Television... Dead Man Walking?
Written by David R Jennings   
Friday, 06 April 2007

Like a terminally ill patient who hasn't yet been diagnosed - modern television, and the advertisers who live there, march around proclaiming their health and vigor. But a new genetically improved TV experience has just been born that will very shortly send grandpa in for a physical and to receive the impending news of his demise.

I have seen the future of television and it's called Joost.

Some months ago I signed up to be a beta tester for Joost (pronounced "juiced"). I can't recall now where I heard about it, but with the beta release last week came a revolution in non-broadcast television.

In short Joost is an online television distribution system with programmed channels like you are accustom to seeing on broadcast TV, (i.e. Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, etc... ). But on Joost everything is wrapped in a slick no-advertising package, something akin to iTunes wrapped in a Sci-Fi package and delivered .

When you first open the Joost application you are greeted with a control panel, widget bar and a semi-transparent list of channels. You gracefully scroll through the channels, pick your favorite, then receive a list of available programs, each showing a thumbnail preview and a "more info" button. Click play and your watching.

Joost is obviously still a beta application but will no doubt improve and be polished over the coming weeks and months. At launch there were 25 channels available, each showing a somewhat dated listed of last years "not so great" programs. But I can NOT hold that against them. They have added two new channels in so many days and I'm quite sure the programming will grow exponentially to a tipping point. The Joost interface is stylish, quick and reactive, but the streaming video has a few hiccups. These are minor and hopefully just issues related to fine-tuning their server delivery demands.

The bar built into Joost offers Chat, a News Ticker, a Clock and several other handy interactive tools. So I can quickly envision a time where you click to vote for your favorite star on American Idol, while chatting with an out-of-town friend, and surfing for what to watch next... all while holding a beer and working from the same application.

I think Joost is that first great step to finally blur the line between a "Lean forward" set at your desk user experience, and a "Lean Back" feet-up beer-in-hand experience.

Television is dead! Long live television!

Comments (1) >>

Owen Lystrup said: _

  I was extremely excited for Joost. Couldn't wait to get invited.

Finally I did and had to wait an entire work day to get home and play with it. After going through the entire installation process and opening the program, I found out Joost does not run on Macs without an Intel processor.

April 08, 2007 | url
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