Public broadcasters testing YouTube-like system

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The united Dutch public broadcasters are considering introducing a YouTube like system for posting videos of shows according to Webwereld (Dutch), and have a test version of the system online.

The current version of Uitzending Gemist (Missed a programme?) uses WMV clips, which aren’t as accessible as Flash Video. Apart from introducing Flash video, the new system will allow you to embed Dutch shows in your blog and elsewhere on the Web, and will let visitors comment on shows. Pretty much the things Youtube allows you to do.

Webwereld quotes NPO (part of NOS) manager William Valkenburg as saying: “For now we’ll be testing the player with a limited number of shows to see what people will do with it and what functions they will use. After that we will consider the nature of further deployment.”

The Dutch public broadcasting system was originally set up for radio in the early 20th century in a way that allowed the Catholics, Protestants, socialists, and so on to set up their own broadcasting corporations. Fees were collected directly from citizens and distributed among the broadcasters depending on membership ratios. An umbrella corporation called NOS was founded to share costs and to broadcast programmes of a general nature. As recent as the late 1980s, commercial stations started pirate broadcasts from Luxembourg, and in 1992 these were legalised, making it possible for commercial entities to broadcast from within the Netherlands itself.

This week minister Plasterk was asked questions in parliament why NOS uses a proprietary Microsoft system for broadcasting EURO2008 over the Internet, locking out GNU/Linux users in the process.

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