Blip.tv is a video sharing site for independent work. It contains advice and tools for budding TV and film makers.
The site has hosts more than 48,000 independently produced shows and has distributed more than 2.4 million episodes from these. Broadcasts are both over the net and on TV. Blip.tv has an audience of over 22 million online viewers.
What is the general quality of video images here? Are some videos unwatchable or are some almost High Definition? We let you know what to expect….
Some of the material on this site is produced by students or independent film makers. Other clips are from keen amateurs and enthusiastic school boys.
Some videos we viewed were ultra professional, quirky, interesting, funny and extremely impressive. Some had wonderful visuals but iffy sound. At the other end of the scale, one of the videos we viewed was decidedly blurry and shaky in parts and consisted of logs floating down a fast flowing river. Hardly riveting stuff! I guess you need to wade through to find the gems on this site.
Overall the quality ranged from the impressive through to something your grandmother could improve upon.
How easy is it to navigate around the site? We tried and tested it out and graded..
You can browse by episodes and shows; search by genre or tag and check out the most recent, random or popular content. Sounds good but the navigation was
extremely slow during our visit. Another annoyance is that once you (finally) land on the search results there is no option for sub-category searching. So, for example, if you search on ‘sports’ you can’t then filter out just the soccer clips.
Compared to sites such as Metacafe, this one is well below par.
What video sharing options does this site offer? Can I share videos, embed videos, download or make comments here?.
Independent film makers have the opportunity to share their creative work on this video sharing site and audience can turn these into cult viewings, creating an online stir and raising the profile of film makers. Viewers can subscribe to favorite shows and receive all new episodes. No need of video search everytime.
Videos can be emailed and embedded. There is also the facility to rate videos.
Twice during our visit the links we tried were ‘invalid’ so the site appears to have a few technical glitches. We also found the site’s navigation to be unsophisticated and inadequate for the job in hand – making the process of locating specific videos or themes slower than necessary.
Is this site invaded by commercials? We watched a range of videos and evaluated how many annoying adverts popped up before we could view what we wanted… .
Blip.tv boasts household name advertisers with whom they share revenues 50/50 with show creators. Adverts can be placed before, during or after a video is played. Great for the creator but not so great for viewers – some adverts appeared at the bottom of the video and proved to be a distraction.
Why is it different to other video sharing sites? We graded on originality and innovation..
Blip.tv says that “helps create a virtuous cycle that benefits show creators, distribution partners and advertisers.”
This says it all really - the whole video sharing site seems geared towards those creating rather than to the audience.
Whilst its mission to encourage and broadcast independent films may be worthy, its implementation is certainly not focused towards site visitors – the slow and underwhelming navigation plus the overly commercialized videos all detract from the user experience.
If these guys want to innovate then they need to do so from both sides of the coin.