Networks and studios are finally getting wise to the fact that consumers want on-demand access to their favorite shows. Many media outlets have put video of recent episodes out on the Web, and the Web is a better place because of it.
However, what is the point of having all this sweet content at your fingertips if you can’t watch it on that nice big TV you’ve got sitting in the living room? The makers of TVersity Pro have the answer. Today, I’m going to walk you through adding feeds and shows to your TVersity library, and how to connect your gaming system to your home PC in order to watch these shows. TVersity will also stream most types of audio and video files from your My Documents folder. The extensive list of supported devices includes Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo Wii; TVersity’s interface is also accessible through any Web browser.
Before I proceed, I should explain something very important. There are two versions of TVersity, the Free and Pro versions. The Pro version supports many premium-video websites including Hulu, Joost, and TV.com, which are not supported in the Free version. Both versions of TVersity are free to download. However, if you enjoy your experience with the Pro version, I highly encourage you to pay for a license in order to support development of future versions. Payment again, is optional but encouraged.
First up is to download and install the Tversity Media Server. You’ll need to provide your email address in order to download the Pro version. After installing and opening the program, you’ll be at the Guide. From the Guide, you can add the feeds for many suggested shows. The real meat of the program is in the Library, which is where you can add feeds and shows as Media Sources. You’ve already likely added two media sources, your Hulu queue and YouTube channel, during the installation.
In the first example above, I’m adding a Hulu search for “daily show” as a Media Source. You can also add lists of popular videos and videos about to expire. Adding a Joost show isn’t quite as simple. In the center screenshot, I’m on Joost’s page for Transformers and using Firefox’s auto-discovery to obtain the show’s feed address. I’ll use this address to add a “Video RSS” media source. In the last example, I’m adding the This Week in Tech podcast feed. Watching this show on my TV wouldn’t be very satisfying, however it’s handy to have audio feeds for streaming via the PSP.
For streaming audio and video to the Xbox 360 or PS3, the console should recognized the TVersity server as a network-attached device. You’ll be able to browse TVersity’s menus through the console’s native interface. For streaming to the Wii or PSP, you’ll need to use the built-in browser and connect to your PC’s server. Follow the instructions here for the Wii, and here for the PSP.
TVersity, in both Free and Pro versions, is an excellent piece of software for accessing audio and video throughout a networked home, but there are alternatives. If you have a setup such as this, let us know about it in the comments.