Joost, the Venice Project name, explained in 15 points
You now know the new Venice Project name — Joost, as fast to cast as Skype. What you don’t know yet is what it will provide and how the company working on this peer-to-peer TV client looks like from inside. So read on.
The first available programs would be some for-teen TV shows. Joost has signed some deals with Warner Music, and Endemol NV, among others.
Joost is built on top of the same core technologies that power Skype and Kazaa ex-cool peer-to-peer file-sharing platform.
It should be available to desktop PC and laptops, but the company plans to port it on palmtops and other handhelds (on the iPhone?)
The service will be ad-supported, but advertising is expected to be briefer and less frequent than on regular TV. (A wish feature would be to allow users to choose their categories of commercials.)
The software would be partially opened to developers, as the software borrows some Mozilla codes. 80% of the project’s software comes from existing libraries of open source code.
So where goes the effort? One of the top priorities is a backend ad engine that can pinpoint viewers by location, time of day, viewing habits, and opt-in profile information to serve up a perfect ad.
The remote control of the TV player includes with buttons for Play, Stop, Skip, Reverse (that means a lot of buffering), and Search for programs. The built-in plugins include a instant messenger with a buddy list, a “Rate it” box, and a “Share what I’m watching”, a sort of desktop sharing feature.
Joost voraciously eats bandwidth. It will downloads 320MB per hour (as a maximum) and uploads up to 105 MB per hour. The company said downloads could be reduced down to 220MB per hour if a program gains in popularity.
The TV client caches about 10 second video snippets.
Various data would come with videos, such as alternate titles, credits, locations, and much appreciable foreign-language subtitles.
Joost employs some 150 employees, including the former chair of the Apache Software Foundation and MTV Networks’ ex-global marketing guru. About half are engineers and developers. What we can say is that obviously, Zennstrom and Friis already structured their new venture as if it was already a hit.
Server central will be in Luxembourg, home base of Skype’s planetary phone network, with mirrors in Europe, Asia, and North America. The bigger ones would share the most popular programs, about 40 terabytes of programming — the equivalent of about 80,000 half-hour TV episodes, compressed for streaming.
Biggest barrier to overcome: YouTube, Veoh, Bleeb.tv and consort video sharing web sites; telecoms companies that could get mad at the high bandwidth that requires the software.
Friis and Zennström funds the venture and sit on its board. Van Gulik take cares of the technology, and the CEO chair goes to Fredrik de Wahl.
Joost would be “currently incorporated as ‘Baaima NV,’ a Netherlands Antilles limited company with a post office box at Curacao in the Caribbean, it has been suggested for legal reasons.”
Note: Most of the info comes from Wired News.
Jan 17, 2007 | By Nuno