It’s time to toss the old tube to the dumpster. Well, not if you have one of those 47″ plasma ones, but…you know what we mean. The future of media is the Internet, and television is no exception. Instead of browsing through the channels with your remote, you could be browsing through the free online TV providers on your computer – hell, if you like, you can watch them all at once (in really tiny windows). It’s time to reach out and see how much free online TV we can find.
Well, duh. We had to start with the big one. Not much to say here except: user uploaded videos, lots and lots of them, all free. Yeah, and lawsuits, too.
Another much-hyped favorite from the authors of Skype is still in beta stage, but i actually delivers on all fronts: P2P system for delivering content; solid amounts of good content, great GUI, almost glitch-free work, quality video. If you can snag an invite, you’ll be in for a treat.
Babelgum is similar to Joost in two ways: P2P-based content delivery, and free but ad-supported content. The service is in open beta, and everyone is free to try it out, although the amount of daily downloads is limited. Channels include news, music, documentaries, sports, animation, and others. The content plays smoothly, and the interface is great, although not as polished as Joost’s. Hint: don’t give up if the video doesn’t start immediately; it takes some time to buffer it and there’s no visible indication that it’s happening.
A p2p-based online television with a downloadable client focused on European (over 50) channels. Unfortunately, it won’t work if you’re not from one of the supported countries.
Veoh has a slightly different concept than other services on this list. Their downloadable player acts like a VCR: you can save movies to it for later viewing. Although it’s possible to watch videos online on the Flash version of the Veoh player, the focus is on offline (or at least desktop) viewing, and videos longer than 45 minutes can be viewed only on the desktop player. Available videos include both user generated content as well as professionally produced, sometimes copyrighted stuff.
NGTV, which is short for No Good TV, is the television you don’t want your daughter to watch. Or at least it tries to leave that impression: in reality, it’s similar to what kids see on TV everyday: lots of music & entertainment, lots of foul language, and long, long intros for every episode.
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