Home > The Treasure Hunt Club > No. 31 What’s on TV?

No. 31 What’s on TV? (2007年09月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
Over the last few years, video content on the web has become more and more common. A wide range of video content is now available through most portal sites and news sites, as well as sites like YouTube that focus on video. Increasingly, however, more and more television content is becoming (legally) available. Recently CNN changed their website to allow visitors easier access to video content. It’s a good, clean website that teachers can easily search to find topical video to use in classes (http://www.cnn.com/video/).

But the really exciting recent development is with Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). IPTV sites allow viewers to watch TV programs from all over the world. This is a wonderful option for learners in Japan. Instead of short videos, full programs can be viewed on demand. The two most prominent IPTV sites are Joost and Babelgum. Both have similar interfaces but Joost has more functions that allow users to interact with the content and with other viewers (chat, notice boards, etc.). At present, both still have only limited content. The content is growing quickly; however, much of the high profile content is restricted to viewers in North America because of licensing agreements.

Joost is the most famous because it was created by the same people who brought us Skype. Its strength at present is the control it allows users and the social functions it has. As with many video sites, viewers can personalize their viewing by setting preferences, or participate in communities, exchanging opinions with other viewers. Getting Joost is a little like joining Mixi, you have to be invited to join. It’s an easy process that you can do through their website at http://www.joost.com/

Babelgum is very similar to Joost. The interface is almost the same, but it does not allow the same amount of control or social interaction. At present, you can only rate programs, but the website claims that more social tools will be added soon. http://www.babelgum.com/

Babelgum seems to be more interested in being a platform for niche content, so over time it is likely that the content of these two IPTV “stations” is likely to be quite different.

That’s all for this month.