Open Source Software & Internet TV

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Users of open source software, particularly Linux users, are pretty savvy when it comes to downloading and implementing programs that will allow them to use online content that is available to other users (such as Microsoft and others). Typically, whatever other platforms are out, open source programs almost always have something that will run it, support it, or duplicate it.

Those Linux users who are interested in streaming content and on-demand content can enjoy a large variety of programming and content. Below is a brief overview of what’s available and what’s not for open source users.

The Netflix Issue

Netflix relies on Silverlight for users to watch their content. Silverlight is Microsoft based and not supported for Linux users. However, there is an open source alternative available, called Moonlight. Moonlight now comes with the Microsoft Media Pack, which should be installed as well. This will typically be the main way to work around watching Netflix streaming content. Of course, this isn’t just for Netflix – it will be useful for any program that uses Silverlight from Microsoft.

Internet TV

With Gnome and Screenlets, Internet TV is available for download. It has quite a few channels available, including Fox, SKY News, CNN, MTV, and genres to select from, such as Fashion, Sports, Weather, and Environmental interests. It will not work without Gnome or Screenlets, and will not work on platforms that do not use these basics. User reviews reflect that this is a problem with the PS3 platform, but, as always, it’s important to read the usage requirements prior to downloading. The channels are opened with Totem, and the program can be downloaded directly from Linux Softpedia.

Miro

Miro is a favorite among Linux users for Internet TV because of it’s versatility – it plays just about every video file type, from WMV to  XVID, and, it has extra features like a BitTorrent client (and has set Legal Torrents as its default bookmark). Miro is set up very similarly to iTunes, and is highly intuitive for users. It’s also available for OSX, Windows, Ubuntu, and others. Another great highlight for Miro is that it offers more HD channels than any other open source program available. It is raved about by many users because of it’s features and high entertainment value. They boast 4000 channels, and some of them are quite popular – offering Simpsons podcasts, National  Geographic HD, Discovery Channel HD, and literally thousands of channels that can be divided into genre for easy selection.

Zattoo

Zattoo is a European-based client that is currently for the UK, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain – although it states there are channels available for the US. It is live streaming Internet TV offering five channels in America (US, that is) – ETB Sat in Basque, Extremadura TV in Spanish, SF Info in German, Outdoor Sport Channel and Sumo TV in English.

No matter what Linux users have, there are plenty of channels available for enjoyment – all free and all open source.

The article has been shared by Calvin Scott. Calvin is a passionate blogger with great and varied interest in technology. 

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