Puffer, a research project from Stanford University’s computer science department, allows anyone in the US to stream six San Francisco TV stations for free. The stations include the four major broadcast networks, PBS and Univision.
Puffer’s feed is limited to 500 participants at a time, so we’d suggest signing up now at puffer.stanford.edu if you’d like to participate.
Puffer works only on Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge browsers, whether on computers or Android devices. And you’ll need to stream, but not necessarily watch, Puffer for several hours a week. That will allow the researchers to monitor enough usage in their mission to develop improved video-streaming algorithms.
We’ve been using Puffer for a few days and can report a crystal-clear picture, and the ability to change channels instantly without buffering. An added benefit, since we’re on the East Coast: being able to watch network shows (and syndicated shows like Jeopardy) on their west coast feeds three hours later than usual!
The Puffer project is expected to last six to nine months.
For more, visit Puffer’s FAQ page.
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