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First Look At NDTV Play Desktop TV App; Why Silverlight?

They’ve launched a Blackberry App (who hasn’t?), but more interestingly, NDTV Convergence yesterday (last night, we’re told), launched NDTV Play, a desktop application. Why NDTV would go down the Silverlight route is beyond me; don’t people at NDTV Convergence read tech blogs? Microsoft is favoring HTML5 over Silverlight (read a great roundup of the confused situation at Ars Technica). Or maybe it’s just the deal for NDTV Play was inked 10 months ago (which is how long it took to deploy), and who knew things could change this fast in the digital era.

I quite like the application because:

– It has multiple playlists, which allow you to save favorite videos. One can login using Google, Facebook, Yahoo or Twitter to create playlists, and NDTV doesn’t have its own sign-in, or a Windows Live login integration.

– You can browse specific shows: for example, I don’t really visit Tubaah to watch All About Ads, but this app has less clutter, and is more friendly towards viewing than interacting. Works for someone like me who needs a break from the interactive space every now and then. You can also browse content from across the NDTV network, by category (Entertainment, News, Business, Prime Shows, Exclusive, Environment, Sports, Featured)

– You can schedule shows for viewing back to back, and this is something I might do when there’s nothing to watch on TV.

– You can share (facebook, Twitter, email) playlists and videos

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– It tracks tags for the videos you view, detects patterns, and then  suggests videos that you might like to view. Apart from this, it allows discovery of new content , by showcasing most viewed, most commented, most liked.

Unless you don’t have TV at home, I don’t really see much use of the live streaming, and one drawback of the application is that it has just NDTV content. I’d prefer that there be an aggregator of such content across channels, for it to be an alternative to TV. Frankly, there’s no telling if anyone will really install desktop apps for viewing web content, but for NDTV, the chances of their content being viewed by those who have installed the app, increases. In which case, more video ads get served.

This app also reminds me of another app we’d reviewed earlier, built on Adobe Air – Shufflr.

A note for NTDV: the integration of top headlines at the bottom is a great idea, but the headlines don’t link to the specific story, but to the NDTV.com homepage.

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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