Reports that Joost is now talking to hardware vendors about embedding Joost into set-top boxes and televisions will change the market as we know it.
While Joost is generally now regarded as the leader in the television over internet, the market for watching television on a computer remains limited. Sure it’s nice for a lark or good for an occasional break, but as Microsoft has proven with its attempts to bring a computer into the livingroom with Windows Media Center, computers as a focal point for watching television is not a popular idea. Recent reports even have the Apple TV box going the way of the Apple Lisa, straight into the dustbin of failed convergence history.
Joost on an actual TV set without the need for a computer is a different proposition.
Millions of American’s pay for cable television services that require a set top box. Imagine Joost becoming available for free on these boxes, or better still embedded directly into television sets; Joost is currently discussing this very option. Millions of people world wide will be upgrading to next generation BlueRay and HDDVD players in the coming years, imagine Joost embedded as standard in these players. Network devices that play video and music from a network alongside standard DVD’s from companies such as Netgear and Zensonic are growing in popularity, the move to include Joost in these sorts of devices seems like a natural progression.
Of course there are still issues to be worked out. Viewing quality on Joost isn’t perfect and the need for high speed broadband is a given. Presuming that these will be overcome with time will result in a product that married with a television set will deliver a choice that many will happily embrace, after all free is the ultimate price point in a crowded marketplace. Millions, tens even hundreds of millions of people who aren’t fussed with watching television on their PC’s are suddenly dealt into the Joost world. They say that lightning never strikes the same place twice but with Joost’s founders it could well become three in a row in terms of phenomenal startups. I’m also looking forward to the day I can sit back on my couch and surf Joost, it’s a much more appealing proposition than doing so from my computer.
(in part via El Reg)