Bootstrapping the CNN of tech: the story of TWiT

Many still view TWiT as a podcast network, but Leo Laporte and his CEO Lisa Kentzell have big ambitions for live video streaming. The duo gave us a tour of their new studio and talked about the virtues of bootstrapping and their plans for TWiT.

Watch Out, Ustream & Co: YouTube Starts Live Streaming

Live streaming has finally reached YouTube, if only for a test: The Google-owned, video-sharing site is going to enable four of its partners to stream live shows. YouTube is only testing these live streams for two days, but the site clearly has bigger plans.

Facebook Launches Live Video Channel

Facebook is expanding its video capabilities and creating a new live video channel to connect with its users. Beginning today, the social media startup plans to use Facebook Live to keep users informed about new product features, giving them a deeper look into the social network.

Watching the Tiger Woods Apology Live

This morning Tiger Woods made his first public statement in months, holding a press conference at the PGA Tour Headquarters to respond to criticism from the media since his history of infidelity became public. But I wasn’t interested in the content of Tiger’s apology, so much as I wanted to see how the different online video streams fared during the press conference. So how did they rate?

It appears all the live video streams came from the same feed, but there were some differences in encoding quality and lag between them. YouTube’s live stream at CitizenTube had the clearest and highest-quality video in my experience, transmitting at 720p. But YouTube’s video seemed a half-second behind the other live streaming players from Hulu, Ustream, and Livestream. YouTube did have a fast startup when launched, however, compared to some of the other streams. The AP Live feed from Livestream seemed to have the slowest startup time, but once the video started it was in line with Hulu and others.

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Conviva Raises $20M for Live Video

Tuning into live online video is often an exercise in frustration. So even though Conviva is being somewhat secretive about what it’s doing, I’m inclined to give the startup — which simply says it’s building a live video platform — a pass for the time being, in the hopes it will some day prevent me from tearing my hair out. Conviva is announcing today it has raised $20 million in second round funding. The investment came from UV Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Foundation Capital, and brings Conviva’s total funding to $29 million since being founded in November 2006.

Time for a Web 2.0 Vulture Fund?

As the current Web 2.0 cycle runs out of steam, we’re going to see the startup equivalent of a brownout. I think there is a real money-making opportunity here, perhaps in the form of a Web 2.0 Vulture Fund — an aggregation of startups with decent technologies that have otherwise failed to get themselves off the ground. Continue Reading