Free Internet TV

good
key review info
application features
  • Watch over 2000 free online TV channels.
  • (8 more, see all...)

Internet TV is no news these days and software claiming to play your favorite channels is at every corner on the web. Most of these apps are free and generally feature long lists of TV stations with insipid content, but every once in a while we bump into such software that sports really good content from all over the countries.

TVUPlayer for instance does a great job at providing some really cool channels (Sky News, CBS, FOX News, Comedy Central, Sci-Fi, Nickelodeon, C-SPAN, FTV) at one of the best quality levels on the market. Introducing JLC's Internet TV, a new TV station streaming application, free of charge and with a very large channel database.

It comes with a very minimalistic interface that integrates Windows Media player, the channel list and a few other options designed to make finding the favourite easier or filtering the list. There are few configuration options available as everything is straightforward.

One little aspect has to be mentioned about JLC's Internet TV and that is the fact that the entire station database is maintained by its users and they update the channels providing the rest of the users with up-to-date lists with new TV stations.

The channel database is present in the right hand side of the application window and you are given the possibility to list them by countries. If you take a look in the lower part you will find the Filter option, which permits elimination of the channels that are flagged as new, working fine, not working, those with wrong info, duplicates or spam. This helps you benefit only from the streams with no problems. Each user can flag a channel in order to alert all the others about the new state of the channel. Mind that the flag and rating details are visible to all users.

If you find a channel on your own and want everybody to benefit from it, there is no easier way than opening the Submit panel and filling in all the fields. You can even test the connection before appending it to the online database. The new channel submission form comprises fields for the name of the station, a brief description, homepage, stream URL, country, category it fits in, media type needed (Media Player or Real Player) as well as bitrate.

As for the quality of the streams, this is quite unreliable as the channels that work fine one day may not be working at all the next one. Despite the 2700+ working TV stations flagged as watchable, there aren't too many providing good content (but this goes for most Internet TV software). Most of the programs are actually webcasts and a very small number of them are live streams worthwhile.

Setting up JLC's Internet TV is no rocket science and simply lets you adjust the interface (enable a resizeable channel list or a dockable one), choose the Media Player you want the streams to be played in as well as enable VLC to play all the streams or the use of Winamp for NSV streams. There is also a section that allows you to choose the categories from which streams should be downloaded when updating the list. Additional settings deal with preserving window size and column width from the last launch of the software.

All stream-view related options are manageable from the player's settings panel. A right click in the video window and you'll have access to them. Here you can make performance adjustments or make your buffering choice for an uninterrupted view.

Besides the regular content, the developer can also provide you with a list of adult content streams, but you will have to buy a $20/year subscription.

Quick access to the search function is enabled by pressing the F2 key and a search box will pop up in an instant letting you type in the query. The application will look only in the list you have opened. So for more results it would be best to have the channel list set to “All Countries.” In case you decide to use the software beyond a test period and find some really good stations you want to watch later you can add them to a favorite list.

Leaving channel list management in the hands of the users proves the flexibility of the software, but it is also subject to frequent updates that may not always be good. It makes available a short list of options and not all streams are live, two things that diminish the overall quality of JLC's Internet TV.

All in all, the application is simple enough to be handled by any type of user with very much ease and provides you the possibility to add streams to a favorite list for quick access. Leaving the channel database in the hands of the users is double-sided as it can be a good thing with regard to enlarging the list, but with inadequate moderation it will only increase the number of stations flagged as not working or spam.

The Good

Easy to handle, JLC's Internet TV supplies an impressive list of TV stations where you can choose your favorites. Each user can flag channels, rate or update them.

Channel filter lets you take out streams with wrong info, those that are not working, duplicates or spam. You can add your own streams with absolutely no trouble.

The Bad

Moderation of the channel list should be a little more strict and channels that are not working for a period of days to be kicked out.

There are plenty of TV stations with great content that are not listed in JLC's Internet TV. During our testing the streams that worked one day failed to load the next one.

Updates for the list of channels can be downloaded only once a day.

The Truth

Giving users the liberty to change the database without any sort of moderation is most damaging to the entire list. Any user can add any sort of channel and bloat the list with not working streams, spam or duplicates.

JLC's Internet TV is a good intermediary for the streams but needs more work in the channel list management and overall options for the user.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 3
features 3
ease of use 3
pricing / value 3


final rating 3
Editor's review
good
 

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