The Venice Project unveiled: Joost is here

I’ve been contacted a few times this week regarding recent references I’ve made to The Venice Project – mostly people wondering what what on Earth I was talking about. There’s so much more to this than I can (read: ‘have time to’) say now, but here’s the low-down.

Remember Kazaa? Well, the two guys who set up Kazaa went on to set up Skype. Anyone who doesn’t know what Skype is should stop reading now, go to http://www.skype.com, follow the install instructions and come back later. My Skype ID is stuart_g_parker – feel free to drop in any time.

You’re back? Excellent. Anyhoo, having sold Skype to eBay for about a gazillion dollars, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis returned to the big idea they’d had all along – an Internet TV platform based on P2P technology and delivering near-TV resolution images. The working title for this was ‘The Venice Project’, casually applied after the initial kick-off meeting for the venture, which was held in a hotel room in Venice. Now preparing for launch, the service will henceforth be known as ‘Joost‘.

I was fortunate to be included as a Beta tester quite early on, and from what I’ve seen this is going to be phenomenal. Seriously. Imagine SKY Digital with no subscription fees or ‘rain fade’. Imagine free-to-air TV with more and better choices and nowhere near as much advertising (and what ads there are are actually relevant to you). Imagine really fast, realiable Video On Demand. Actually, don’t imagine it – go to Joost.com and sign up. It’s not open to the public right now, but they are gradually expanding the pool of Beta testers so odds are you’ll get an invite soon.

If you really can’t wait, drop me a line. I still have a few invites left, and may be persuaded to part with one. For the rest of you, here are a few screenshots of the Joost interface to tide you over.

Navigation Information My Joost Channel list Program information Overlay My Joost Overlay

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