Monday, July 02, 2007

Watching TV without a TV

A whole new way of distributing video programming has really taken off. While internet video has been around for almost ten years, it has only been in the last year or so that it has really garnered the attention of a wide audience. There are several reasons for this phenomenon. For sure, the popularity of high speed internet connections to the home via the phone company or cable is a major factor. Also, computers themselves have been becoming more powerful and cheaper. The technology behind playing video on the internet has developed quickly making the jerky postage stamp size video displays on a web page a thing of the past.

Internet sites like or Google Video serve millions of viewers each day. While these sites get lots of attention in the media, in this week’s column and continuing next week, we’ll look at some local video sites that might be of interest to you. We will begin with some shameless promotion for one of my favorite sites, Operated by my employer, CET, Cincinnati’s Public Television, has more than 800 videos available on-demand. Most of the content is local in nature.

While you can link to some popular PBS programs like the News Hour, the majority of titles are local in nature. For example, if you are interested in local business you can watch interviews with executives and pundits discussing what’s happening at corporations and small businesses throughout the tri-state.

If the arts are your thing you can find a variety of videos spotlighting the major arts organizations like the CSO, Opera and Ballet or some of the lesser known arts organizations. For example, right now you can get previews of the new Cincinnati Opera season. In the fall the CSO and Pops programs will be featured.

Several local organizations and institutions from the Art Museum to the Zoo regularly provide programming for Since it is updated daily you can find something new almost every time you visit. All programming that is not time sensitive is archived, so you can watch today programming that was first released last year.

Next week we will look at several other local video sites. For and most others, all you need is a computer and high speed internet connection.

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