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WolfBlog

Reflections from a Swede in Norway.

Here you will find my small graffiti board where I write about things I come to think about.

In my blog, I write about the general unfairness of life, about spam mail, vintage computers, board games, Norwegians, current and not-so-current affairs, technology and whatever else occurs to me — in other words, a glorious mess. All opinion expressed here are of course my own, and all similarities with any living people is of course intentional.

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All text and pictures copyright Peter Krefting, unless otherwise noted. More about the author.

Internet TV

Published: Wednesday 2008-02-06.

TV via the net is nothing new, already as a student connected to the university network in my student flat I watched American TV, streaming over the Internet in a minimal picture frame and with low quality around 1996-1997. But it has become easier since that time, one of the latest attempts are Zattoo (don’t ask me what the name means), that I learned about a while ago, but not quite have got around to try until now.

[Available free-of-charge channels: Al Jazeera English, Deutsche Welle, France 24 English, Lux tv, NRK1, NRK2, The Poker Channel, sumo.tv, TVP]
Available channels in Zattoo.

Zattoo is trying to stream regular TV channels through the Internet, instead of doing what services like Youtube, where you can upload clips, or Ustream, which is for regular people who wants to broadcast live on the Internet, do, and they do this in a peer-to-peer manner. At the moment they seem to have a varied collection of channels, but among the more obscure ones the two of the Norwegian public channels, NRK1 and NRK2, can be found.

[Weather forecast on NRK 1 on Zattoo] [Heroes on NRK 1 on Zattoo]
NRK1 on Zattoo.

The problem is the quality of the streaming signal, while I have no problems with neither the English versions of Al-Jazeera or France 24, the NRK signal degrades after a couple of minutes, every time I tried. In addition I miss the option of recording through the software, considering that my PVR seems to have bid farewell, that would have been a nice function to have.

[Heroes on NRK 1 on Zattoo, the signal is getting shaky] [Heroes on NRK 1 on Zattoo, the picture has gone completely bad]
The picture quality varies.

Kudos to NRK who dare to be on the cutting edge in TV technology. Recently they published several episodes of one of their own productions, in high definition format for download through BitTorrent. I am hoping that SVT will follow suit, SVT Play is somewhat of a disappointment that often does not work properly, even if it is nice to sometimes be able to watch sports directly over the Internet through it. It seems like it is possible to watch SVT streamed live in Zattoo if you access it from a Swedish IP address, too bad it doesn’t work from here, I would have like to have seen Kunskapskanalen and SVT24 since those channels aren’t available in our cable network here in Oslo.

Speaking of Ustream, ABC-Klubben, of which I am a member, is experimenting with having “virtual” gatherings over the Internet on Ustream. Yesterday was the first time I had the opportunity to test it, and it was an interesting experience. Since the communication wasn’t quite two-way it was not quite the same thing as visiting the meeting place in Alvik in Stockholm, but for those of use who live a bit outside it might be a nice alternative.

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peter@softwolves.pp.se