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Channl TV test run

I've been checking out, Werner's latest baby. The idea is not new (apparently) but as there is no killer app that's sweeping the world, any attempt to bridge the gap between the internet and TV is valuable to me.

As I wrote in my previous post, I don't believe in digital TV from Telenet and Belgacom anymore, the future is in open platforms. We just need to bring the power of the internet to big comfortable screens. I think AppleTV does a good job there, so my fingers are itching to go buy one together with Leopard later today. The seamless integration of Channl TV with the AppleTV (which is an affordable device) motivates me even more.

So what do I think about Channl TV?

- Great concept, bridging the gap between TV and internet.
- Works on AppleTV and other devices are to come apparently.
- I love the idea of having a dashboard online that let's me manage my media to then consume them on any device I want.

- I miss a lot of the social features. Of course the site is in a very early stage, but by using an existing platform (e.g. Drupal) all of the account management, buddy lists, comments, etc. would be in there with a minimal effort.
- The content depends on YouTube and Google Video to keep the videos online (it's not clear to me whether on the AppleTV the videos are actually downloaded), and as YouTube is becoming more and more ruled by lawyers the interesting stuff may be gone sooner then later.

To Do:
- Add video podcasts (RSS feeds) as a possible source
- Add an app for the iPhone before any other platform. The current YouTube app on the iPhone is great, but it does not sync bookmarks with my YouTube account online :(
- Add simple sharing features such as an RSS feed I can use anywhere, something like this: (try opening this link on an iPhone)

- Can I install the AppleTV patch on any Mac that I want to connect to my TV? (e.g. a Mac Mini?)



iPod touch in a home stereo setup

When we reconstructed our house a few years ago, we included all kinds of wiring for top of the line centrally controlled home stereo. However, for a number of reasons we never installed anything fancy. The main show stopper (apart from price) was that I wanted my iTunes collection to be accessible, and then the only real answer is Apple. The Apple TV is a first step, but that doesn't give me access to music in the kitchen or bath room.

With the launch of the iPod Touch however, we now have an elegant streaming device with a most fancy touch screen. The disc space is not even needed, I can store all my music on my desktop Mac Mini (with 500 Gb extra disc). An iPod Touch anywhere in the house has to be connected to an amplifier (in the basement) and that amplifier is in turn connected back to speakers up in the room where the iPod Touch is. We already have wires for the speakers installed, I just need to add a cable from the earphones out to the amplifier. The music is streamed over WiFi, so if the dock looks a bit elegant this could just be the most sophisticated looking home stereo setup at an acceptable cost (if you compare it to a typical Bose multi-room system). And there's no real limit to the number of installations. Each room needs an iPod Touch (€ 299), speakers (depends on the quality you want) and an amplifier (these can be expensive).

Cool! I think I'll start with the kitchen as I can use the existing mini stereo which holds an amplifier and speakers.