WorldTV goes HD, looks to a future of apps overlaying trad TV

WorldTV, which funnels the world of web video as a TV-like experience, has gone High-Definition, adding full support for YouTube HD videos. The feature allows users to set the quality for how they would like YouTube videos to be played and scales the video to the highest quality available.

On WorldTV the idea is that you create you own channel of preferred web videos, eventually coming up with something that feels more like linear TV. So far there have been 225,000 channels created on WorldTV from users in 200 countries. Interestingly the site is biggest in Brazil.

WorldTV users use the site’s chanel editing tools to incorporate clips from YouTube, live video, and 25 other sites, like an iPhoto of videos. Every playlist creates a channel which is then embeddable. The end game will be a WorldTV app which turns your TV into Internet video TV.

The site now supports over 25 different video sites inclusing The Onion, Reuters, College Humour, Vimeo and you can add live streams from any Ustream stream, Justin TV and also Qik. Users can also embed channels in Facebook and then start streaming from Qik into Facebook.

Ireland-based WorldTV has been going since January 2007 and has bootstrapped on ‘friends and family’ investment. The holding company is Affinity Media which has built a web publishing business on the side which encompasses casual games and sports news websites which claim 3+ million unique users a month and 30 million page impressions.

That makes them a significant medium sized web publishing business within the UK online advertising industry. CEO Alx Klive says this cash flow positive, debt free business has thus fueled WorldTV which they think will come good as apps and the Internet start to overlay traditional TV.

The next stage is to take WorldTV out of Beta by the end of the year, ‘professionalizing’ the look and feel, but the long term goal is to provide a complete platform for operating a TV channel on TV. Initiatives like Yahoo! ConnectedTV, Google TV and Boxee are all heading to that future.

WorldTV is currently exploring joint ventures with set top box manufacturers, over-the-top systems (e.g. Boxee) and connected TV platforms like Yahoo! to try and enter the TV set.

Here’s the screencast video of their new features: