Tell me about your company?
WorldRelay is a privately-held company based in Austin, Texas, USA. We were founded by Gilbert Amine, Ellis Hill, and Troy Harvey, three entrepreneurs who worked together at Rochelle Communications. Between us, we have over 50 years experience with telecommunications, media, technology and marketing.
What is your mission?
Our mission is to discover, organize, and provide access to live streams ranging from broadcast and Internet radio and TV to cams, radio scanners, and wearable cameras. We believe that apps come in the way of simple access to and interactivity with content. By providing a numeric addressing scheme, we make it easy to access channels that would otherwise require dedicated apps and many navigation steps. Numbers are easy to get to. The telephone network and Internet rely on unique numbers. Why not live streams?
Our long-term vision is to offer interactive services with channels, such as video telephony, telemedicine, and intelligent personal assistants. May be we dream big, but our platform can support these features. Our ultimate goal is the merging of media and telecommunications to provide meaningful new services that enrich people’s lives.
What is the WorldRelay Tuner?
Our Tuner is a free service that provides access to hundreds of microchannels from connected TVs, tablets, and smartphones.
What are Microchannels?
Microchannels are streams and on-demand libraries that are too small to be carried by paid TV providers and too valuable to be splattered all over the Internet and in the maze of apps. Microchannels include such streams as technology channel, a Coptic religious channel, a regional Italian radio station, a cam on the International Space Station, a Chicago Police scanner, or an Independent Film library hosted on Vimeo.
Where do you find these Microchannels?
With our patented technology, we scan the Internet looking for public streams (radio, TV, webcams, police scanners, etc.) – anything that has a server URL and meets certain criteria for quality and format. We assign channel numbers to them and make them accessible from our Tuner. We also support user-generated content from leading streaming companies, such as Vimeo, Ustream, and SHOUTcast.
Do you license these channels?
We tune to public, unencrypted Internet streams just as a radio or TV can tune to radio waves. With very few exceptions (such as FilmBox Arthouse), we do not stream or re-stream content. Our Tuner hyperlinks to URLs used by content providers just as a web browser hyperlinks to pages in the web.
Before we add a new channel, we contact the broadcaster / provider and ask for their permission to feature them on our platform.
Can I suggest a new channel or create my own?
Absolutely! Our website provides an easy way to create a private or public channel. We do not host or stream content, so this needs to get done through a supported third party platform. We recommend Ustream for live video, Vimeo for curated / on-demand channels, and SHOUTcast for Internet radio. We can also take any HLS stream from a Wowza host and MP3 audio.
Private channels are easy to create. They are private, however, meaning that its creator needs to provide its 9-digit code to his/her friends in order to access it. This can be done from our website by adding the channel number to your Favorites.
If a broadcaster requests that a channel be made public and feature it in our directory, we review it to determine if this is content that is appropriate (i.e. would not offend our subscribers, incite violence, etc.) and would be interesting (sorry but a webcam pointed at someone’s cat would probably not qualify).
There is no cost to individuals and non-profit organizations for creating their own WorldRelay channels.
Finally, note that we take copyrights very seriously. Before creating a channel on WorldRelay, please make sure that you have the necessary rights and license to do so. We will promptly take down any channels that infringe on third parties’ intellectual property.
Why do some channels stop streaming or are no longer available?
As noted earlier, we do not stream or re-stream the channels. We simply link to their server, which may be down, so please try it again later. In some cases, the channel provider decided to no longer offer free content and has taken down the channel or started encrypting it.