WorldTV has a history which stretches back 15 years to a winter’s evening in Toronto.
The Early Days
- December 1995 – Our founder first experiences live streaming media over the Internet. While living in Toronto he tunes in to a Virgin radio broadcast from England using an early version of Real Player.
- “The Epiphany” – If audio can be streamed over the Internet, so too can video. “The only thing standing in the way is bandwidth and computer processing power – two problems guaranteed to be solved by the biggest players in the industry”. Our Founder envisages a future where the Internet becomes akin to a global cable TV network, with few barriers to entry and no geographical boundaries. He registers the domain name WorldTV.com with a vision to one day create a global network of amateur video enthusiasts creating content from all corners of the globe.
- 1996-1998 – Early versions of the WorldTV website feature links to streaming media sites, a mini-site for the Millennium Video Project (later to become the Millennium Photo Project), signup forms, test broadcasts, a Bluffer’s Guide to Video Journalism, and a mission statement about the future direction of WorldTV.
- August 1998 – Our Founder writes a business plan for WorldTV – ‘A New Era in Television’ and begins talking to potential investors, grant bodies and funding agencies. He raises $5 million in venture funding but decides not to proceed with looming problems in the financial markets ahead. He turns down the money while other high profile startups like Pop.com and DEN fail spectacularly and burn through millions of their investors cash.
- 1999-2001 – Alx launches a self-funded experimental project “to test the systems and theories for WorldTV” using a similar medium – photography. The goal is to test a model he calls “Community Enterprise” (similar to what is now Crowd Sourcing). The Millennium Photo Project launches to document the entire World on the night of the Millennium through the contributions of thousands of amateur photographers worldwide. The project is organized entirely via the Internet, and more than 5000 photographers in 117 countries sign up to participate. More than a quarter-of-a-million photos are taken by the community over a 24 hour period on New Year’s Eve 1999. The best 500 of these being made into a book called “Dawn of the 21st Century“. Each photographer is mailed a free copy of the book, no matter where they are in the World. For most participants it is their first time being published in a book. The project is widely reported on the likes of CNN, BBC, ABC World News Now, CBS, FOX, NBC and in hundreds of other radio, TV, magazine and newspapers worldwide. The site is translated by volunteers into 8 languages and the book is published and promoted using a community effort that extends right across the globe. Participants use press release templates and PR tutorials provided on the site to mount publicity campaigns in their local areas. To this day the Millennium Photo Project represents the largest photojournalism project in history and an incredible example of people power.
- 2002-2004 – WorldTV continues to attract curious users to its website which now features an enigmatic homepage featuring an ‘Easter Egg’ allowing more intrigued (and observant) users to register their e-mail address. The site continues to host a variety of experimental projects and content on the site. Alx continues to refine his original idea as broadband penetration takes off.
- 2005 – The new era of WorldTV launches with the WorldTV Blog
- June 2006 – Launch of the Internet TV Charts. Features in the Wall Street Journal and Lifehacker.
- October 2006 – Alx teams up with old friend Ashley Balchin and the two begin active development on what will shortly become WorldTV’s next generation web video service
- March 2007 – Early demo of Editor interface shown to key figures at Video on the Net in San Jose
- April/May/June 2007 – Early alpha’s and beta’s are reviewed positively by key bloggers including Profy.com, WebTV Wire and Techcrunch
- Sept 2007 – Public beta in final development
- Nov 14th 2007 – WorldTV launches in public beta at the NewTeeVee Live Conference in San Francisco. A launch video accompanies the announcement.
- Dec 5th 2007 – WorldTV hosts its launch party in London, England
- January 2008 – Statistics feature added
- April 2008 – Live broadcasting from a mobile phone feature is added
- July 2008 – New embeddable player is tested and featured on Techcrunch
- August 2008 – Embeddable player launched / WorldTV hits 50,000 channels!
- September 2008 – Selected for and participated in the UK Govt. Trade Mission to New York (the same week as the collapse of Lehman Brothers <- mad week)
- December 2008 – EPG feature launched
- January 2009 – WorldTV covers the Inauguration of Barack Obama with its Guide to Online Viewing of Barack Obama and the light hearted ObamaTV
- February 2009 – A novel link up with Facebook to power ZoomTV’s coverage of the Oscars / WorldTV Twitter client is launched
- March 2009 – WorldTV provides the only live streaming of a surprise U2 Gig
- April 2009 – Our first outside broadcast from the roof of the Park Lane Hilton. ReadÂ all about it and how it was done
- May 2009 – Our second outside broadcast featuring multiple live mobile phone videographers from the Toronto Freedom Festival
- June 2009 – Video discovery bookmarklet feature is launched
- July 2009 – Our Set Top Box Project launches
- September 2009 – Live streaming coverage of Burning Man
- January 2010 – Google WAVE style collaborative features added to the WorldTV Editor
- Feb 2010 – Revamped World Page and other updates
- May 2010 - Twitter and Facebook sharing features added
- August 2010 – WorldTV goes HD
Page last updated: Sep 2010