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New Blinkx site to let users channel surf

Updated video search site will feature "channels" of popular content and a wall of video thumbnail previews.

Blinkx is set to unveil a new version of its video search Web site on Tuesday that offers a more TV-like experience, with "channels" of popular content and the ability to select search results from a wall of video thumbnails that shows previews.

The updated Blinkx site has added channels on the right side of the screen that automatically generate lists of top stories in different categories, such as news, entertainment and sports. Previews of the listed items are automatically played on the left side.

"We're helping people re-create that passive experience they get with television," said Suranga Chandratillake, chief technology officer and co-founder of Blinkx.

When keywords are entered into the search box, a list of results appears on the right side of the screen. Previews of each, about eight seconds long, are played on screens on the left side.

Typing in keywords and clicking on a "wall it" button displays the top 25 results in box of thumbnails, instead of in a list of headlines. Each thumbnail runs a preview of the video.

The "walled" video search results can be embedded into outside Web sites and blogs; the videos are dynamically updated as new content appears.

The updated Blinkx site also includes a playlist feature that lets users drag and drop specific result listings into an area on the screen temporarily. Hitting the "play" button plays the videos consecutively. Users can also e-mail their lists to friends.

Blinkx, which also offers desktop search, uses contextual search technology, rather than keywords like other search engines.