Internet TV is big news, with BBC iPlayer leading the way in online functionality (after a few teething problems). There is also a slew of other applications that enable you to watch free TV on your Mac. We’ve previously reviewed Joost – now it’s the turn of Miro, a combination video-subscription tool and BitTorrent client with built-in media player.
On Windows, Miro fails to impress. Curiously, the Mac version offers users a little more because it has open-source, media-playback kit Perian built in. This toolset of media protocols enables you to view Flash and DivX videos on your desktop – functionality that QuickTime player can’t manage unassisted.
As for the application itself, it’s a brilliant way to browse free TV feeds and video services. Bringing together hundreds of sites with video streams, you’re able to subscribe to them as ‘channels’ (via the magic of RSS). It’s a bit like using a dedicated RSS feed reader, such as Google Reader, for blogs. When new content is available, Miro grabs it for you. The software enables you to create your own channels too, search for video sources and add them. So far, so flexible.
There’s lots of content to choose from because Miro uses open sources, searching video blogs, podcasts, clip sites and TV channel web pages. That includes HDTV feeds too, which Perian playback makes possible. Built-in BitTorrent support is an inviting add-on for downloaders. Though, we have to stress, much of the video content available on BitTorrent servers isn’t strictly legal.
Miro’s slick, good looking and, in IPTV terms, maturing. Perfect for YouTube enthusiasts looking to take the next step. It’s completely free too. Bargain.