Monday, June 11, 2007

Yesterday morning, I sat and watched the Ren & Stimpy channel on Joost. I noticed some things that might be helpful to those of you that haven't had the experience of playing with Joost yet.

(Speaking of which, if you DON'T have an invite, comment here or email me and I'll send you one as soon as I get them, until I run out.)

It seems sometimes that the channels are a bit rough getting started. Because Joost is peer-to-peer, this is to be expected; if you're used to TV alone, though, it can be a bit jarring to find the odd one-second pause. That being said, Joost has one HELL of a leg up on RealVideo. Video is smooth, and once you get going, even more so.

I was watching R&S, which breaks down into something like 30 minute episodes. About halfway through, a commercial is aired, which seems pretty short; if I had to guess, I'd say 30 seconds was about the max. Now, again, if you're used to watching DVD seasons or downloaded video, this can be kinda jarring; it seemed to come at odd points, points that weren't really between episodes or good "commercial break" spots, which makes it a bit odd. But when you compare it to network TV (a good 3-4 minutes of commercials every 8 minutes?), there are barely any commercials at all. (In fact, at times I saw a very small 1-inch overlay on the bottom right corner of my screen, totally not obscuring my view; I wonder if this took the place of interspersed commercials at times.)

When you compare Joost to TV, Joost wins, and probably would do so even if there were a monthly charge for it. The problem, I would think, is going to be getting people that are used to DVD season viewing and torrent-downloaded videos to warm up to the idea of interstitial ads. (Being able to start any episode on any channel at a moment's notice would be enough for those who torrent anime; would you rather watch that episode of Ikki Tousen on Joost right now, or let the torrent download all night tonight first and watch it tomorrow?)

I'm pretty happy with it, and to my own surprise, I'm watching it more and more. And I think that's what's really going to set Joost afloat and keep it going; it's just as addictive as TV, with much less ad content.

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