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Given YouTube’s control of the snack-video market, it is no surprise that attention is shifting to long form, professionally produced content. Joost, Babelgum and scores of others are chasing this market, betting that MTV Summer Break might make compelling viewing on your PC.
One company that often gets overlooked in this whole conversation is Jaman, a San Mateo, California-based company that offers full length movies for either downloads or rental via a P2P client (works on Mac and Windows.) Unlike some of their competitors, the company is focusing on international and indie content, staying away from the Hollywood fare. (Babelgum is focusing on international content as well.) I have always liked their service and client software – it is more polished than some of its rivals and delivers on what it promises. [digg=http://digg.com/apple/Jaman_now_playing_on_AppleTV]
I wrote about them back in December, and with the company being now exactly 100 days old, I wanted to catch up with them. In their new sprawling, if somewhat sparsely populated office, what I ended up seeing was a big and pleasant surprise and it involves AppleTV.
The folks at Jaman have developed a plug-in of sorts for AppleTV that basically installs on the AppleTV box, and allows your PC/Mac to find and sync content from Jaman’s client to Apple’s box. It still maintains its copyright protected status, and 7-day-rental policy. For legal reasons Gaurav Dhillon refused to talk about how they did the hack, but said Google is your friend…. your will find the answer.
Jaman has done a great job of (unofficially) integrating their service with AppleTV, and the experience was as seamless as say YouTube. But more importantly, the visual quality on a big screen plasma screen was stunning… scratch that, breath taking, when compared to Apple’s own video offerings. I think Apple should give this product their blessing and give people a good reason to buy AppleTV, which is still a hobby according to Steve Jobs.
Apple TV is the first device they have extended their service, and are working on porting it to all sorts of devices including some of the newer internet-only set-top boxes.
“Everyone else is focusing on video on PC, but we think the real experience is on a real TV (screen),” says Dhillon. He pointed out that his rivals are still talking about it, and Jaman has already done it. “We have done it on a closed platform, so doing it on open platforms is going to be relatively easy,” he says. The company has already aggregated move than 1,500 international movies (500 are encoded and available online), and is looking to add television shows and music channels to the mix in coming months.
So when do we common people get our hands on this plug-in? Very soon: maybe before the All-Star Game in July 2007.
Bonus link: Robert Scoble has a video interview with Dhillon.