A new web-based application called Clicker.tv will connect you to a database of 650,000 online TV episodes, and it will do so with an interface viewable from 10 feet away and workable with a remote control — the same experience you’d have with software that runs on a set-top box.
Clicker is a search engine and database for people who want to watch television online; it indexes professionally produced content from Hulu, network TV show video sites, Netflix, YouTube and numerous other sources, then arranges them with tags, categories, playlists and other sorting mechanisms.
The site’s existing interface is designed for mouse-and-keyboard users on a laptop or desktop computer, but Clicker.tv serves all the same content and features in an interface that’s easily usable on your living room TV. Here’s what’s really special about this, though: It’s entirely web-based, so it will work on devices that have web browsers with HTML5 support.
While some videos will play inside of Clicker.tv’s main interface (YouTube content, for example), you’ll sometimes be sent outside the Clicker website to watch. You can press one button to get back where you were, though, and Clicker CEO Jim Lazone says the at some point the team plans to add a toolbar that will stick around when you navigate away.
When we asked what this means for Clicker’s plans to launch native apps (as it already has on Boxee and Popbox), Lanzone confirmed that launching this new application doesn’t mean the company won’t offer native software solutions when needed for certain devices, but he said “more devices moved towards the open web instead of the artificial portals.” He also noted that Clicker.tv’s advantage is that it’s not artificially constrained to the features or interface of any given device.
Granted, some content won’t play on some devices; Hulu needs Adobe Flash to work, for example, so you won’t be able to watch Hulu videos if your device doesn’t support it. Regional restrictions also apply, of course. But the strategy of using a universal platform like HTML5 to offer Clicker’s features on as many devices as possible makes a lot of sense in a space that has few agreed-upon standards. Clicker has already taken a stab at curating only content supported by a specific device, too.