Joost launches – well, sort of


will.jpgWill Head writes…

There’s no big fanfare, but much hyped TV over the internet service Joost quietly slipped from a closed beta test, to a slightly less closed one just a few hours ago. That doesn’t mean that you can just rock up to and download the app, though – you’ll still need to be invited by an existing user. However, all users have been given unlimited invitations, so there’s no restriction on how many people they can introduce to the service.

So, is it going to kill off TV as we know it? Probably not yet, is the short answer. The problem is, although it’s video – and very good quality video at that – it currently has to live on your PC, which means the office or spare room rather than living room.

After all – how many people do you know that have a PC hooked up to their TV? Microsoft has tried to push the PC into the living room with Media Center – but it’s just not taking off.

For Joost – or any TV over internet service – to work in this consumer world it has to not feel like a computer application running on a PC. It should come out of a little box, with a remote control, that you can just switch on and veg out in front of – no waiting for it to boot or messing around with a mouse.

Maybe that’s the plan for Joost down the line – once the content deals are in place. A little Joost box sitting quietly in your lounge, hooked into your broadbrand connection, streaming the content to your TV. But until that happens, it’s going to be one of those things that people use because they can, not necessarily because they want to.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, leave your details below and I’ll send you an invitation.

Will Head
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