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Venice Project Aims For TV/Web Convergence 34

Posted by kdawson
from the tv-2.0 dept.
PreacherTom writes, "The founders of Skype, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, are offering a sneak peak into their newest venture, The Venice Project, a video site that combines professionally produced TV and user-submitted videos with the interactive tools of Web 2.0. So, what will Venice offer to combat YouTube's dominance? Streaming video with DVD-like controls, on-screen menus of preset channels, and interactive tools to share video playlists are only the beginning. Venice's Beta will be expanded by the middle of November, with general release by New Year's Day." The article notes that "Venice" is a placeholder name and that the project will launch with new branding.
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Venice Project Aims For TV/Web Convergence

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  • with general release by New Year's Day

    Their consumer gadget will be made available right AFTER the biggest consumer buying season of the whole year? Brilliant.
    • by Hennell (1005107)
      right AFTER the biggest consumer buying season of the whole year?

      But this thing looks like its ad supported not pay supported.
      • OK, so I read "TV/Web" convergence and that's about it. Where's the hardware (for your home theater) that makes such convergence possible? (That's what I thought they were selling; otherwise, it's just another web site.)
        • Where's the hardware (for your home theater) that makes such convergence possible?

          Built into every Xbox 360 console, naturally.
        • The great thing about it is that it will have near HD quality video, so it won't be like watching a video on YouTube. Plus it's supposed to have real shows and be organized in a manner similar to TV. I'm sure once it takes off they will have a developer create a remote control that will work along with it instead of using the mouse and GUI.
  • Eben Moglen Quote (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mateo_LeFou (859634) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:19AM (#16321883) Homepage
    I love this so much:

    "You don't know what the world you're living in is going to be like but you can guess some things about it: there will be no music companies in it."

    *also, with any luck, no -- or fewer -- TV companies

    "Now if you leave them alone to buy more congressmen, in this very corrupt time of ours, they will survive for a little while longer but all of this talk is about the technicalities of the adjustment of the terms of their demise. When we want to start talking about something that matters, we would do better to begin from some basic social propositions. Everybody is connected to everybody else, all data that can be shared will be shared: get used to it."

    http://ciaran.compsoc.com/texts/eben-moglen-dmca-a nd-you.html [compsoc.com]
    • Where musicians just make music and the net carries it to those who like it. Fame, sponsors and concert proceeds are their pay.
      It's basically a world with a build-in distribution system and low cost production equipment.

      Nice place. Thanks for the quote.
      • "Thanks for the quote."

        If you liked that I strongly advise you to listen to the audio of the entire panel. Heard it for the first time yesterday and it was like an alarm clock going off. The proceedings follow a pattern like this

        -RIAA people quibble with podcast distributors for awhile, over this or that aspect of the DMCA, or a compulsory license provision, or whatever
        -Moglen says something earthshattering like the above

        Rinse, repeat.
    • by kfg (145172) *
      ". . . there will be no music companies in it."

      A live band is a music company.

      KFG
  • Venice offers.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by onion2k (203094) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:21AM (#16321903) Homepage
    So, what will Venice offer to combat YouTube's dominance? Streaming video with DVD-like controls, on-screen menus of preset channels, and interactive tools to share video playlists are only the beginning.

    So, Venice will offer nothing that YouTube doesn't already offer then? It'll be all fancy with Web 2.0 controls though. Big deal. The interface is of little consequence, and arguably Venice will fall flat with their Web 2.0 gimmickery because you'll not be able to embed it in a MySpace profile like you can with Flash. The challenge to overcome with a video content site is .. well .. content. Maybe the professional content will win out, but I rather doubt it.
    • You're missing the big point here--streaming video will have DVD-like controls! Now I'll be able to listen to the French commentary track while watching teenage girls lipsyncing songs on their webcam!
    • Toward the end of TFA they start to establish Venice's differnetiator:

      "With easy access to capital and loads of experience starting successful new companies, Friis and Zennstrom are bound to make their new venture a contender."

      They may be able to get a better overall interface built simply because they can invest a great amount of money in it. I personally think the first big project that makes all the content downloadable is going to blow them out of the water. Unless it's them.
  • The cost of video recorders goes down and their quality goes up. This is going to lead to the democritization of video entertainment. The only barrier to making something will be time, not money and finding distribution channels. Anyone will be able to publish. There will be an unbelievable amount of crap out there, but it will allow some really talented folks to 'break in'.

