DTV for Mac Beta
August 9, 2005 11:37 AM   Subscribe

DTV beta for Mac is now live. DTV is a new, free and open-source platform for internet television and video. The goal here is to make sure that internet TV is open and independent. Free, open source software and open standards mean anyone can watch and everyone has a voice.
posted by signal (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Cool, thanks!
posted by Rothko at 11:40 AM on August 9, 2005

Well, that site didn't work too well.

Also, they based their free, open source software and open standards on... MacOS?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:51 AM on August 9, 2005

No, actually. It's based on VLC, Bittorrent, and RSS enclosures. A windows version is forthcoming, it was just easier to develop it on the mac, and they wanted to get a preview version out there.

posted by zerolives at 12:00 PM on August 9, 2005

And Since the site is being hammered to death, here's a mirror.
posted by zerolives at 12:02 PM on August 9, 2005

That's really amazing sounding. When I get home to my Mac, instead of here on my work imposed PC, I will have to give it a try.
posted by nyc stories at 12:02 PM on August 9, 2005

a clever idea to integrate bittorrent and a simple video playing app. Joakim Ziegler - what's your problem, or are you just trolling ? Almost any piece of open source software, except the strictest and most minimal GNU system is going to rely on some proprietary code somewhere. basically, as far as I can tell the software is a bittorrent client with a simple "channel" browser and video playback. Now, they could have tried to embed a bunch of open source codecs and ogg or something for the video playback (and i expect they may have done that too), but the obvious choice for something like this is to build it on Quicktime, which is simply the best API for real time media.
posted by silence at 12:04 PM on August 9, 2005

"real time media"?

Well, whatever. Quicktime has the most irritating windows interface EVAR. And it is proprietary, so to hell with it.

Open standards need open codecs.
posted by delmoi at 12:08 PM on August 9, 2005

Thanks for the link. Anyway I can watch HBO on this?
posted by disgruntled at 12:27 PM on August 9, 2005

Crap. You need 10.3.9 for Quicktime 7, and I can't upgrade any futher than 10.3.7.... (my OS X server is still 10.2.8, not shelling out the bucks for a Tiger server yet, and 10.3.9 clients don't mesh well with a 10.2.8 server...)
posted by Debaser626 at 12:31 PM on August 9, 2005

Maybe I don't know jack about computers, but Quicktime 7 impressed the hell out of me - the other day I was watching 720p hi-def video over a DSL line, in real time (1080p was a little slower). Made me think about how, 25 years ago, we were all saying 2400 baud was as good as it gets...
posted by fungible at 12:40 PM on August 9, 2005

delmol - you may not like the Quicktime interface on Windows (and i agree, it's awkward trying to run a mac app on Windows) but that isn't what I was talking about - i was talking about the API. Quicktime is not just the Player program. Quicktime is pretty much an operating system for doing things which involve stuff-that-changes-over-time. It's not even limited to video and audio (I have seen Quicktime codecs for recording seismic data, for instance). Quicktime is very good for embedding into any other app (I'm pretty sure that iTunes on Windows and Mac probably uses Quicktime for all it's media playback for instance).
posted by silence at 1:03 PM on August 9, 2005

Anyone wanna take bets until how long until this is overrun with porn?
posted by darkness at 1:27 PM on August 9, 2005

Looking forward to public access picking up on this as conduit for their delightful and educational programming. I'll never have to TIVO CSPAN3's Book Club again.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:39 PM on August 9, 2005

silence: I think you may be deluded. "Almost any piece of open source software, except the strictest and most minimal GNU system is going to rely on some proprietary code somewhere"? That's just patently untrue.

Granted, if you want to start avoiding potential patent problems entirely, your choice of software narrows considerably, but if not, you can certainly have a full multimedia stack built entirely from free software. GNU/Linux operating system, XviD MPEG4 video, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound, etc. For a player, VLC, MPlayer, or preferably anything using GStreamer. If you want to be maximally compatible, I'd argue it'd be better to wrap your stuff in AVI than in QT, there are just more implementations, free and non-free, of AVI than QT, on all platforms.

