So I recently got into the Joost beta, I don’t particularly remember signing an NDA, but in case I did I am going to try to keep this mini-review fairly vague. If you do not know what Joost is, it is a program by the developers of Skype that is essentially Television over the internet. It is set up in channels and you can watch whatever you want whenever you want, sort of.
Well so I think that the tech of the program is great. I haven’t watched a full episode of anything yet to find out exactly how it works but i saw their demonstration and a P diddy video and it is looking good. The television stream is smooth, there are slight jaggies but nothing too bad, the interface is amazingly slick. The plugins are cool and i think will offer the program something different as well.
However, I do have a concern for the program. I do realize that it is only beta, but at the same time the company has been getting a lot of attention for signing on the likes of MTV, Comedy Central, and National Geographic (I think they signed with Viacom). But really this isn’t that big of a deal, each channel has about maybe 15-20 programs on it, and these programs are usually canceled ones. For comedy central the main shows they have are Stella and Freak Show… now they may have just gone this route first to test the waters, like I said this is just beta. But if this is what they come out with after launch, the program will fail.
I also wonder how they will handle live programming. Yes it is nice that you can watch what you want when you want it, like TiVo just without the recording aspect. However, some programs are best watched live. For instance they have the indy racing channel which if is anything like other channels will likely have 2 year old races. Who the heck is going to watch this? This is a bigger niche than the classic ESPN channel. Currently they have no streaming news or sports live broadcasts and this is something they need in order to really have a chance to replace TV. These things do not work the next day, they really need to be watched when or near the air time.
But overall, the program shows a lot of promise. If they can provide the right kind of content, keep it easy to navigate, and keep the UI gorgeous, they may have a winner again.