Internet TV Software & Tools Category

Software, websites and tools that help people get the most out of watching internet television and web videos.

BBC iPlayer LogoThe BBC has unveiled the new iPlayer, and its free catch-up television service has undergone several big changes. The biggest being an HTML5-powered responsive design driving the whole effort.

The New iPlayer

The BBC has unveiled a newly-redesigned iPlayer, one that’s followed the trend set by other forward-thinking websites by featuring a responsive design that adapts in size and layout depending on the device on which it’s being viewed.

The BBC iPlayer hasn’t been changed this considerably since it debuted seven years ago. While unveiling the new look, BBC director general Tony Hall described the iPlayer as the new “front door” of the BBC in terms of content.

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Google recently unveiled Chromecast, a $35 dongle that is able to stream content from mobile devices to your television. This is Google’s latest attempt to grab a foothold in the TV industry, which it’s going to need to be a part of as its future starts to take shape.

Chromecast

Chromecast is a dongle which plugs into an HDMI on your TV. Apps on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop will then sync with Chromecast, giving you the option to watch content from the likes of YouTube, Netflix, and Google Play on the bigscreen.

Google was initially offering three months of Netflix streaming free for anyone who bought Chromecast. But the company quickly ended that promotion citingoverwhelming demand.” In other words Chromecast was clearly going to sell well enough without such an offer, so why continue offering it.

Indeed, demand was so fierce that Chromecast quickly sold out on Google Play. The $35 price tag (with or without the Netflix offer) is cheap enough to make people make a snap purchase and not worry about whether or not it’s worth buying.

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BoxeeIn a sign of things to come, Boxee has killed its desktop app in order to throw all its time, effort, and money behind the Boxee Box. This move brings it into direct competition with the likes of Google, Apple and Roku.

Boxee Desktop Dead

The Boxee desktop app is dead, with Boxee having pulled the plug on it at the end of January. Boxee announced the plans at the end of December 2011 when it released Boxee version 1.5. That final version of the Boxee desktop app was only available for a little over a month, and wasn’t even that brilliant.

This move attracted criticism from many longtime Boxee users, who had supported and tested the desktop client throughout its early iterations. These loyal Boxee adopters are now left with a stark choice: buy a Boxee Box or find an alternative desktop app for their video streaming needs.

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YouTube 3D LogoYouTube now not only offers a place to easily and speedily upload videos to, but also the ability to edit them after the process has been completed. And the new YouTube editor has proved a big hit in the two months since it debuted.

YouTube Editor

YouTube has long been keen on improving the quality of content on the site. Cute cat videos are great, but premium content is better. And while badly-shot video is better than no video, video you can actually watch without having to skint to see any detail is better.

YouTube has offered editing options to its users for some time, with simple, on-site tools having been available since 2010. And in September 2011 YouTube launched a new editor which upped the number of options and usability of the features on offer by a considerable margin.

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Google-TV-LogoGoogle TV is still waiting in the wings trying to find its market. Google will hang in there waiting for consumers and content owners to catch up with its ambitions, but other companies are bailing out now. And I can’t say I really blame them.

Google TV

Google TV was unveiled in the middle of last year after a little teasing from Google. The two main partners were Sony and Logitech, the former integrating the software into television sets and Blu-ray players, the latter releasing a set-top box named Revue.

Unfortunately Google TV didn’t take off for many reasons: The unfinished nature of the software, the price of the hardware, and, worst of all, the fact that all of the big television networks and other premium content owners blocked Google TV access to their programming.

The writing was on the wall from that moment forth.

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YouTube Magisto LogoTwo things are probably key for any tech startup looking to make it beyond the first year: funding, and a partner willing and able to push you into the mainstream. Magisto already has both, despite having been up and running for just a few months, most of it in a closed beta.

Magisto Magic

Magisto is a online video editor unlike any other. Because although there are many already out there that offer a range of tools designed to make the user’s experience as simple as possible, Magisto goes one stage further and does everything automatically.

We covered Magisto in some depth just a few days ago on the news that it was launching to the general public after five months in a closed beta. Helping the Israeli-based company along the way was Li Ka-Shing, who put part of the $5.5 million up that represents Series B funding.

But Magisto had potentially bigger news under its belt.

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Magisto LogoAutomatic video editor Magisto is now open to the public. A public which is taking more video footage than ever thanks to smartphones, but which has less time than ever to edit them before posting to the Web. These guys could be onto something.

Magisto Begins

How often have you shot hours of video and promised yourself that one day soon you’ll find the time to edit it down to the bare essentials, deleting all the parts that don’t matter, that you didn’t look right, that won’t need keeping for your grandkids to look at?

Magisto is hoping that lots of you out there answered with a resounding chorus of, “I do it all the time!” Because anyone that did is a potential customer for the Web application which automatically (perhaps automagically is more fitting) edits your videos.

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