Launching in private beta today and founded by Casey Pugh, part of the original Vimeo team and Know Your Meme co-founder Jamie Wilkinson is VHX.tv, a site that aims to “combine the best parts of the TV experience with the best of the web.” But wait, haven’t we heard this like a bajillion times?
Right away there’s something different about VHX as a video-sharing experience, namely that when you hit the service after initially registering and following other users, the videos in your VHX dashboard start playing right away, almost like you’ve turned on the social video TV.
The site, which runs in Flash, is admittedly quite slow to load, but once it does the experience of watching videos in your dashboard stream (what your friends have decided to share), in your queue (what you have flagged to watch later) or in your history is pretty much the closest I’ve come to a non-fragmented experience on the web. This is great if you want to watch online video while folding clothes or cooking or doing exercise, and don’t want to click around aimlessly for the next distraction.
VHX also lets you download a bookmarklet that lets you share or queue up videos from around the web, and the VHX browser extension tracks what videos you’ve watched on other sites, adding them to your history. You can share directly to Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and Tumblr from within the app, linking to the original video. And while VHX currently only supports Vimeo and YouTube, Wilkinson tells me he wants to add other formats soon, essentially becoming a video dashboard for the entire web.
Working in the online video space is a hard row to hoe, especially when you stand in the shadows of YouTube, Vimeo and Boxee, and audience success is not necessarily matched by a viable business model. “Online video consumption is not a simple problem to solve. Everyone distributes video differently and we’re here to smooth out these inconsistencies for the end-user. We’ve been working in online video for years, have great relationships with all the players,” Wilkinson acknowleged.
VHX is working on more-in depth features that would turn the service into “your own personal Internet TV Station” where users would be able to create video playlists to share on VHX or embed on their own blogs. Wilkinson eventually wants to give the user the ability to edit the videos themselves. The team also has native iPhone and iPad apps in development, as well as a Boxee app for those not content with watching videos on a computer screen.
The first hundred TechCrunch readers can get early access to the VHX beta here.
VHX lets independent video-makers sell their work online, from their own websites, direct-to-fans and restriction-free. Our mission is to provide the tools for the creative class to break out of the traditional TV and film systems. For more, see http://vhx.tv