TVTonic is billing itself as "The Internet Channel". There are plenty of companies muscling into that market currently (the Amazon/TiVO partnership being the latest example), but TVTonic seems more focused on being a subscription service for video podcasts. Essentially they are trying to become a TV station for user-generated or 'amateur' content (and a bit of professional content); as opposed to the Apples and Amazons of this world, who want to put professional video content online.
TVTonic is also positioning itself closely with the new Media Center capabilities of Windows Vista PCs, which I think is a very smart move. There are lots of consumers, and I have to admit I'm one of them, who haven't yet gotten to grips with subscribing to Internet TV shows. TVTonic wants to make it easy for you to subscribe to video content on the Web. Note that the app runs inside an Internet Explorer Web Browser (no other browsers are supported).
Image credit: WebTVHub
So what specifically is TVTonic? Essentially it is aggregating content from across the Web into television-like channels. It says it has 300 channels and examples are the Diggnation video podcasts (part of the TechTonic channel) and RocketBoom. They also have "exclusive" video channels such as Looney Tunes. TVTonic's aim is to help take those kinds of Internet video shows from the home office into the living room. What's more, TVTonic can be navigated with a remote - from the user's couch - either via their Media Center PC or Xbox 360 console.
Video content can play "up to HD-quality", and promises not to freeze up with buffering and rendering. You can either watch the videos online or offline. But of course you need to have plenty of space in your hard drive, and a decent broadband plan, to utilize TVTonic properly.
What I like about TVTonic is that it makes video podcasts on the Web more accessible to normal people - which is not only good for the users, but gives video podcast shows like Rocketboom a better chance for success. TVTonic can take any RSS 2.0 video feed from the web and put it into its channels. And although I'm still in set-up mode with it on my PC, this review by WebTVHub says that the UI is indeed as simple and easy to use as promised.
Let us know of any other Internet video subscription service you're aware of, but for now TVTonic looks to be a great choice (especially for Vista users) for those of us wanting to explore Internet TV more.