As we wrote in reviews for PPLive and TVU Player, television via streaming P2P is part of the future of broadcasting. The two previously cited programs are good examples of the technology yet in Sopcast they might have found a more than worthy competitor. This streaming P2P television application offers a wide choice of channels in a very sleek looking interface, whilst letting you broadcast your very own TV program over the Internet.
Sopcast’s interface is easy enough for any type of user. You can register yourself on Sopcast, a prerequisite if you want to broadcast your program but if you just want to view TV, you can log in as an anonymous user. We found that Sopcast probably offers the widest choice of channels of all P2P TV streaming applications, and organizes them via categories like sports, news or gospel tv. To view a channel all you have to do is double click the one you want and it will open a Windows Media Player side window. This truly separates Sopcast from the rest of the P2P TV streaming applications. By playing the channels in Window Media Player it allows you to set the size of the screen, adjust sound levels, keep a history of channels viewed…basically everything you can do with the famous media player. Furthermore, Sopcast is the only P2P streaming TV application we encountered that allows you to configure settings like port selection (extremely useful to maximize the use of your bandwidth and get better quality playback) or select among 12 different languages.
Another of Sopcast’s major innovations is broadcasting your own TV program over the Internet. If you would like to produce a TV show, Sopcast gives you the chance to reach a very wide audience of Internet users. Once your program has been filmed, edited and is uploaded on your PC, all you have to do is stream it via Sopcast and select a server address to which people can connect and watch. The quality of the broadcast will very much depend on the number of people connected (the more users there are, the faster the video will stream). You can also create your own private channel and decide what users can watch it by creating a network group. Imagine having your very own broadcast just for you and your friends!
Sopcast is an excellent application that allows P2P streaming television to keep improving. Although the program tends to crash every now and then, Sopcast is fairly intuitive, offers a very wide choice of channels and uses Windows Media Player well. In addition it is the first program of its kind that allows you to broadcast your own channel over the web. Give it a try, you might just shelve your TV for good.