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Watch Television on your Desktop with Livestation

Mark O'Neill 11-03-2008

livestationlogo.gifHot on the heels of Joost is Livestation, another desktop application attempting to bring television to the PC. Not many television stations have signed up so far to the project but nevertheless it’s looking rather good at the moment.


In actual fact, the only stations you can get right now on Livestation are news channels but I don’t mind as I am a huge news junkie. When I saw that Britain’s Sky News was available, I jumped all over it!

After downloading the desktop software, I dropped down the small list of stations available :


I chose Sky News and after a few seconds while it connected to the station, the picture came up, crystal clear. The audio quality is also excellent :

Live TV on your Desktop


Normally with these streaming TV channels, there are problems with the audio and picture quality but Livestation seems to have taken a leaf out of Joost’s book. Everything is extremely smooth and it’s just as good as watching it on a regular television set.

As you can see from the list above, you can also get the news in French, as well as Al-Jazeera, Bloomberg and Euro News. So you’re not solely confined to the BBC and Sky. There’s also two BBC radio stations but you can already get them via the BBC website so they’re nothing new really. But still a nice addition if the urge suddenly takes you to listen to a bit of radio.

Livestation is currently in closed beta but I have ten email invites to give away. If you’d like one, email me and ask for one. The first ten requests to hit my inbox will get them and everyone after that will go on a waiting list and will receive theirs when Livestation gives me more invites to hand out.

Update 1 : March 12th : Due to overwhelming demand, there is now a small backlog of requests for invites and I am issuing them as fast as possible. I have emailed Livestation and they are issuing more to me as quickly as they can. So if you email me a request, you will be placed in the queue and you will receive your invite as soon as possible.


Several users are also reporting that the choice of channels varies depending on where they are in the world. Some US users are reporting the absence of Sky News and Bloomberg Television. Even setting your country to Europe doesn’t help. It obviously detects your IP address and sets your options accordingly. I didn’t know this at the time of writing and I apologise.

Update 2 : March 12th : At my request, Livestation has addressed the issue of US users experiencing the difficulty of getting the BBC on Livestation :

Some of the channels in the technical trial are not currently available in the United States for rights reasons which are beyond our control. The channels available in the trial include two services – Al Jazeera and France 24 (in both English and French) — that are not widely distributed in the United States – which have consequently attracted significant attention from users.

As the Livestation platform moves from a technical trial into a full service we expect many more news channels to be available to users in the United States.


Related topics: Microsoft, Microsoft Silverlight, Television.

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    July 11, 2009 at 5:26 am

    The cable channel called “BBC America”, distributed by Discovery Networks, broadcasts “BBC World News America” every weeknight and that has the BBC World logo so …

  2. Ross
    March 13, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I have to agree that Livestation is very good. I can't wait to see what more news channels we're going to get in the US. I sure hope we get BBC World.

    I wish I knew the real situation with BBC World in the US. It seems very fragmented. I get it streaming now via RealNetworks for $5.95 per month but I'd much prefer to get it on Livestation. I guess it makes sense that the existence of that paid stream is why BBC won't let Livestation give it away for free during the trial. I hope BBC don't have an exclusive agreement with Real or anyone else so that it will never be on Livestation even if and when Livestation becomes a paid service. I somewhat fear that may be the case. The cable channel called "BBC America", distributed by Discovery Networks, broadcasts "BBC World News America" every weeknight and that has the BBC World logo so ... perhaps that one hour per day agreement is preventing the likes of Livestation carrying it. I think BBC World is available on Verizon Fios in a few states but it's certainly not widely available.

    I guess we'll have to wait and see.

  3. alexis
    March 12, 2008 at 7:36 am

    If will be more channels probably i will try.
    joost i already tried when was launch

  4. shortcherriez
    March 11, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    This is great! I can't wait for them to add some more channels. News is good but I would like some entertainment too.