103 thoughts on “Inside The Venice Project & Exclusive Screen Shots”

  1. Just a quick couple of notes on your otherwise rather complete story from a developer on The Venice Project.

    First, you don’t need to reboot after the install, you can just let TVP start up right after it’s installed. Great usability matters to us indeed and rebooting is not so nice.

    Also, even though there aren’t a lot of plug-ins available yet, there are two other plug-ins besides the chat ones. One offers ratings and another allows to add your favorite RSS feeds to a news ticker. Both plug-ins can be seen on one of the screenshots that we made publicly available.


    Like you said, this is beta software, and we are working hard to make sure the product is as usable as can be while allowing very powerful interaction with your TV watching experience.

  2. Well, let’s be honest here. It is not hard to get free television. Believe it or not, things like CSI and the NFL are actually being broadcast over the air! Then there is all the good stuff that is available illicitly over existing PTP, Usenet, and others. It may not be streaming, but who cares. I use my DVR to time shift the stuff I get from Comcast, so waiting for something to download at broadband speeds is not a big deal. Then there all the paid ways to get good content. So, the real issue is not about free or streaming, but about quality of content. Unless the stuff available on Venice is as good as what’s available via major licit and illicit sources, who cares what the picture quality is like?

  3. Hi Om

    Do you think it is a good idea to offend against the policies? The beta home page cleared states you are not allowed to take screenshots of the shows itself.
    Quote: “With one major exception: screenshots of the UI. The problem is not so much the UI, that one is ours, but the TV content you will always see behind our interface. Which is not ours.”
    And tell me your username and we can chat via “chat” 🙂


  4. I just received my beta program membership a few days ago. I have not tested the service fully, but I am generally impressed.

    The installation was smooth (no reboot) and the image quality is very good. Additionally, I can really see the value of the social aspects of the service within the software. Also, the software was sophisticated, but not complex. I managed to watch a bit of a Lassie episode and still felt hip!

    All in all, a bit more refinement on the user experience (i.e. navigation) of the software/service along with more content makes this a very compelling offering.

  5. I saw that same language on the beta page and have been hesitant to post screenshots. However, I saw one of the early beta testers actually published shots on his blog before the public beta went out. He indicated that certain content might be cleared for shots. I’ve asked for confirmation or a list of ‘cleared content’ but haven’t heard back yet.

  6. “Unless the stuff available on Venice is as good as what’s available via major licit and illicit sources, who cares what the picture quality is like?”

    It’s easier and quicker than downloading (and isn’t going to land you in court), more convenient than watching it when the broadcasters decide you’re going to watch it, and cheaper than a TiVo. The Venice Project isn’t just about the video, either — there are already a few community-type elements in there and more are planned for the near future, and we’re going to be able to add “value” that just isn’t available from the current TV/video solutions. (If it were just about “quality video”, do you think YouTube would have become as popular as it has?)

    Ok, so I’m obviously biased, but don’t dismiss TVP just yet! 🙂

  7. This looks like an interesting service, but it seems to me that HDTV poses a serious obstacle to this sort of offering. Currently online video works because slapstick is fine in small grainy windows. I think it’ll have more than enough success to make these guys some more money, but I don’t see it as being especially disruptive when viewers are increasingly investing their bucks in brand new 50 inch HDTV’s.

  8. Corsin Camichel

    my chatting and access to venice project was limited to 30 minutes. that’s all I needed. I get a feeling I am not getting invited for the beta. 😉

  9. TVU http://www.tvunetworks.com already does this. You can self publish any content you can encode. You are right, it’s all about the content you put on there. Right NOW they have all the Major carriers (FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC) and a bunch of international channels. I’m just wondering why/when the “Pay-per” channels like Showtime, HBO, etc. are going to be plugged in. Hey, this works and has been out for a while.

  10. Ive been testing the Venice project for the past 2 weeks and i believe its going to emerge as a solid product.The focus is certainly on community.
    They also have a very strong testing team.
    They are very prompt with their replies and are eager to get to the core of the issue

    I believe they had a policy up until yesterday..”not to post screenshots of content itself.”

    OM. I hope you got their blessings!!

  11. I wonder if TVUNetworks content is legal or “self-published”… Nevertheless, it’s a great service, and was apparently quite popular during the World Cup when not everyone in the US had access to the games.

  12. The point of the beta is to get the system straight. Leave the content out till you get the software working and then adding the content is easy. This is how most betas work.

    Plus aren’t screenshots allowed (at least in USA) under fair-use?

  13. For web workers, having the ability to do high quality video conferencing would take us to a whole new level of productivity.

    Not sure if the chat-plugin is the way to get that capability …

    Can anyone clarify ?

  14. Can you confirm or deny which CODEC and what encoding rates?

    I assume Venice uses a standard CODEC such as H.248 (MPEG 4 Part 10).

    For normal definition “TV quality” I’d guess each stream requires about 2.5 Megabits /sec. or slightly more.

    High Definition will need about 8 to 10Mbps.

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  16. where are they going to get the content from! the TV networks of course and they are going to ensure that value doesnt migrate to other avenues…

    does this mean u use a tv card to capture content ?? and then distribute it…i may be misisng something here, but thats not “fair use”..

  17. Jesse K. and Sampat,

    the content is key, and this is going to be the make or break issue for any company with such ambitions. I think that is why they tried to resolve the Kazaa related litigations and settled with RIAA. I think they will be able to show their value proposition as a result of that.


