Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TV versus the Net: It's

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TV versus the Net: It's

Article excerpt


It's as easy to watch TV via the net as it is to surf the net through the telly.

Richard Longhurst, Ashley Norris and Debbie Barham get box-swapping

BLOOD, guts and cannibalism are par for the course for a video nasty, but they re not what you expect from a pop promo.

So when Robbie Williams was stripped to the bone in the video for his number-one single Rock DJ, censors decided it was too much for TV viewers to stomach. Net users, on the other hand, can watch it any time, on, one of many sites bringing TV to the web.

The internet has plenty to offer couch potatoes. From interactive soap operas to Star Wars films to live webcasts of rock concerts, the net is heaving with original content.

To access web TV, you need a web browser and streaming video software such as RealPlayer, Windows Media Player or QuickTime. Modem connections, however, are barely fast enough to cope with the amount of data downloaded. Most viewers end up watching jerky video clips in a tiny window. Broadband connections such as ADSL and cable modems may be an improvement and provide a taste of a video-on-demand future, but even the fastest 2Mbit ADSL line can t provide full-screen video over the web.

It s churlish to complain about quality when you can tune in without having to pay, but the best web TV might not be free for long. Content-based sites are finding it difficult to survive just on advertising revenue DEN (the Digital Entertainment Network),, iCast, and AOL Time Warner s Entertaindom are all in the dotcom graveyard.

Whatever's on TV, there's something better on the web ...

Films On TV: James Bond (again) On the web: AtomFilms ( A slick site showcasing films and animation from independent moviemakers. Home to Angry Kid (from Wallace and Gromit creator Aardman Animation), The Star Wars Fan Network and the girls n guns sexploitation series, Bikini Bandits, AtomFilms is the epitome of online entertainment. Daily picks and audience tips enable you to cut straight to the best clips. The movies are streamed at speeds that even a 28K modem can handle 300K streams give broadband users a chance to show off.

Also showing Like Television ( Instant gratification streaming , featuring early Looney Tune cartoons, old TV series like Flash Gordon and full-length films like The Chinese Connection, with Bruce Lee, and Bridget Bardot in Mademoiselle Striptease. Irresistible.

CinemaNow ( A selection of free and pay-per-view feature films including Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Eliminator Woman and Italian gangster flick Escape from Death Row.

Soap Operas On TV: EastEnders On the web: DinnerParty TV (www. …

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