Update (2nd July): Since this post I have reverted back to using Juice Receiver which although not designed for video has fewer glitches. If anyone knows of a more reliable solution please let me know.
IPTV is about where podcasting was when I started manually downloading podcasts in the summer of 2004 [i.e. in its infancy]. Within only two years podcasting has made a small dent in the nation's listening habits, with high awareness in the high spending demographics that advertisers salivate over. Will IPTV do the same?
Already we have several aggregators; the one I recommend trying is Democracy Player. It is open source and runs on all popular operating systems, but did not work with on my install of Vista Beta 2.
Like iPodder Lemon before it Democracy Player installs with several pre-selected channels, which just like iPodder downloaded large quantities of utter garbage to my hard disk. I suggest deleting the pre-selected channels, clicking on Channel Guide and using the iTunes like interface to select from popular listings. As the following screenshot shows I am trying out ABC news, Ricky Gervis, and TWIT’s h.264 feed:
These are early days for the software and this player does work perfectly as a media server. I view the content from xbmc over a SMB share, which works fairly well but all the media is deposited into one folder with often cryptic file names. Hopefully a future build will create a directory for each feed like Juice Receiver does for podcasts. Finally it is worth noting that Democracy Player uses Bittorrent under the hood so downloads should be fast – there are no custom port settings yet so I have temporarily enabled UPnP on my NAT Router.