Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Television 2.0 - what you want when you want it

A few months ago I discovered an app called Joost that is TV on demand through your PC. At the time it was in testing by invitation only (I finagled one). Now it appears as though you can just sign up for it. Here is what it's website says:

"Joost™ provides a new way of watching TV that combines the best of full-screen television entertainment with the interactive and community benefits of the Internet to bring broadcast-quality video to viewers anytime, anywhere. Based on a state-of-the-art, secure, peer-to-peer streaming technology, Joost can be accessed with a broadband Internet connection and offers video programming to viewers for free. Joost features more than 150 channels with programming across all genres, including: cartoons and animation; entertainment and film; sports; comedy; lifestyle and documentaries; and sci-fi. Channels and programs available on Joost vary by geographic region, based on copyright ownership."

There are a lot of good things about Joost. It has a very good picture and a ton of programming from many, many different television stations. And I believe they have even added some movies. There is a lot to watch! The bad things were that I found it complicated to use as far as changing channels or watching another program. It is not intuitive (to me anyway) at all. I would have loved to just see a taskbar that looked like your basic remote. Why not? Everyone knows how to use one and it would have been much more intuitive. Also, there were some things that I really never have figured out, one being how to exit the app. It sounds strange but I just have not found how to do it without going to my Windows taskbar and closing the app. Now that seems like a problem. If I can't do it, I'm sure I'm not the only one.

The other perhaps unfortunate thing for Joost (but great for us!) is that more and more, the different television stations are providing full episodes of their programs online. Just within the last 2 days I have watched episodes of a martial arts show called Human Weapon that was being talked about on aikido-l and episodes of CBS' Pirate Master, which for some reason our local CBS station has quit carrying (after we got hooked on it and couldn't figure out where it went).

And my sister is a traveling surgical tech and watches most of her TV through her PC because the picture quality is so much better than her TV, especially since she doesn't have cable in her apartment. But she doesn't need it. She can go home after work, whenever that may be and watch her soaps and other shows whenever she wants. She really only needs her laptop and a wireless connection and she has all the great TV she wants.

Good quality TV when you want it. For free. Without a TV. It doesn't get much better than that.

~Susan Mellott

Comment posted by Anonymous
at 8/16/2007 6:51:00 PM
It also uses a ton of memory and causes my laptop fans to come on high speed. And, after you close it (I don't know how either), all memory is not recovered. Imporvements need to be made.

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