I'd been hearing a lot about Ustream.tv's Ustream Viewing Application and decided to try it out on one of the must-see events in U.S. history, President's Barrack Obama's inauguration. After 30 minutes or so, I went back to watching the festivities on my desktop via my Slingbox.
Ustream's app plays live and recorded video. It also features an interactive chat mode. You can choose to watch top live videos, featured videos and all live videos. You can also see what videos are upcoming and videos stored in the archives, where you can choose between featured and most viewed.
When I launched the Ustream Viewing Application in the morning, about 10 EST, there were about 2,500 people viewing the start of the inauguration. The video from CNN streamed about as fast as streaming video ever loads over Wi-Fi. Once it got going, however, the video sputtered, stuttered and stopped quite a bit. In the evening, about 10 EST with 25,000 people watching the inaugural balls and such, the video gasped and died regularly (no surprise, given the circumstances).
This morning and early afternoon, with the traffic down to next to nothing, some videos, such as one of a soccer game; what appeared to be a Webcast sponsored by Sun; and several others never loaded at all. I checked out the "most watched video" in the archive (146,018 views) entitled "her bed" to see a dog captured by Web cam.
About 15 minutes later, I was able to connect to all the videos I selected. The top live videos at 1:35 EST in the afternoon were SoccerHD09, LGSports, Radio Paradise, c5n and Chris Prillio Live (who must have since died because he wasn't on screen). Those topics should give you an idea of just how worthwhile the content is via Ustream. The chat conversations I read had little to do with the video on screen.
Good thing Ustream is free or I'd be yelling for my money back.