blinkx, which was clearly following Joost when it launched a desktop client for Internet TV five months ago, is now in step with Joost in announcing today that it will make most of the functionality of its desktop client available through the browser. Shares of blinkx, which is listed on the AIM, were up $3, trading at $26 on Thursday.
blinkx BBTV now plays Flash files directly in the browser. However, I found it quite hard to figure out how and where to launch the player from the text index. The actual player interface is quite nice, but doesn’t go fully full-screen (click to enlarge the screenshot). It also seems a bit awkward that blinkx is re-hosting videos when they’re available in Flash elsewhere, but I guess that makes for smoother navigation. Videos are offered from categories like lifestyle, news and info, sports, and adult (which requires a birthdate and parental pin). For the most part, the content available was originally made for the web.
BBTV was previously available only as a Windows download. blinkx also offers a variety of other products such as video search, a contextual-advertising platform, and an index of web programming called blinkx Remote.
Elsewhere, Veoh, which launched another would-be Joost called VeohTV, doesn’t even provide a link to download its client from the front page of its site. AOL also got rid of its Hi-Q service. But clients aren’t dead everywhere; outside of the U.S. market, especially in places like China, they’re all the rage.