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ScreenX TV: First Impressions

ScreenX TV is a tool for broadcasting your terminal in real time. The project is open source and currently in development.


ScreenX TV vs Codestre.am

codestre.am is another terminal broadcasting service I've used in the past.


One feature codestre.am has that ScreenX TV currently lacks is video-on-demand for previous broadcasts. These stream replays are particularly useful for bug reports and tutorials.


codestre.am's servers are constantly under heavy load. Sometimes the site will simply be unavailable for 30 minutes at a time. The lack of reliability is a bit of a turn off. Currently, ScreenX TV seems to have almost zero down-time. The site is extremely responsive. Broadcasting is very smooth, consistent, and lag-free. This might be due to the lack of users, though. Only time will tell.

Ease of installation

Installing codestre.am was particularly annoying. The installation process was plagued with npm and node.js errors. It took at least two hours of googling error messages to finally get to where I was broadcasting.

ScreenX TV has three installation options. You can install via

I've tried both the GCC and the curl script installations. Both work perfectly.

Ease of use, features, and various issues

In order to broadcast, codestre.am would generate a random string for you to pass to the codestream executable that you install via npm. ScreenX TV uses a local configuration file.

codestre.am had huge issues in all my terminals - ranging from iTerm2 to gnome-terminal. The terminal would display correctly on the stream, but my screen would appear completely broken in the actual terminal. This resulted in me hiding my terminal behind my browser window and looking at the browser to work. This was a pretty severe inconvenience. ScreenX TV seems to work perfectly in this regard.

codestre.am only let you broadcast in one size: About 630x330. ScreenX TV will adjust the broadcast stream size as you adjust your terminal. If you stretch your terminal, you will see the stream adjust in real-time.


codestre.am is a finished product that feels like an unfinished product. ScreenX TV is an unfinished product that feels like it could be everything codestre.am tried to be once fully developed. If ScreenX TV can implement replay support, I can see it changing how tutorials, debugging, and pair-programming are handled.

Date published - December 08, 2012