Broadband's growing up fast, but like a teenager, it sometimes behaves in unexpected ways - and it still isn't quite sure what it wants to be when it grows up. But the rapid deployment of cable modems, DSL, and other forms of high-speed connection means that maturity is coming soon for broadband entertainment. Here's a look at some of the sites offering a version of Net TV, spots vying for your eyeballs today and, more important, tomorrow.
From Vancouver, B.C., this anything-goes site falls somewhere between public-access vaudeville and a cable news channel. It streams audio and video throughout the day, on topics ranging from world events to sales techniques. Strangest Host Award: Frank Ogden, aka Dr. Tomorrow, a sci-fi minion who uploads his Art Bell-style show from his floating houseboat.
This giant destination pumps out fat multimedia festivities, including The God & Devil Show, which is a Net-only animation series created in the spirit of South Park, an episodic Kiss rock opera, and vintage Looney Tunes shorts.
Lots of video here, and it looks good. Not all of it is original, of course: The site definitely goes for familiarity over discovery. You'll get documentaries about Arnold Schwarzeneggar, rap videos from Death Row Records, and promotional tie-ins with high-profile films such as Gladiator and Road Trip.
A multichannel site that encourages viewers to submit stories. If the site's producers like yours, they'll help you make a video to stream from the site. With channels catering to interests from extreme sports (Freefall) to pets (Planet Pets), Camera Planet may appeal to a broad band of viewers.