Blinkx, the company behind the video search engine of the same name, has finally launched its Internet TV service, BBTV (Broadband TV). Like others in this increasingly crowded space, which includes Joost, Babelgum, VeohTV and HP-backed Next.TV, BBTV is a desktop application that utilizes Peer-to-Peer networking to deliver a full screen experience readily suited to long form content such as television episodes or feature films.
Unfortunately, the same criticisms also apply: BBTV requires a download, as apposed to being accessed through a Web browser (see ‘Don’t turn off the life support just yet: Joost coming to the browser‘), and, whilst it’s early days, the service has a very limited content lineup. Highlights currently include independent films from Dogwoof Pictures and news clips from the UK’s ITN. In its defense, however, Blinkx says we can expect a lot more content to come to BBTV courtesy of its existing video search partners and hasn’t ruled out a browser-based version.
One area where BBTV looks like delivering, compared to competitors Joost et al., is in its promise to combine a TV-like viewing experience with the best of the Web. Thanks to the speech and image recognition technology behind the company’s video search engine, users get access to a text transcription of what they’re watching, so that they can click on any word to jump to the corresponding section of the video, or ‘shift-click’ to access Web-related content such as search results from Google, Wikipedia or IMDB.
“The Web is the largest repository of connected information in the world – on any subject and from myriad sources. BBTV delivers television over the Internet, but it also fuses that TV with the wealth of information on the Web, rather than appearing as just another layer floating above it”, said Suranga Chandratillake, founder and CEO of blinkx, in a written statement.
On that note, fusing TV “with the wealth of information on the Web” would definitely make more sense if kept totally within the browser.