MEDIA: APTN set to launch web TV channel service for users

APTN - the Associated Press's TV arm - is launching a service that

allows individuals to build their own web TV channel.

APTN is working on the project with Swedish company Kamera, which has

created software to allow users to edit streamed items online. Users

will also be able to add voiceovers, their own branding and their own

pieces to camera. The finished product can then be re-broadcast over the

web without APTN or Kamera branding.

APTN director of content Nigel Baker said the 11 September attacks and

the crisis since meant the company had launched this service early: 'The

staggering take-up on 11 September proved a need for swift access to

video news online,' he said.

APTN head of content development Chris O'Hearn said: 'This is a flexible

system that allows people to create their own web channels or add clips

to their site. The most advanced thing is the ability to edit online -

that is new and opens up possibilities.

'The initial market for this is newspapers, magazines and web portals,

but it has potential for corporate sites and intranets,' he added,

saying that providing video news to non-English websites is another

obvious market.

There are two levels to the system. Users first go to the website to

view and order clips as they come in from the APTN feeds, and are

charged based on how many clips they take.

The company says this puts 'top quality footage from around the world'

within the budget of organisations other than big broadcasters for the

first time.

Users then use the Kamera system to edit the content. It is a software

system but is currently sold with its own desk-top hardware.

The service is being marketed at web portals, and news, business or

entertainment sites that want to run their own web-TV channels.

This market is likely to grow in the coming years as more PC users have

broadband internet connections that allow for viable reception of

video-streaming services.

Such services currently available in the UK include Telewest's Blue

Yonder cable modem service.

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