Popular video sharing site and viewing application creator Veoh will be rolling out a new downloadable player, VeohTV, that promises to make viewing, browsing and searching for video from around the web as easy as navigating the on-screen menus from your cable provider. You can even save favorite shows to watch later. “Joost is your old man’s TV,” Veoh CEO Dmitry Shapiro told Business 2.0′s Eric Schonfeld.
Of course, there are plenty of other applications for watching web shows besides just Joost. Babelgum, for starters. The new RealPlayer serves a similar function as a sort of web DVR, and iTunes has an open index and a huge installed user base. FireAnt, TV Tonic and Miro (nee Democracy Player) also allow for an easy-breezy, lean-back experience that’s open to content from around the Web.
And while the navigation looks slick, and I like that they have the cojones to aggregate network streams without asking, it still doesn’t solve the problem of bridging the divide between your Internet connection and your living room set. For that, you need hardware, which is probably why YouTube jumped onto the Apple TV and why I got (maybe a little too) excited about the prototype box from DivX. The site does suggest you can use a remote control, but few details beyond that.
Still, I’ve signed up for the beta, and am looking forward to trying it out. Veoh does have lots of great content on their site, have been supportive of independent producers, and offer a number of monetization models including advertising and paid downloads that creators can use to generate revenue for their shows. The true test, though, is if it will get those “old people” online, because they’re the ones still bound by cable.