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Channel surfing is the perfect thing to do when you can’t decide what to watch. Flicking through stations you’ll eventually find something you like, right? Or you might even discover something new.
That sort of serendipity isn’t common on the web, which is where today’s cool websites comes in. These services all bring the channel surfing experience to the web in different ways, meaning you don’t have to decide what to watch to be entertained. Of course, this being the Internet, it’s easy to skip content you don’t want until you find something good. Let’s get started!
Soupy.tv: Random YouTube Goodness
Open up this site and you’ll see the following message:
Hit space and the madness begins, as random YouTube videos start playing. Hit space at any time to skip to the next video. In just a few minutes I saw:
- Some guy standing on the steering wheel of his truck, with most of his body out the window, just to ditch it before it hit a fire hydrant.
- A Spanish ad for what appeared to be a crowded, poorly constructed elevator.
- A Japanese cooking show.
- Some guy firing guns out his own window into the street, for no freaking reason.
So yeah: I’d say this is a pretty representative way to browse YouTube at random.
Pluto.tv: “TV Channels” Made From YouTube Videos
Want a bit more of an idea of what to expect? Pluto.tv offers a wide variety of channels, each made up of YouTube videos. From news, to sports highlights, to celebrity cats, you can find a channel dedicated to just about everything here.
The interface offers an EPG, making browsing YouTube feel a lot like watching television. Personally I think the concept of channels is obsolete, but this service is an interesting counterpoint to that opinion.
Travelisty: Leanback Site For Travel Videos
Whether you’re planning a trip to a particular country or just want to see the sites virtually, Travelisty’s video portal is a great way to explore any country without getting up. You can browse several “channels” of videos from particular nations or regions.
Do this, and you’ll start seeing all sorts of beautiful destinations. The videos all seem to be HD, and stunning.
It’s a great way to spontaneously discover where you’d like to head for your next adventure.
Frequency: Videos From Numerous Sites [No Longer Available]
The number of channels offered on this site is overwhelming. In addition to broad categories like “News” and “Things That Matter”, you’ll also find specific pages to watch content from a number of different websites. It’s less hands-off than some of the other services here as well, but worth checking out just for the sheer volume of content.
Reddit.tv [Broken URL Removed]: Your Favorite Subreddits as TV Channels
We’ve shown you how Reddit.tv works before, but it’s gotten way better since then. The idea: the top-voted videos from Reddit will play, one after the other, letting you watch the best the web has to offer without a lot of work.
Head to this site and videos will start playing immediately. You can browse a collection of default subreddits, seen above, or add your own. YouTube Haikus work particularly well, but so does the documentary subreddit. Don’t miss this one, because it’s a great way to find videos you’ll love.
What Did We Miss? What Should We Do Next?
Are there any leanback video websites we’ve neglected to outline here? Point them out in the comments below. I’d also like it if you could let me know what kinds of subjects I should cover with this column – I’m new to it and could use all the help you can offer. I’ll be around in the comments, so let’s chat!
Image Credits: streaming video Via Shutterstock