Invision.tv's demo, another startup with a similar goal presented: ffwd (pronounced "fast forward"). Like Invision.tv, their web app also offers you a way to browse through internet video from one portal - the site at ffwd.com. However, their take on how this browsing should look and feel is a bit different. Which one will you like better?Directly after
With ffwd, the idea behind the app is to create an online version of a TV remote control. No, it doesn't look like a picture of your remote on the screen, but the way you can click a button to see new channels is reminiscent of the TV channel surfing experience.
At first glance, the site appears to be much more "Web 2.0-ish" than their competitor, Invision, but I've heard others who think Invision had the better app. But where Invision.tv's site can seem a bit busy, ffwd's is simple and easy to use. It doesn't look like you would need to read any "getting started" instructions to start using ffwd.
A Personalized Channel on ffwd
On ffwd, there are tons of channels to choose from. Some may be dedicated to your interests (music, celebs, sci-fi, travel, etc.). Others may be web shows you enjoy (Ask A Ninja, Onion News, Boing Boing TV). There are even channels dedicated to TV shows you like, and like Invision, support for Hulu means you have access to viewing full episodes here.
ffwd TV Show Channel
However, where ffwd differs from Invision is in its recommendation engine. Although both use their own proprietary algorithms to learn what sort of content you like, ffwd lets you kick start your recommendations thanks to FriendFeed integration. After syncing the service with FriendFeed, you can help customize channels by pulling in data from iLike, Twitter, LinkedIn, and your Netflix queue. Why they won't just parse all of the data in your FriendFeed is unknown, but perhaps they'll support a few more services later on. For example, it seems only natural that grabbing your Last.fm likes from FriendFeed would make sense. Then ffwd could help you find relevant music videos based on those artists.
Still, even partial FriendFeed integration kicks it up another notch above Invision.tv, and since it appears that they support most of the same channels that Invision does, it may come down to personal preference. I found that I prefer ffwd, but I'm curious what you think.