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Web-Based Television: What Can We Watch?

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Critique of web-based television is thin on the ground — I suspect because many of us are still busy trying to find material to watch. There are many plans out there. For example, Dan Myrick, of Blair Witch fame, is planning a new web film portal, but recently hit delays. Great channels like Mixcast have yet to start blogging or provide an RSS.

Here is my Monday morning browse.

While thinking about a Gigaom article I read here on Blogcritics — about 1200 TV channels (in reality, a collection of programs from established terrestrial TV stations added to a collection of terrestrial TV channels) — I came across IPTV Boards and began thinking about companies like Akimbo, so maybe it's time for a little round-up.

If you're in the technical end of blogging, you've known about IPTV Boards for ages, but I come from content rather than technology, so I was pleased to find it. There are plenty of IPTV ready channels out there — I mean the type that will end up on regular TV sets over the next three years. The multi-channel future can't come soon enough for some of these guys.

Photoshop TV is one of them. They're now into their 47th broadcast. Three guys with their Apple laptops explore Photoshop techniques. This kind of stuff is invaluable for anybody doing imaging work. Then there's DL.TV (Digital Life Television that looks at all kinds of gadgets), technolotics (media, politics, etc from three Dublin students), and as they say on the telly, many, many more.

I went over to Akimbo to see if any of this is available there — Akimbo has accumulated 13,000 shows now. It started out with the ambition of becoming the top IPTV aggregator and has some competition from Roo and of course Brightcove, who seem to be stuck between a strategy that will take them into the corporate TV market and one that will lead them to becoming a partner for the higher end of independent professional video (they work with MediaStorm and Tribeca).

Roo seems to have suffered from the YouTube effect and it's hovering now around the upload market. One big-ticket contract they have is aggregating video shorts and movie trailers for Verizon's entertainment portal. Another is for Citysearch, a model for how countries can put together their city break tourism offer. I just have to mention Vodeo too, who I think is evolving nicely.

Sadly there is no search function on Akimbo, at least not one I could find. Top shows on Akimbo right now are Anime Network, Ripe TV (girls in bikinis), and the BBC. On the other hand, The History Channel and Discovery Channel are also up there. No sign yet of Photoshop TV.

Other channels worthy of note are Mestolando (an Italian cooking channel), Underground Metro, and Digital Cyber TV. As well, you could browse through my channels and content category. I've been posting about new content there for three months now.

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