I’m fortunate to be one of the beta testers for the new Joost IPTV service. This is the system that was originally known as “the Venice Project“, created by the original inventors of the Skype Internet phone service. Joost keeps growing and getting more polished. The number of channels has been expanded, and includes a variety of programming. Much of it is admittedly aimed at a somewhat younger (and apparently hipper) audience than me, but I find a lot to enjoy among the short films, sports, and nature programming, among others.
For most of the content, the resolution is impressively high. And the “quality of service” is excellent; I have not encountered the distracting and disruptive skips, pauses, and buffer overuns that are a common part of many online video sources, even with low resolution streams. Joost appears to be using advertisements to fund the project, and the little interruptions are tolerable. Content is divided into various channels and is available on demand; if you don’t like the progam that you’re watching, just skip ahead to the next one.
If Joost is the future of free video programming on the Internet, then I think that the future is bright.