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Joost Web TV Review



Known initially as The Venice Project, Joost is arguably the highest-profile internet TV service available. It was created by the founders of Skype and Kazaa (both of which enjoyed their own success, popularity and notoriety). Joost promises to deliver television programming and a variety of other content directly to your PC screen. When it was originally launched (in beta), the service attracted attention from the media as well as network TV companies. Most expected it to become the next YouTube, a dominating force that would shake age-old industry dinosaurs to their foundations.

Since then, Joost has been released out of beta. Its inventory of content continues to grow as it negotiates deals with several online and offline properties. Though it’s too early to determine whether Joost will fulfill the expectations of others, we can offer a review of the service.

Content

When launched in beta, Joost’s content offerings were limited. Today, they’ve aggressively expanded their service to include popular programs such as CSI, The Young and the Restless and Ghost Whisperer. Plus, they’ve devoted a part of their service to stream sporting events like golf tournaments and mixed martial arts fights. Joost has also developed specialized channels that are devoted to small segments of content. For example, Amy Winehouse fans will delight in finding a channel dedicated to streaming her music videos. The Australian Food TV channel is devoted to streaming the best of Australian cooking shows. Joost still has plenty of room to continue expanding its content library. But, recent expansions show promise.

Interface

When you first launch Joost, it opens in full-screen mode. You’re provided with an intuitive control panel that includes functions that you would expect (pause, play, stop, volume controls, etc.). It’s reminiscent of the controls for a digital cable service. The control bar includes a search function which allows you to find programs based upon words you type. This will undoubtedly grow more useful as Joost’s content inventory grows. A very nice feature is their channel browser. It allows you to scroll through various programs to choose which to download. The overall appeal of Joost’s interface makes navigating through the service’s features easy, convenient and intuitive.

Widgets And Plugins

Here’s an area where Joost set itself apart from other internet TV services early in its development. Not only do they offer plenty of widgets like instant messaging, chat and a ratings system, they’ve also provided a Joost Widget Developer Site. This allows Joost users to create their own widgets, resulting in the development of a Facebook widget (appropriately called JoostBook), an encyclopedia widget and Joostmarks, a bookmarking widget. To encourage new developers, Joost even provides widget code samples for them to model. As online services and websites become more interactive, Joost’s willingness to allow others to develop their widgets is a smart move that leverages others’ creativity.

Using Joost For Convenient Programming

Free TV over the internet carries inherent benefits. You don’t need to plan your days around the scheduling of your favorite programs. But, Joost goes far beyond to deliver a convenient solution for those who want free TV programming, an eclectic choice of channels devoted to particular tastes and the interactivity needed to make the experience personal. With the financial backing of behemoths like Sequoia Capital along with the creativity of its founders, Joost may indeed by poised to turn the industry on its head.

2 Responses to “Joost Web TV Review”

[…] Joost Web TV Review […]

Zach - September 9th, 2008 at 8:51 am

I prefer http://www.iSofa.tv
The interface is more cool.

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