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Just Another Tech Blog

Anything and everything having to do with technology, computers, science, and most of all... Linux! The documentation of my Linux endeavor.



Joost: What's Hot, What's Not...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Joostâ„¢Let me start by introducing Joost, if you don't already know what it is:
Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping.
That said, Joost also has a nice "community" feel, as there are many ways the program enables you to interact with other users:
Sure, you can be a couch potato with Joost. But sometimes, you want to share your feelings with someone too. Joost includes several 'widgets' that help you get involved, including a chat programme for discussing the channel you're watching and an IM client that's works with your Google Talk and Jabber lists. And you can even rate the shows you're watching. Become an armchair critic today!
In all, an excellent idea. But, how does it live up to what it claims?



Let me first take a look at "what's hot." These are the thing that I like about Joost, and find new or innovative.

Free TV

Duh. Everybody likes free stuff, and with Joost, you can get free TV! It may not be your 1000 channel cable lineup, but there are quite a few well known channels that Joost provides including: The National Geographic Channel, MTV, and Comedy Central. A complete line up of channels can be found on the Joost website.

Community

Being an Open Source / Linux type of person, I am all about community. Joost has made an admirable effort in creating a nice community among its users. The integrated IM client is nice, but there never seems to be anybody online (this will probably change as Joost gets out of Beta and more people start using it). The "Rate it!" feature is also nice, as you can see what other people think about a show, before you devote the time to view it.

Interface

A nice clean interface scores big point in my book, and Joost provides just that. There is not much clutter in the way of what you are watching, and the menus are all semi-transparent, providing good visibility. Nicely laid out menus and easy navigation are further pros of the interface.

Very few commercials

In my viewing experience, I have run into very few commercials. Commercials are why I don't get cable TV anymore, so being able to watch something, and not have 10 minutes commercial blocks every 5 minutes is a breath of fresh air. That said, there are commercials, however they are in now way as extreme as the amount found on a regular cable TV channel.



Now, I must come to the part of "What's not [hot]". There are some aspects of Joost that need a bit of TLC. Granted, the software is still in Beta, so these can merely be seen as suggestions for improvement.

Performance

Dismal. I can hardly watch a show without it being interrupted periodically. These random pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds, to a few minutes. My connection is not the problem, as I have high speed internet, and the problem is apparent on both the wireless, and wired computers I have tried it on. Occasionally, I will get an error message saying the program is "not available for viewing at this time." I am then told to go watch something else. Annoying, to say the least. An integrated tool to reports such problems immediately would be greatly appreciated, as there must be awareness and information about a problem before it can be overcome. Although there is a feature to report bugs (press F1 and then choose "Report a Bug"), it is based on the website, and is not quite as practical as I like.

Quality

Joost advertises a high quality viewing experience. I must say, mine has been everything but that. Shows have a very grainy texture, and on my 20.1inch wide screen monitor, things just don't look as good as I would like them too. Although this is the least of my worries, considering this is all free, a better image quality would be very much appreciated.



And so, I come to my verdict. Is Joost hot, or is it not? I say... yes, Joost if very hot. If the developers can work out some performance issues and produce a clear, constant connection (perhaps faster servers?), I am all in. I wouldn't mind the low quality so much if only I could watch a whole show with no connection lag. With all this said, I am very excited about Joost, if this really is the future of internet TV, things are looking bright. Kudos to the developers! I look forward to what Joost has yet to offer!
All that is missing is the Discovery channel... but maybe that's just the nerd in me speaking :D
posted by linnerd40, Tuesday, April 10, 2007


4 Comments:

Yesterday I read an E-mail from their PR. The beta will be availble for GNU/Linux.

commented by Anonymous Roy Schestowitz, 6:19 AM  

i'm pretty interested in Joost. do you know how i can get involved in beta testing?

-tony

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 5:16 PM  

@ anonymous
Hello! Thanks for reading.
If you are interesting, I have an invite I can send you. Let me know, email me:
linnerd40 AT gmail DOT com

commented by Blogger linnerd40, 4:52 PM  

would be very grateful if some can send me a invite at leepohseng@yahoo.com

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 5:23 AM  

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