Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Joost beta reviewed - 2007 is shaping up to be the year of TV on the internet

"I installed it, I started it, and in 5 seconds I was watching television."

That's a good start. TV might never be the same.

2007 is shaping up to be the year of TV on the internet (TVoIP?) with the closed-beta unveiling of Joost, the new application from the creators of Skype and KaZaA. Until yesterday it was referred to by its codename "The Venice Project." Well, now it's Joost for better or for worse, and it looks like we may have a world-changing app on the order or Napster (or Skype) on our hands. Read on for a full review.

But Joost isn't the only game in town. I haven't gotten my hands on Joost yet, but I've already been playing around with SopCast on my old PC. SopCast merges Windows Streaming Server, WM Encoder and the BitTorrent protocol to provide an open format for home TV watching, and TV streaming. Basically, anybody with a TV capture card and some decent bandwidth can start their own stream of their favorite TV show or the big football game on sunday. As viewers join in they simultaneously become broadcasters, similar to the way BitTorrent downloaders automatically become uploaders.

TVUplayer is another TV over IP client/server setup, but I haven't tried it yet. Please leave some comments if you've installed it.

I've watched a few games on SopCast and although the quality is pretty poor, the concept works. The main thing holding TVoIP back is the stingy upload caps most ISPs put on their customers' lines. 384 kbps is simply not going to cut it. We need at least a megabit, preferably more. If TV on the internet is going to become a reality the ISPs need to loosen the choke chain on our bandwidth.

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20 January, 2007 18:39  

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