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  20. Of course live free television is already available with real content partners at whooda.com. You don’t have to download a viewer, the content can be syndicated and you can change the size of the stream in the code which can be cut and pasted anywhere. Who needs Venice or Skype? The product they want is already here and guess what, it streams perfectly. Tell me again what they add to this?

  21. TVP cannot be considered a YouTube killer.
    But certainly very healthy and needed competition in content streaming arena.

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  23. I feel the You Tube generation will slowly move from SHARING to STREAMING culture.

    It won’t be surprising to see a new Amanda Congdon ready to stream her TV channel.

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  26. Im amazed that OM isnt foll0wing the offical screenshot policy .

    Cleared to blog

    You beta-testers want to blog. And we hear you! Unfortunately we’ve had to say no until now. But from hereon – that is perfectly possible.

    With one major exception: screenshots of the UI. The problem is not so much the UI, that one is ours, but the TV content you will always see behind our interface. Which is not ours.

    And unfortunately in most countries one needs to clear rights with the content owner, actor or other parties in order to be able to post these. So this means that you usually cannot publish a screenshot on your blog.

    So to solve this problem we’ve gone out to a few of the content owners and arranged this for you. In the last update you’ll find the URL.

    We’ll be adding a few more over the next couple of days (it takes time to go through all the paperwork). If there are specific ones you’d like us to clear, drop ‘support@theveniceproject.com’ an email and we see what we can do!

    Thanks and have fun !


    Posted at 09 Dec @ 2:24 PM by Dirk-Willem van Gulik”

    There are copyright clarance issues and what ever OMs personal opinion is on copyright he should respect the policys of the venice Project and the copyright owners .

    Im sure the people form the Venice Project are being tolerant of OMs copyright infringement becuase of the publicity they are reciving .

  27. content providers or producers of all media like books music movies programs are all trying to hold on to their products to reshow later on.However emile you tube etc all allow anyone to be able to copy and offer the show book songs immediately. Soproducers must do it first and must think its aone shot deal. Venice offers a way to make a buck by foing righttothe net and bypassing the pirate, the emuler, the you tubnick..Im sure cbs nbs hbo will all follow with free content online ad supported…internet is the new cable , the new dish the new way the freeway…

  28. Some of us have rather high resolution screens, all these vidoe sites, software, services need to seriously up the video quality.
    Watching a pixelated Youtube video on a high res screen is painful.
    Said video is about the size of a small PostIt note and still pixelated. Gives me a headache!

    Props to OM for getting access and taking screenies! This service may be worth a shot…

    Thanks OM!

  29. I’m looking for an invitation to the beta test, if any testers have an invitation left it would be greatly appreciated


  30. What is with all these other blogs posting their own stories in the comment section?!? You are like a bunch of party crashers.

  31. Hi,
    P2P is ok for music, software
    is bad for video
    P2P a video from a third party makes you not closer to a source video content,
    as due to bandwidth
    P2P software was off-line activity
    P2P music – low bandwith semi-live activity

  32. The Vinice project is nice, but I am a sports fan. And as such want to see sports events leagally (yes licit, not stollen- and I do not mind paying for them to support my teams). Will the Vinice project ever be live (yes live as in watch now while it is happening, as in sports, weather, news, etc)? ? ?

  33. Sure the Venice project can do live streaming and its on their roadmap like every other major p2p developer around but live sports is a nightmare for rights issues .Another p2p network that can stream live is LX systems .

  34. Please send me an invitation!!!


    I’ll come back and reward you with some more!!!

  35. OM, who are your picks for biggest iptv players you WOULDNT expect – for 2007?

    Are we going to see some nobodies become really big in the space like flickr did with photos over kodak?

  36. This is why you are the Man OM !!! Txs for this info and mainly SCREENSHOTS !!!

    … “with a litlle help from friends”… =P

  37. i tried it out this weekend (i have no invites) and thought the service was very slow, and heavy on memory usage. The content was nothing special. the quality was ok (could be my nvidia 64mb video card)

  38. We really appreciate if any of you could pass a token to us.

    FYI: We have today only limited access to TV with real poor quality.

    Tack så mycket!

  39. My two cents…
    I just started beta-testing today and my first impressions are an enthusiastic two thumbs-up. Cool interface, easy navigation, great video quality. I think it will be a definite winner!!!

  40. Hello, I am writing a term paper on the P2P influence on the current and future internet. An invitation would help me tremendously. If anyone has one to spare please forward to squiduard@yahoo.com

    Thank you very much

  41. Pretty please, an invite! An invite would make my day soo nice.. and it has been so cold and rainy… fell off my bike a few times.. crazy weather. Mother earth is upset… brighten my day?

    y.macarov (at) gmail (dot) com

  42. I would greatly appreciate an invitation … PLEASE! I’m stoked about Joost!
    onesuavechampion at yahoo dot com

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Getting an invitation is as hard as finding a chicken with a set of teeth…anyway, I still belive in Santa and the tooth fairies so if anybody got an invite laying around, I would love to get it

  44. I’d love to beta test the new Joost, does anyone have a spare invitation?

    Please send it to my e-mail:
    matthias.hh (a) gmail.com

    thanks in advance

  45. I would greatly appreciate an invitation to Joost as well. I’m actually doing a research project on it at school and it would be tremendously helpful if I can use the product in beta form. Thanks!

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