Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I tried out VeohTV for the first time.

Last night I tried out VeohTV for the first time. I did a search for Sliders, a TV show that used to be on the Si-Fi channel several years ago. I found numerous episodes and was able to play them back to back with no problems. The video quality and sound were both very good with very little lag noticeable. This morning I watched several episodes of GeekBrief TV "GBTV" with similar results. Overall I liked the experience I had with VeohTV.

VeohTV is a full-screen online video application which is pitching itself as a more 'open’ alternative to the likes of Joost or Babelgum. Rather than being restricted to formal licensing agreements, VeohTV pulls in videos from thousands of sources which currently includes NBC, CBS, FOX, YouTube, MySpace and numerous others, along Veoh’s own video-sharing site with content browsable via a cable TV-style program guide.

As already mentioned, VeohTV is designed to be run in full-screen mode and, the company claims, can be operated using a remote control so as to maintain a cable TV-like viewing experience. At the top of the screen are four options: channels, search, interact, and library.

The channel guide (mimicking cable TV) presents a paginated list of video sources (YouTube, CBS, Fox etc). Clicking on any channel then brings up a list of videos — remember this is an on-demand affair rather than replicating live TV — with the option to play, save, mark as a favorite, or view description.

As an alternative to browsing by channel, you’re given the option to search by title. As far as I could tell the results are pulled in from YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo, Veoh’s own site, and a user’s VeohTV library (which consists of videos you’ve saved or podcasts you’re subscribed to).

When you first run the application you’re prompted to install an accompanying web browser add-on (Internet Explorer or Firefox). That’s because VeohTV enables you to download and save almost any DRM-free online video to your library (similar to the way RealPlayer 11 Beta works). In addition, videos can be saved within the application itself. So, for example, if you’re browsing VeohTV’s YouTube channel and you come across a video you want to keep, you can store it on your hard drive for later viewing.

The browser plug-in also makes it easier to discover video podcasts that you can subscribe to via RSS.

The ‘Interact’ tab is an odd fit, clashing with VeohTV’s otherwise lean-back viewing experience. ‘Interact’ is basically a web page, similar to start-pages Netvibes or Pageflakes where you can install and configure various web-based widgets (powered by yourminis.com) such as news ticker, weather reports etc.

You can go here and try it yourself.

Also check out the VeohTV Blog at http://veohblog.blogspot.com/

No comments: