got-a-network-files-and-drives-on-the-increase-have-you-considered-a-data-station/

https://vyber.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/social-usb-mass-storage/

There seems to be a few sites out there using the concept of ‘recommendations by other users’. Here’s one from New York called Hunch.

Hunch says it gives you customized recommendations and gets smarter the more you use it.

One of the current most popular questions was ‘Should I get a TiVo Premiere?’ Funny they mention that, because I just wrote about it a couple of days ago. Hunch then asks you a series of questions, after which, based on your answers, it gives you a decision. I have to say the questions were quite thorough, and could easily be considered as real.

Though I think this has more to do with my question choice. I need to keep giving it harder questions and see how it copes. My next question would be, do I buy a 3D TV or wait for TiVo? I can’t afford everything Hunch.

Find out more about Hunch at : http://hunch.com/


Watching television and movies is a major part of my life. Being brought up during the 80’s using Video Recorders I saw at first hand how Betamax lost to VHS in the video rental market. What did happen during that struggle was I developed a need to control what I liked by recording it directly from the television.

Today the Internet allows us we can access television shows that we may have missed online, we can rent or buy movies, we can record shows directly to our PCs and we have the support of the digital controls of Digital Video Recording, like TiVo and Sky+. Not forgetting the various other streaming services like Zatoo and the thorn in every major content providers back side…file sharing.

The other way the Internet has changed what we watch is information surrounding movies, shows and actors, which really is the fuel powering our need to find and experience the shows we want. Television services like the NBC, BBC and Sky don’t tend to team up with companies like IMDB, or their own websites to provide users with some of the missing information. In the same way DVDs don’t have an integrated approach with the Internet. But later this year, that is about to change.

TiVo, the company that showed us why we need a DVR back in 2000 is bringing the Internet to its DVR Guide. So now, when you search for a TV show or movie you can access more content which is being streamed from the Internet which is directly related to your search. That’s definitely a step forward. Now we need a way of sharing what we watch with our friends in a private network on the same interface, now that would save time.

Find out more about TIVo Premiere at :

http://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-premiere/index.html

Some reviews found on the web :

http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/02/dnptivo-premiere-and-premiere-xl-usher-in-a-brand-new-interface/

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article7050684.ece

Watch instant, interactive, live news TV on your desktop – Live streaming TV to your computer and iPhone.

Find out more about Livestation at : http://www.livestation.com/

This is a mixture of free & subscription based services.

“Zattoo is real TV on your PC – Zattoo is when you don’t have a TV – it’s the channels you want, when you want, where you want.”

Another useful source of TV content is always handy.  Channels provided  are based on geographical location.

Find out more at : http://zattoo.com/

“Carries a mix of domestic and international news, pop and underground culture coverage, and the best music in the world. People have used words like eclectic, smart, funny, shocking, and revolutionary to describe VBS, but we prefer to simply think of ourselves as the future of all media.”

Find out more : http://www.vbs.tv/statics/about

Another great piece of entertainment from JulianSmith.tv

Sense of humour required. “Yep, we all know those obnoxious “25 Things” notes people are posting on their Facebooks. And furthermore, we all know how lame they are – even if you did one… you must admit it.