Recent events in Egypt have proved how powerful the internet can be at getting news out when official channels are blocked. One of the big beneficiaries has been Livestation which has seen downloads rocket over the past week. The main reason is because huge numbers of people have been searching for Al Jazeera’s coverage of the drama unfolding in Egypt which you can watch on the excellent app.
Livestation has official agreements with many other major channels such as the BBC World, CNN and The Discovery Channel meaning that you’re guaranteed high quality programming and images. Even better, you can interact with other users very easily via an online chat function which also gives viewers a chance to rate their favorite channels.
You can add channels by going to the developer website and simply clicking “Add to player” and you’ll find that it’s automatically added to your channel list in Livestation. The presentation of Livestation is superb – you can select channels in a 3D revolving list of logos in much the same way as you do albums in iTunes. The quality of the streams in terms of video and sound is usually first class (although can vary as evidenced above) and expanding it to full screen mode usually retains excellent quality.
The latest version has added several handy new features. Not only have more interesting channels been added – The United Nations TV Channel and UNHCR Channel – but you can now tweet directly from Livestation. Simply add your Twitter username and password and a special screen grab function allows you to post images of what you’re watching at any time. The search function has also been significantly enhanced allowing you to filter results by Premium Partner, Viewer Added and Free Partner.
On the downside, the chat function is still sparsely populated. You might find that many channels simply have no one to chat to. There’s also no way to record programs which I’d like to see in the next release. Mac PPC users are also out of luck as the latest version doesn’t support them.