The UKs own internet TV production company, from Wil Harris and Justin Gayner, is now rolling out shows. ChannelFlip currently offers three shows, in "beta", covering gaming, DVDs/movies and technology/gadgets/computing. I've watched them all, so here's what I'm thinking...
About ChannelFlipChannelFlip resides in Oxford, producing shows aimed at 18-35 year old men. The idea of their shows is to have short episodes, around 5 minutes, which are great for quick entertainment while on the go. It's early days, with three shows and a staff of four, but the content they have on offer is pretty good. More on that in a moment, but first I would like to address the site. Personally, I am not too fond of the design. It's nice that each show's site layout is consistent, matching the network's home site, but I feel that it could be a bit more aesthetically pleasing. However, I like the logo and it is early days, so things could change!
At the time of posting, four episodes of each show are up for viewing. You can subscribe to the various RSS feeds so you don't miss an episode, with a few different formats to suit your preference. All the shows have a star rating system for whatever it is they are discussing, 1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest.
Play:DigitalChannelFlip's gaming show, presented by Katharine Fletcher who is described as a "comic book maven, Dungeons & Dragons afficionado and bona fide videogame geek". Katharine reviews a game each episodes, playing clips of each as she gives her opinion, and so far she has covered Sonic Rush Adventure, John Wooâ€™s Stranglehold, Marathon: Durandal and Sega Rally, and I have to say she knows her stuff. She speaks clearly and covers pretty much everything you want to hear about the game before considering a purchase.
Out of the three shows, Play:Digital has my favourite set with it's gaming memorabilia that looks like something out my dream gaming room. If you need a good gaming fix, Play:Digital is an excellent show that is definately worth watching.
DiscusJustin Gayner hosts this DVD review show, giving a synopsis followed by a short clip and his view on the overall movie. Justin also comments on the special features included, and a extra treat (no pun intended) of snack reviews at the end. Hey, movies are long right? We all need something to nibble! I actually had no clue about Will Ferrel's "Stranger than Fiction" until I watched the episode covering it. Justin's review assured me that it was good movie to check out, with his clever use of words that describes what to expect very clearly and thoroughly.
Other DVDs reviewed so far are The Lives of Others, The Chumscrubber and Factory Girl.
The snack bit is an entertaining extra, giving you an idea what to pick up (or what not to) when you go to get the featured DVD. The set is simple, Justin chills on a couch with some movie posters on the wall behind him, his little snack bowl sitting on the side. If you want an interesting take on movies, even if it's just an idea of what to rent for the weekend, Discus is the show for you.
UnwiredAn excellent gadget, computing and general technology show, hosted by Wil Harris. Wil provides very balanced reviews, pointing out the pros and cons of each product, with clips of key features. So far, Wil has reviewed the Nike+iPod Sports Kit, iPhone (note: smug bugger ;) ), Casio Exilim S770 digital camera and Shure SE420 earphones. The reviews are delivered well, though I find some of the pauses to be a little long (long enough to be noticed). However, Wil gives a great show with all the information you need to decide if the product is for you.
Unwired has my favourite intro animation, very well made. The set is a little dull, and while the pictures are nice I think they could be replaced with something a little more techy. Most of his episodes have been shot outside though, so I wouldn't worry about the set too much. Overall, Unwired should definately become one of your sources for gadget and computing reviews.
Thoughts for the FutureI can't wait to see what ChannelFlip brings out in the future, but here's a few topics I would like to see covered:
- Web/Tech News - The format used in Webbalert would be perfect for ChannelFlip. Maybe a bi-weekly show providing a run through and commentary on tech news.
- DIY Tips - With the 18-35 male target audience, a DIY tip show would be a great addition. Give some ideas on what little jobs you could be doing round the house.
- Food - I love food, it would be great to see a take on places to eat out, or even meal ideas. Add in an extra on beer/wine and you have yourself a good show concept.
- Music - An album review show would be a nice addition, particularly if it featured less known artists.