At first glance, Eclipse TV may look like little more than a compilation of bookmarks. That’s not too far from the truth, but it is also a really good list of bookmarks. There’s not much you can’t find here, and everything linked to takes you to a page that’s easily browsable from your television.
I spend a lot of time looking for things to watch online, and I discovered one really good live news stream and a few collections of movies I’d never heard of previously here. Odds are you’ll find something new too.
Quality Videos From Around The Web
You can use your mouse to browse things of course, but it’s worth noting that your keyboard will also work. This means that most remotes can work with this service out of the box.
As seen above, there are four main buttons at the top that allow you to browse content – On Demand, Live/Streams, TV Apps and Launchpad. Each of these sections are divided into other categories, which you’ll see in the above screenshot. Using this organizational system, Eclipse TV links to over 100 sources for video.
The on demand sources range from the familar – YouTube and Hulu – to sites I’d never heard of, including the seemingly amazing Crackle. Every link will take you to the most TV friendly version of a given site, which is very nice. Some of these streams won’t work outside of the US which is sad, but perhaps future versions of the site will work in different regions.
The live streams section gives you access to various real-time broadcasts. I was particularly impressed by the news selection:
The TV Apps section is a collection of games and other things that might be useful or fun to browse from a TV, including the new Angry Birds for your browser.
Finally, there is the Launchpad. This is where you can put your own, custom bookmarks.
Log in with your Google account and these passwords will be saved.
It’s worth noting that the entire Eclipse project is open source. Find the source code here if you’re interested.
What It’s For
So what’s this piece of software for? According to the software’s creator, K.L. Thompson, it’s meant to make finding stuff to watch easier regardless of platform:
Eclipse TV is not an alternative to Boxee or Google TV, it has primarily been designed to compliment these and other internet television systems. Though it may be used as a lightweight variant to such services on TV connected PCs.
So this is not intended as a replacement for the likes of Boxee, Google TV or XBMC. Could is work as a replacement, though? I think so. Boxee’s main appeal is its apps, but most of the best services are right here in Eclipse. Best of all, because you can use it from a standard browser, there’s no way for Hulu and the like to block you from using it.
Could you see yourself using a web service like Eclipse to power your media center? Let us know in the comments below.