Over at our sister blog, Read/WriteWeb, Phil Butler has the scoop on VeohTV, the latest product from the video sharing site, Veoh. Subtly billing itself as a Joost-killer, VeohTV is a peer-to-peer online video application that, like Joost (and recently launched rival, Babelgum), runs in fullscreen mode so as to give a more TV-like viewing experience. However, Buttler notes a key difference in VeohTV’s approach which can be summed up by the company’s mantra: “Video Lives All Over the Web”.
This simple truth is demonstrated in the new VeohTV service’s approach to aggregating and utilizing all types of video. VeohTV allows users access to virtually any video with unparalleled functionality, quality and control from a very advanced viewing interface.
Perhaps the key to VeohTV, is that unlike more ‘closed’ systems, the service lets users pull in videos from thousands of sources — which currently includes NBC, CBS, FOX, YouTube, MySpace, and others — whilst maintaining the fullscreen experience, along with a TV-style program guide. Additionally, the application can also operate like a DVR so that videos can be saved to a user’s hard drive for later viewing.
As well as the decentralized approach that VeohTV is taking, one other tidbit in Butler’s report really jumped out at me.
A simple connect to an HD TV renders all content viewable remotely controllable on the big screen, and Veoh also has set top device integration deals on the horizon.
We’re hearing more and more about software-based online TV solutions harbouring plans to get their services into a dedicated set-top-box, rather than relying on the PC. Joost has hinted at this direction, and recently we’ve reported on BitTorrent’s Software Developer Kit for set-top-boxes and other Internet devices, along with DivX’s work on a media streaming box. And let’s not forget Apple who have put a stripped down version of their desktop OS into the AppleTV so that it can act as a media extender for streaming iTunes content onto a TV, as well as, more recently, connect directly to YouTube.
Of course the big question is whether these Internet-based upstarts can ever (or how quickly they’ll) render a cable subscription worthless. That will depend on two factors: content and picture quality/reliability. There’s also the issue of peer-to-peer based online video being both a relatively immature technlogy and also one that relies on ISPs playing nicely.