Internet video is becoming increasingly competitive with new services and announcements seemingly popping up every week. Earlier in January I wrote about Joost, a new broadband television service from the founders of Skype, while YouTube has consistently made headlines since Google’s well-publicized acquisition of YouTube back in November.
Another competitor vying for your Internet video-viewing time is TVTonic, a 300-channel Internet Video-On-Demand service that aggregates short-format video from across the Internet. TVTonic was developed by Wavexpress, a provider of broadband media technology and services. Some of the key features of TVTonic include:
- You can watch, subscribe and manage any video podcast that supports RSS enclosures.
- Designed to be used with a remote control, keyboard or mouse.
- Watch On-line or Off-line – By storing media on your computer’s hard drive, TVTonic enables immediate playback of full-screen video even when you’re not on-line.
- Downloads in the background – Once you have subscribed to a video channel, TVTonic will automatically update the video content in those channels as it becomes available.
To use TVTonic, you download and install the TVTonic client application. TVTonic is optimized for Windows XP Media Center edition or it can be used as an ActiveX control within Internet Explorer.
Once TVTonic is installed, it can be navigated with a remote, just like your TV. You can select from TVTonic’s featured channels or subscribe to over 250 channels available in the guide or any RSS 2.0 feed with video enclosures.
Wavexpress has recently released a new version of TVTonic for Windows Vista. Taking advantage of Windows Media Center in Windows Vista, the new release offers some nice features such as full-screen playback of videos, support for high-definition feeds, integration with the Xbox 360 console, and both cached and streamed viewing functionality.
TVTonic is a free service and is supported by advertising. The ads will play between videos, just like network and cable television.
TVTonic may have the added benefit of being a more mature technology, having years of development as a head start over competing services. Since TVTonic ships pre-loaded in the consumer versions of Microsoft Vista Premium and Ultimate it will gain a significant number of users right out of the box.