Friday, February 05, 2010

Watching For Free

There’s more and more ‘spillage’ of restricted rights happening, especially when it comes to live feeds – my colleague Peter Lewinton has blogged on this site concerning the problems this causes. However, I think it’s worth doing a round up of some of the more notable sites, leaving YouTube to one side for now.

Justin.tv still confounds me. It a mess of a service - a video equivalent of the pop up hell that was current around a decade ago. But you can find stuff on it that you can’t find elsewhere. For example, I pay two Sky Sports subscriptions and still can’t access any games on the red button. My only recourse is to Justin.tv; the experience sucks, but it’s better than text only reports.

In the UK there’s an obscure law that allows live feeds to be re-transmitted - it was something to do with getting signals into the back of remote Welsh valleys at the time, but seems to remain a loophole as far as those advising a number of companies who capitalise on this get-around seem to be concerned. Zattoo was the first service to offer live UK telly over the web, now there are a few more services including TV Guide and TV Catchup.

In the US content has been more widely available, but has been geo-controlled, so unless you were a bit tech savvy or had a Slingbox you could only watch services like Hulu in the US. Now TV Gorge offers a wide range of programmes available on demand; they claim some kind of alliance with Hulu and I haven’t been able to figure out if the service is legal or not.