June 23, 2007
VeohTV Creating a Centralized Program to Watch Internet Video Through

Last week, we featured an interview from Bruce Leichtman, looking at the past, present, and future of video in the realm of digital video recorders and Internet video, among other trends that Leichtman tracks. (Look here, here, here, and here.)

I was interested in the latest news coming from Veoh this past week, as it has launched the equivalent of an Internet DVR (as Daisy Whitney with TelevisionWeek called it) or "a sort of distributed Joost" (as TechCrunch's Michael Arrington referred to it as).

In beta form now, VeohTV (Web site here) gives viewers the chance to watch and record streaming video from "thousands of video sources" including various TV networks as well as YouTube, MySpace, Yahoo!, Google, ando thers. It includes a video guide application which allows one to search through online video content and a recommendation application as well.

Arrington compares it to AOL's Truveo video search, writing that the key is in "accepting that IPTV will be decentralized." His theory is that the company which creates the best interface will ultimately win out and that such a decentralized service avoids the problem of creating licensing deals while "assuming that video will continue to be widely distributed across the Internet."

On her blog, Whitney writes that the service is driven most of all by easy navigation. "Oh, this is so easy. I love the navigation--it's simple and once I click on the folder for channels, the screen simply lists CBS, NBC, CW, PBS and Fox. In big letters. On a nice clean screen!"

She points out some problems with the fast-forward, but it's important to note the service is still in Beta. It sounds like worth checking out and might be the driver to help make me more interested in watching online video, avoiding the problem many have with video right now in lacking a centralized place through which to view content.

In fact, this was one of my biggest gripes regarding each cable network wanting to provide their own branded platform for viewing video content on their own site, considering that it eliminates the simplicity that the DVR offers and instead sought to make viewing video content even more complicated. Centralized "Internet DVR" applications like Veoh TV could very well help drive the popularity of Internet video well past its current level and audience.

For more on Veoh's continued developments, see this post from back in April, in which Veoh announced a developing deal with AMD to "bring DVD-quality high-resolution Internet television to its video service, and to effectively connect that video service to users' TVs."

Last December, I wrote about the redesign of the Veoh Web site. I wrote more about their syndication system and the end of their beta of the redesign here.

It will be interesting to see how the new VeohTV application will continue to help set Veoh apart from other online video services.