|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (March 2012)|
|Developer(s)||Skinkers Ltd., Microsoft Research, Livestation Ltd|
|Platform||Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Linux, iPhone|
|Available in||English, Arabic (partially)|
Livestation is a platform for distributing live television and radio broadcasts over a data network. It was originally developed by Skinkers Ltd and is now an independent company called Livestation Ltd. The service was originally based on peer-to-peer technology acquired from Microsoft Research. Between mid-June 2013 and mid-July Livestation was unavailable to some subscribers due to technical issues.
Livestation aggregates international news channels online and offers them in a number of ways:
- Free to watch: a number of channels can be watched for free on the Livestation website or on their desktop player, a freely downloadable video application that presents all the channels through one interface.
- Premium service: some of the free channels are also available on a subscription basis both in higher quality (800kbit/s) and in lower (256kbit/s) delivered via an international content distribution network for higher reliability. Some channels due to join the plaftform shortly will ONLY be available on a subscription basis.
- Mobile: Livestation has launched BBC World News on the iPhone in 16 European countries and Al Jazeera English globally. The apps are available in the iPhone AppStore and stream the live TV channel 24/7 on both Wi-Fi and 3G connections.
Livestation broadcast streams encoded in VC-1 format (Livestation is not currently using peer-to-peer). Playback controls are overlaid on top of the video stream. Unlike services such as Joost which offer video on demand channels, Livestation streams live broadcasts.
Current live TV news channels in the global offering (which comes with a default installation) include:
- ABS-CBN News Channel
- Al Aan TV
- Al Mayadeen
- Al Nabaa TV
- BBC Arabic
- BBC Persian
- BBC World News - Unavailable in UK, USA and Japan
- BBC World Service Radio
- CNBC Arabiya
- Bloomberg TV
- CCTV News
- CNC World
- CNN International - Unavailable in USA
- Deutsche Welle TV and radio in English, German and Spanish
- Euronews in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish
- Espreso TV
- France24 in English, French, and Arabic
- Libya TV
- NASA TV on app.
- Press TV
- RFI Afrique and Monde. Otherwise, reception is limited through GeoIP filtering, and depends on the location of the receiver. Despite advertisement boasting Deutsche Welle TV, this channel is not available in some locations, including but not limited to the United States. Livestation viewers can add channels from a directory, and may add their own choice of channels to the directory (limited to Windows Media streams).
- Russia Today in English, Arabic and Spanish
- SAMAA TV
- Sky News Arabia
- Sky News International
- VOA Persian
Livestation provides a website, mobile website and native applications for iOS, Android, Nokia and Blackberry handsets. Early models of Samsung TV are also supported. They also provide desktop software which is currently available for Windows, Mac (including PowerPC) and Linux. The cross-platform compatibility of the desktop software is facilitated by the Qt framework. Social networking features have been added that include the ability to chat with other viewers and also find out what others are watching through a user generated rating system. You can search and select the available channels either from the website, or from within the software.
In the first quarter of 2011 by 1047 percent, resulting in the first profitable quarter in its history.
Between mid-June and mid-July 2013, Livestation suffered a prolonged series of technical issues and was unavailable to some users.
In early 2015, Livestation re-branded their entire site changing what channels were offered and bringing in an interactive feature. Some stations on the app are not on the mainsite and vice versa.
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- "iPhone alpha in testing now". Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- "Live television and radio". Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- "Scalable High Quality Solution". Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- "Livestation demonstration". Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- The Livestation revolution. Livestation Blog. 11 April 2011. Retrieved on 21 April 2011.