The race is indeed on to see who can offer TV on the web…and while it has been tried a number of ways up to now there seem to be some real winners so far. Keep in mind most of these are still prototypes or in beta testing and as with many of these US sites you may not be able to view some of this material from a Canadian based computer!!
So far here are some of my favorites …of the real thing that is, full episodes of network television
Since 2007 Fancast started offering up more than 3,000 hrs of TV. The service offers ads before each show. The full screen image quality is not quite clear but the site had 450,000 visitors in December so not too bad a start… even tho hardly anyone knows about it yet!!
Not just a video website, Hulu is a online distribution service launched three months ago by NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox). Its content can be found just about anywhere else …has a feature that allows you to email and embed the clips on your web site
Hulu runs ads and links you to sites where you can buy the downloads of the program. They seem to have a good collection of content.
This site is run from software (26mb download) which allows you to set up a custom download and search by word or alphabet. The site runs commercials but offers a very good picture quality.
They have over 20,000 TV shows online plus chat rooms for each show.
Launched more than two years ago as a TV listings and search engine, MeeVee has evolved into a full-scale video hub for shows from ABC, CBS, Fox and CW. Its customizable guide tracks favorites (actors, directors and hobbies) and creates a printable schedule and widget that can be posted on your blog. MeeVee blogs address TV issues and let users comment on topics and episodes.
Great-looking, but not everything worked smoothly.
Created as a YouTube competitor, Veoh has expanded its ambitions into becoming yet another distributor of US network programming. Viewers can comment on the episodes and post them on Facebook or e-mail to friends. Talk about growth… their site traffic is up about 2,000% since 2006!!
Other places worth looking at
Another thing worth looking at as the new breed of what I would call semi professional short form TV, these are sites that offer something between Network TV web site and a user generated site like YouTube…myself I’m not really convinced these kind of short form sites will have a long life but well worth taking a look at as they do get a lot of viewers.
Happy TV watching everyone!!