Video sites are moving towards full-screen, immersive experiences where there are lots of things viewers can do besides hit play. One of the better examples of what is possible comes from a small Isreali startup with two 26-year-old co-founders and no VC funding called Tvinci. The startup’s media management technology powers the social video player for MTV Israel.
If you play a video on MTV.com, you see this MySpace-inspired train wreck:
If you watch a video on MTV Israel, which is in private beta and will launch early next year, you will see something like this:
The video control box can be dragged around the screen anywhere you want it. You can minimize or maximize the video to whatever size you like. You can add comment bubbles, reorder items in your playlist by dragging them around, check out your friends’ playlists, or see other peoples’ playlists who share your taste in music videos. You can preview other videos and channels through a Coverflow-like rotation of thumbnail images overlayed on top of the video you are watching, allowing you to browse while enjoying a video rather than stopping the video to find a new one. The sidebar with your playlist pops out when you need it and hides away when you don’t. When you get bored with your playlist, you can watch your friends’ or find videos by mood (the videos are tag-based, so this could be set up for other categories as well). Of course, you can rate each video or leave comments. There are also chat and RSS feed widgets you can add to the player.
Tvinci also supports video uploading from viewers and video recommendations based on what your friends like. MSN Israel also uses the platform. Hopefully, we’ll see this stateside soon. Co-CEO Ido Wiesenberg hints that he is in talks with major media companies to do just that. He is also working on Facebook and OpenSocial apps so that videos can be shared between social networks and sites like MTV.
Unfortunately, you have to be in Israel to experience this for now because most of the videos are geo-blocked (due to licensing). but TechCrunch readers can try this site that Tvinci set up for us that replicates what can be seen on MTV Israel, without the restricted videos.
Here are some screenshots: