GISS.tv will transform India’s tv broadcasting and media. Forever.
Sarai is the perfect place for a kiss. Behind all the non-stop chatter and noise of television stations, I experienced a quiet revolution on a lazy, saturday afternoon in an almost-empty seminar room in Delhi’s leafy north campus. A revolution, that will eventually impact more than 500 million TV viewers in India, and reach out to the global population of the world far-ahead of conventional twentieth-century television. A revolution that will kiss your TV goodbye. Click on the photos below to discover more from the captions.
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The Hidden Dragon
The soft-spoken and unassuming Yves Degoyon, dressed in an old tee-shirt, bleary-eyed from his travels in India, commanded the stage. He walked the dozen participants in the room through his impressive giss.tv project. For ordinary mortals, giss.tv allows anyone, anywhere, armed with nothing more than a commodity laptop, to broadcast live video on their own internet-tv channel, and reach a global audience instantly. All for free, as in both free-of-cost, and more importantly, with freedom. Similarly, giss.tv also allows anyone anywhere to launch their own audio broadcasts instantly for the world.
The live broadcast is streamed into the web-browser of any viewer who tunes in, and does not require any proprietary plug-in like Adobe’s Flash, to run. The underlying technology is Java, which means it can run on any browser, on any device, smartphones, and who knows, you may soon have special devices that could tune-in as well.
This changes everything. In the spirit of freedom, all the software required to author, produce, capture live video and audio, and broadcast are also free and with-freedom, i.e. muft and mukt. Indeed, the impressive suite of software mimics everything that you may expect from professional tv production suites.
You can ticker-tape text at the bottom or anywhere on the screen, at any angle and direction. You can also record your final broadcasts concurrently to hard-disk for archives and for re-purposing. It can mix live video-broadcasts with pre-recorded segments. This is ideal for, say, a live TV news program that has to show video-footage on-cue. It can take multiple video-streams, fade and mix from one to the other, quite suitable for stringing in stories from correspondents or live-video from any geographical location. Yves does recommend it is easier to use a hardware video-mixer to spare current laptops and software the burden of processing, but still, it is a proof-of-concept that will soon become mainstream.
The Bliss of GISS
There are a few things that giss.tv can do, which I have not yet seen on any platform. For instance, unlike youtube or other video-sites, it works with live video, and uses absolutely no proprietary software or plug-in. That means, as stated earlier, everything is muft and mukt. GISS.tv also gives you, the author, complete copyright and ownership of your video, and encourages you to publish and broadcast using a copyleft or a creativecommons license. The server-space and all services are provided free. You can also design your own tv station and channel on the web-browser, and let viewers log-in and subscribe to your video-broadcasts. Unlike TV, giss.tv is also more interactive. Viewers can comment, blog, discuss, and interact, as they watch the video.You can also track viewers, and as each viewer tunes-in, you can lookup his or her location on a map, and the software and platform details of their machines.
What GISS.tv lacks currently, is a slick user-interface design and a bling-bling website. Indeed, it suffers from the looks of a typical, grown-at-home geeky project. Yves works almost effortlessly with his tools, but even the best nerds would quail at the sight of those intimidating software and tools that fill the screen. What the project needs acutely at this moment, is a complete re-do of their user-interface design, and a much more streamlined learning curve.
Nevertheless, I am so impressed with this project, that I have just authored an article in my FreedomYug column for the November 2008 of LinuxForYou magazine. Will publish a hyperlink to it once it gets published. [Update]: Here is the link: My TV Station.
Whether giss.tv eventually becomes successful, or whether it paves the way for a grander and significant paradigm-shift remains to be seen. No one can deny the time has come for twentieth-century broadcast-television, and especially the low-standards of news and tv-journalism we’re currently dished out, to be revamped. On this count, Yves hits the nail on the head. Read his raison d’etre for launching this project, his motivations for giss.tv.
To say it more simply: I am too sexy for TV.
So don’t talk, just giss….