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When desktop apps become web apps, the result is usually happiness. That’s how I feel about Livestation, an online TV service we last reviewed in 2008. The site’s made huge strides since then, of course, offering streaming news stations from within your browser as well as expanding its players to many platforms. Whether you own an iPhone, a Blackberry, a Playstation 3 or even a Boxee box you can get live streaming news with this app.
In my recent article about websites where you can watch news online I mentioned that Al Jazeera offered 24 hour a day streaming news. It makes sense, then, that Al Jazeera is offered at Livestation, but what I wasn’t prepared for were the other stations offered here. Let’s take a look around!
Head over to Livestation’s web site and you can start watching streaming news immediately. This is a huge improvement over the previous model, which required users to sign in before they could do so.
On the web you’ll have access only to Livestation’s partner stations. These include:
- Al Jazeera, English and Arabic
- BBC World Service (Radio Only)
- BBC Persian
- France24 (French, English and Arabic)
- NasaTV (live feeds from space missions!)
- UN TV
There’s more, of course; check out the full list of official stations here and start watching immediately. The formal partnerships Livestation has with these stations ensures they will be online 24/7 (or when available for stations like NASA that only broadcast during events.) Overall, Livestation’s web interface is a great way to quickly find a news broadcast to watch.
But of course Livestation is more than a website. There’s a very nice desktop client available. It works for Windows, Mac and Linux computers, and has improved a lot since 2008. For example, the service now offers picture-in-picture:
Another cool feature is the “carousal,” a slick interface that makes for quick browsing of your channels:
The desktop also gives you access to the many user-generated stations Livestation offers. These streams are similar to services such as UStream (check out this article for more information on starting your own broadcast with UStream.) Because these streams are unofficial, and frequently pirated, they tend to go down a lot. Still, it’s nice to have access to more content and these streams certainly deliver that.
Another new feature is the ability to pay for premium channels, including CNN International and Bloomberg. This is probably useless if you have cable, but could prove interesting for those who only want to pay for stations they actually watch.
If the web and your desktop just aren’t enough don’t worry: Livestation offers many ways to access it’s content, including:
- gives you access to live news from your TV.
- iPhone Apps for Al Jazeera, CNBC and BBC New Streaming. Click here for more information.
- A Playstation 3 Compatible page at ps3.livestation.com. Read more here.
- A mobile page for smart phones, and apps for Blackberry coming soon.
Naturally the site keeps adding new services, so check frequently to see what’s being added.
I don’t have cable TV, so to me this is a wonderful addition to my web TV lineup. What I really love is the sheer diversity of ways to access the content, and the international nature of the content.
Can you find a use for a program like this? Do you like the changes Livestation’s made since our most recent review? As always comments make me happy, so do your part and say something!