Creating TV channels via the Internet

The task of creating a television channel and setting its schedule is evolving thanks to diverse technological advances, specially the Internet. Activities that require expensive resources, such as channel master control, can be carried out today with equipment available to anyone as Internet access, personal computers, smartphones, webcams and video repositories.The low cost of both Internet access and computers make it possible for virtually any person or group to get or produce all the contents they need to create a television channel. Furthermore, platforms like YouTube, with easily accessible and usable APIs, let people without technical skills to work with their vast amount of videos. Those platforms allow not only to store user videos, but also to access contents from many sources.

Another important issue is the possibility to broadcast live content. Here streaming technology becomes very important. To broadcast live audiovisual material we just need a webcam, a video camera with those capabilities, or a smartphone. Even if the contents are obtained with those simple devices, the quality of the emission is not necessarily low, due to the high resolution of low cost cameras. There are different web platforms to generate simple TV channels, like Livestream or Freedocast, which allow pre-recorded contents to coexist with live ones, fully integrated with social networks.

All these technologies make possible the creation of television channels via the Internet, as well as setting accurate programming schedules and publishing them automatically via electronic methods, such as web pages or calendar tools. Automating those tasks simplifies sharing the programming schedule and, thus, audience access. Moreover, although channel emission via the Internet often relies on flash players (or HTML5 from now on), there are other alternatives. The key aspect is the generation of the programming schedule, which, if exported in the correct format, is compatible with different methods of emission.

Gradiant also works in this field. It possesses a prototype for the creation of TV channels via the Internet. This tool allows not only to set the program schedule of the channel, but also to create a hierarchy tree of programming permissions that permits to establish the channel broadcast in a collaborative and distributed fashion, involving the different producers of the channel.