Joost TV

Hi there, just wanted to let y’all know that Joost is the future of TV. It is how you will consume programming in the days to come. It is where you will get your kicks. It is what you will fall asleep to, eat dinner over, discuss with friends, and wonder how you ever survived without.

From the makers of Kazaa and Skype (who must have a serious jonesing for making things free), Joost is full-screen, interactive streaming tv over P2P that doesn’t suck. I’ve seen these services come and go, and Joost succeeds where they’ve failed. If you think it’s like Democracy Player, you’re wrong. That one’s slow, bittorrent-based, and not very TV-like in all honesty. It’s not RealPlayer Gold either, but that’s not even worth mentioning.

Joost feels like TV and plays like TV. You don’t even notice it buffering, maybe because it serves up commercials periodically. And it looks as good as real TV, even across my 24″ LCD. It uses an H.264 codec, which is the best choice they could have made. I cannot overstate how impressive it was to see, the first time I turned it on.

Interactive community features include the ability to rate programs, chat with other people viewing the same program, and IM friends on the network.

There are tons of “channels”, really playlists, but some like National Geographic’s are restricted to U.S. viewers only. Based on the pedigree of the clients they’ve signed now for the beta phase (NatGeo, MTV, Guinness World of Records, World Poker Tour), I think the final product is going to put a lot of subscription IPTV operators out of business (I can think of a few, locally).

Edit: Just saw this on the blog. No doubt for U.S. users only, but encouraging news:

CBS has signed a deal with Joost to make top current and classic programming available for free, to our viewers. That means that you will soon have on-demand access to programs like CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, CBS Evening News, CBS Sportsline, Survivor and much more.

Joost is currently in beta and one of the most sought-after invite programs since Gmail. The client runs on PC/Windows and Intel-based Mac OSX. PowerPC support is on the cards, but from my experience, it looks like a power-hungry app, so I don’t think anything less than a G5 is going to cut it. If someone gets around to whacking this on an AppleTV, I think the war would be over.

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