Blog Post

Venice Project Letting in Beta Testers

The Venice Project, the much-awaited Internet TV project from the founders of Skype, started bringing in outside beta testers today. The beta program will be viral, with each user able to distribute invites to new testers. As soon as we give it a spin we’ll do some more in depth coverage here and on NewTeeVee.

Writes Janus Friis on his blog,

We set out to try to merge the best of TV and the best of the Internet and I think we have just taken a big step on a long journey. For a few months we have been quietly testing with a small circle of people. Now, we’re going to expand that circle – with more and more people getting invited. If you want to take it for a spin, get an invitation from an existing beta tester.

From Om: Someone who got to use the service wasn’t very kind. “To sum up, very bad interface, no text description of what the buttons mean, quality of video goes up and down very much, not really much better than a good flash file that you size up 250%.”
Exclusive screenshots beneath the fold:

175 Responses to “Venice Project Letting in Beta Testers”

  1. I was fortunate enough to receive a beta invite yesterday and was quite impressed with the software. I thought the video quality was pretty good, at a higher resolution than most flash video I’ve seen recently. And I liked the interface.

    Like others have said, it’s all about content, however. I think much of their success will be dependent on how much quality content they can license. If they just end up with what you can find on YouTube, I don’t think they’ll succeed (even though their P2P infrastructure should give them much lower operating costs).

    The other aspect of their success is whether they’ll be able to get their software embedded in set-top boxes and into living rooms, although this is less important. I used to think that no one would watch significant amounts of video programming sitting in front of a computer, but now I’m not so sure.

    It’s interesting that even during this limited beta, they have advertising in the system already. Probably a smart move, making sure user expectations are set early.