SopCast is an app that allows you to watch free online TV channels, and also to broadcast your own. It uses peer to peer (P2P) technology so you don't need huge bandwidths or servers. The beauty of streaming via P2P is that anyone can broadcast anything that they want, making it an incredibly democratic medium. The two previously-cited programs are good examples of the technology in action yet SopCast (so called because 'SoP' is an abbreviation for 'Streaming over P2P') is arguably even better because it allows you to easily broadcast your own channels.
Easy to install
In the latest release of SopCast, there are virtually no noticeable interface changes, so it's still extremely easy to use. On installation, you're asked if you'd like to install the Ask.com search bar, which you can de-select by clicking the check-box. When you run SopCast, you can log in either anonymously or, if you're planning on setting-up your own channel, create your own account using the link at the bottom. When you log into SopCast, click on the Live Channels tabs so you can see the channel listings. The first thing you notice is the number of channels to choose from. There's absolutely everything here from obscure Chinese channels to mainstream offerings like The Discovery Channel (although again, you will find many programs either dubbed or subtitled in Chinese). Some of SopCast's channels are organized, such as by News and Sport but these categories can be unreliable and the lower down you go, simply indecipherable.
Pop-out TV screen
SopCast's channel window will pop out of the side of the player but you can expand this to full screen or export it to Windows Media Player using the vision controls on the panel. This truly separates SopCast from the rest of the P2P TV streaming applications. If you want to use a different media player (such as VLC Player), you can do this by clicking on the Options button at the bottom of the main interface.
Broadcast your own programs
SopCast's major draw though, and the reason why many of its channels look like a garbled mess, is the fact that you can broadcast your own channel on it. Once your program has been filmed, edited and is uploaded on your PC, all you have to do is stream it via SopCast and select a server address to which people can connect and watch
Quality depends on other users
The quality of the broadcast in SopCast will very much depend on the number of people connected (the more users there are, the faster the video will stream). You can even create your own private channel and decide what users can watch it by creating a network group, thus enabling you to run your very own personal TV channel in SopCast.
SopCast might look a bit confusing for the first-time user but, despite the dominance of Chinese channels, it provides a whole new world of TV to watch. What's more, it gives you the chance to start your own channel!
- Fix a bug in MySop that will crash client.
- Fix a bug that H.264 channels have no picture on some old PCs