Here’s a question we’re frequently getting ever since we launched our weekly Cord Cutters web series: If you cancel cable, how do you get your news? A new site called Tiltview is trying to provide an answer to that by mashing up news clips from a number of networks, giving viewers a leanback experience optimized for watching on devices like Google TV.
Tiltview users can skip over a news clip as well as hit the pause button on any video — but that’s about it, as far as interaction goes. The site automatically selects news sources and individual clips, making the experience very much like watching a 24/7 cable news program.
Tiltview’s developers told us that the site is using an algorithm to rank videos based on source, time published, view count and other factors to evaluate their newsworthiness. “Once you start watching the news, the list of what you are watching is updated in real-time,” they explained via email, adding: “High ranking news can be inserted into the list while you are watching. There is no need to refresh the page to see new contents.”
Similarities to CNN & Co. are no accident: Tiltview’s developers told us that they got the idea for the site after canceling cable and scouring news sites for videos. “Choosing which videos to play and clicking on each one made (us) realize there should be a better way to watch news online,” they said.
The mashup is based on clips found on YouTube, and some of the sources queried include YouTube accounts of news networks like Al-Jazeera, France 24, the New York Times and Russia Today. However, the site also seems to add clips from more partisan political outlets, such as Breitbart TV and Think Progress. Tiltview’s developers said they hope to add more videos from sites other than YouTube soon.
The advent of connected devices with integrated web browsers like Google TV and the Boxee Box has led to a number of Leanback-style mashups in mind in recent months. However, some of these sites have run into issues with rights holders. Listandplay.com, for example, recently shut down its MTV-like music video mashup because of potential music rights liabilities.
However, playing by the books can be tricky as well. The personalized news service 1Cast tried to offer a news feed similar to Tiltview with licensed content, but failed to get off the ground and recently shut down.
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