Notice that I'm not arguing for, say, Ogg Theora video in an Ogg bitstream here, that would indeed be quite limiting in terms of player choice. But I'd argue that there are few formats that are as widely used and supported as XviD-in-AVI. I have no problems playing it on Mac, Windows, and GNU/Linux, at least.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:11 PM on August 9, 2005

Now someone tell me how I can fix that damn Mac Mini to work with a Toshiba HDTV.
posted by yerfatma at 4:29 PM on August 9, 2005

Since it's only a matter of time before someone coins some stupid name for this, I propose we call it "Vidpodding."
posted by Laen at 8:36 PM on August 9, 2005



posted by Lectrick at 8:58 PM on August 9, 2005

posted by Popular Ethics at 9:18 PM on August 9, 2005

the point is joakim, that this player is for playing *other people's* video streams. It's just a way to play content that anyone can publish. Why mandate that it should only be able to play Xvid-in-avi ? The player should ideally be able to play any format that anyone wants to publish their content in. I'm sure it does play XVid-in-avi, and also Quicktime.
I didn't argue that it wasn't possible to make a media player on a purely open software stack, of course it is. It's just that you'll have a tiny audience, and the point of this app is to allow simple mass distribution of people's video. The authors have sensibly decided not to kill their product with needlessly puritan ideology. Hence it runs on mac and windows when they port it, and i would think it'll probably run on linux too at some point. I suspect they chose to write for the mac first just because it's a lot nicer to write for.
posted by silence at 12:11 AM on August 10, 2005

Is this really confusing to anyone else? Maybe I haven't had enough coffee, but there seems to be little to any useful information on the website. I was really stoked when I saw this 4 months ago; I've been getting progressively more dissappointed with it since. Maybe if they didn't hype it so much and provide so little I'd be less put off by the whole thing. An overview of projects like this can be found at

Is there a FAQ, a guide, or anything like that for the player? I see nothing besides a few screenshots. The website in general seems like it was written by someone in the advertising department. Even the descriptions of the Broadcast Machine seem buzzword-heavy and content-lite.

Internet TV should be open-source and based on open standards, just like blogging and podcasting.
This beta version of DTV embeds QuickTime 7, so any video that plays in QuickTime will play in DTV.

Quicktime is not open; the player is closed source and the codec is closed source, as far as I know. So I don't see how a program with quicktime embedded in it could possibly be open source. More importantly, however, I have a shiny new penny for anyone that can point me to the source code for this program. Anyone? I sure can't find it anywhere.

PS: If you're on windows and you really don't like the quicktime interface Quicktime Alternative bundles the codec with windows media player classic. Real Alternative is also available.
posted by nTeleKy at 7:14 AM on August 10, 2005

nTeleKy: I suspect QuickTime is embedded in DTV much like the Flash Player is embedded in Firefox.
posted by ryanrs at 8:51 AM on August 10, 2005

silence: That's just my point, really, limiting their audience and all that. Quicktime doesn't really play that many formats at all without extra downloads. If they'd used MPlayer or something, they could have redistributed the player, the codecs, and everything else in one installer that didn't require the user to install anything else. They can't do that with Quicktime.

To play XviD-in-AVI with Quicktime player, you need to separately install the XviD codec (or the DivX codec). Similarly for any codec and format that Apple doesn't like/support. Quicktime is really nice, but it's mostly nice if you stay within the Quicktime world.

nTeleKy: QuickTime's license doesn't prohibit it from linking with GPLed software. If you're the author of said GPLed software, you implicitly allow this linking by writing your software to depend on Quicktime, although it's recommended to state it explicitly in the license text. You can argue over how useful free software that depends on proprietary libraries is, but it's not impossible, license wise.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:48 AM on August 10, 2005

Hi, Holmes with Participatory Culture here...

More importantly, however, I have a shiny new penny for anyone that can point me to the source code for this program.

nTeleKy, our source code is available on our SourceForge page in CVS; that link is on our homepage.

We also agree that it absolutely sucks that we only use Quicktime. We actually sunk a ton of time and energy trying to embed the open source video player VLC on Mac, because VLC plays practically everything Quicktime 7 can, and tons more. But we had to fall back on Quicktime, because there were some serious stability issues with VLC when it came to embedding it on Mac, and we were just burning too much time.

Preliminary Quicktime embedding took like 2 days, and in the end we thought it was more important just to get something out there so we could get feedback from people.

The Windows version will embed VLC though, and that'll be out soon. Then we'll go back and take another crack at VLC embedding on Mac.

The website in general seems like it was written by someone in the advertising department.

Ouch :) I hope it isn't *that* bad. I guess the problem is that all of us are really excited about the potential of tools like these to shake up the media space, and we're definitely moving slower than we'd hoped. Anyway, VLC support coming soon on Windows, and hopefully soonish on Mac.

In terms of open source, patent-unencumbered codecs like Theora, our goal is to support them as soon as we can, and --once open source media players and publishing tools get a bit more solid and commonplace--to nudge publishers to use them.
posted by Participatory Politics at 3:06 PM on August 10, 2005

« Older Footprints in the Sand   |   寿司 Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments