Video Search: The new wave in searching the Web: A conversation with Blinkx’s Suranga Chandratillake

Recent major announcements of beta test programs for searching digital media on the Internet have included names of the big search players like Google, Yahoo and MSN Video services. The area of digital media search is a growing opportunity as we see IPTV solutions rolling out over the next few years. The battle lines are being drawn right now in this high-stakes game.
We are starting to see new players in the crowded Internet search space. One is / Blinkx’s innovation is digital audio and video search by making a video search engine that has actually indexed the full content stream.

Suranga Chandratillake, co-founder & CTO of Blinkx, took a few moments to explain all the features and search functions he has built.

DANA GREENLEE: Tell us about

SURANGA CHANDRATILLAKE: is our main Web site. is our newer site that was launched in December. Essentially, Blinkx is all about looking at how you search today, what kind of content you get access to, and how you get access to that content and turning it on its head in various different ways. is the home of our toolbar download which includes conceptual linking, bringing you content based on what you’re doing right now on your computer without you actually having to tighten searches yourself. is really about searching TV, video and radio content on the Web.

GREENLEE: Your search will look at TV networks, cable content and radio networks?

CHANDRATILLAKE: Just go to and type in three to five words to search. We have technology that actually watches video, listens to radio, and automatically, using voice recognition, creates the transcript of what it is people are saying. For instance, it could write the words from a certain TV show, so that in the future, if someone wanted to do a search using words that were in the show, that would actually jump straight to a video clip. The great thing about doing that means we can search all that video that’s out there on the Web that don’t have very good descriptions or have not been transcribed or closed captioned in any way. Also, when you do research, it doesn’t just find the site or a large clip. It will actually jump to the point in that particular video file that’s relevant to what you search for.

GREENLEE: A lot of content providers don’t put metadata in their videos – so this rescues lots of great content.

CHANDRATILLAKE: A lot of people are interested in using the Internet to get at videos they want to watch. A lot of people who own the video content—the movie studios and television studios –would love to use the Internet as a new distribution network for their content. You have the right intent from both sides. The thing that’s been missing is the technology. In the old days, it was much more straightforward—we didn’t have broadband and we had very small hard drives. With all the content out there, how do you find the bit you actually want? Think of all the episodes of The Cosby Show. If you want a particular one, how do you specify that to the computer? Search is the obvious solution but the problem with search is it works on text. At Blinkx, we’re actually listening to understand the video itself.

The full audio interview with Suranga Chandratillake of is available at

Dana Greenlee is co-host/producer of the WebTalkGuys Radio Show, a Tacoma-based nationally syndicated radio and webcast show featuring technology news and interviews.