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.
  • 1996-1998Early 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.

Test Projects

  • 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.

Pre-Launch

Since Launch

Page last updated: Sep 2010