    The ad companies have to be sweating bullets. If I want to watch a series, I will get the DVD. I've not seen a commercial in about 5 y
    • by minus_273 (174041)
      Tikibar tv podcast. nuff said.
    • by Mateo_LeFou (859634)
      Some shortsighted bits from TFA:

      "The Venice Project is designed to work within the intellectual property rights system, not against it" ...
      "users don't download video files. The videos are streamed to their computers instead. The encoded bits of data that make up shows stream past the viewer's eyes and disappear. They don't become permanent files on the viewer's computer."

      As per my Moglen quote above, this approach is doomed. Not this year, probably not next year, but there you go.
    • Traditional TV is dying.

      I won't believe this until Netcraft confirms it.
       
    • by drsquare (530038)
      The cost of video recorders goes down and their quality goes up. This is going to lead to the democritization of video entertainment. The only barrier to making something will be time, not money and finding distribution channels.


      If only you only needed a video recorder to make a TV show. What about microphines, makeup, costumes, sets, location shooting, scores, all that crap, do you think people are going to do it for free?
      • Is that the cost of equipment and distribution is going down.

        For me, a good story done halfway decently trumps a dazzling production of a lame ass story. Case in point is 'Blair Witch Project'. The movie was successfull and cost very very little to produce.
        • by drsquare (530038)
          Equipment and distribution is just a small part of the cost. And equipment isn't going down. Cameras are just one piece of equipment of many.

          The Blair Witch Project may have been successful, but if every programme was like that the novelty would wear off very fast.
  • As long as it doesn't make any major marketing mistakes and presents its product in a reasonable manner, there's a good chance that people will buy into it (after all, the ill-conceived "WebTV" had quite a few members in the late 90s).

    The real thing that will separate it from the flock is the content. I wouldn't underestimate the value of being able to watch your favorite TV shows in a reasonable quality on the web. While most geeks (i.e. Slashdot users) will say "Get a DVR!", the vast majority of people
  • Web 2.0? Pfft. I've been testing Web 3.0 beta and it's pretty sweet. They should just upgrade now. C'mon guys, get out of the stone age.
    • Whatever, I'm skipping both. Gotta save some room for Web 3.14159265358979323846... Mmmmmmmmm. Finally a tastier web.
  • Democracy TV (Score:4, Informative)

    by booch (4157) <(moc.kehcubgiarc) (ta) (0102todhsals)> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @11:36AM (#16322157) Homepage
    Streaming video with DVD-like controls, on-screen menus of preset channels, and interactive tools to share video playlists are only the beginning.

    Oh, you mean like Democracy TV [getdemocracy.com] already has?
    • by Triskele (711795)
      Seconded! Democracy is brilliant: a good player (built on VLC) plus RSS feed for channels and playlists and built in torrent to get em. And Democracy is not under control of a company who just when you get to like their product will sell out to eBay who'll then treat it like shit.
  • by Lumpy (12016)
    yet another non standard application to have to install and run for this content.

    if it does not work without special software (I'll allow a codec install) it is crap. If I cant watch it with my favorite player or on my television via my MCE or mediaportal or whatever I choose then it will not grow very fast.

    I hate skype because of the "special" damned app. phone calls on your PC is for the birds, give me a SIP hardware device instead.
  • They're already starting out behind the gates because of the Kazaa disaster. They've been running a limited beta test for a while, but there are many other options available out there like GD [getdecocracy.com] for web based tv, or VideoPaste [videopaste.com] for adding video to your site. Also, from TFA, the line I don't care for is: "The Venice Project is designed as a vehicle for high-quality video-based ads." ... so, they go back to Kazaa, and are going to try a more "legit" way of advertising? One of the things I prefer about watching I
  • We're providing commercial TV channels, university content, and some foreign language channels to the University of Wisconsin - Madison community (in cooperation with our local cable operator):

    http://tv.wisc.edu/ [wisc.edu]
    http://tv.wisc.edu/about/ [wisc.edu]

    The project was a pilot that turned into a production service, and is in the (slow) process of being expanded to 78 channels and adding more foreign content, including recorded foreign content so international students can watch programming that might be on at odd times in t
  • So from the founders of a company that portmanteaus the words "scalp" and "hype" to give you Skype, we now get the Venice project. A project that although once being very pretty is now slowly sinking into unpleasant smelling heavily polluted waters?
  • You'd think they wouldn't be able to hide something as big as a mountain.
  • web tv web tv webtv? just like grandma and grandpa use to send their internets through the tubes.
  • Web 2.0.

    Convergence

    Interactivity

    Video!!

    ---

    I'm just all tinkled with excitement (yawn)
  • "The current code name [Venice] will be replaced with a new brand..."

    Well, I should bloody well hope so [sourceforge.net]!

    (Though I haven't really hacked on the code for awhile, my Venice is still powering Electric Minds [electricminds.org] to this day...)

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