Microsoft takes on Joost with LiveStation

It sure took them a while, but at least this time they started before the competition's product went final, was a huge hit and had a massive userbase.

Microsoft Research has teamed up Skinkers Limited to offer live broadcasting of television on your computer by means of a p2p network. The service uses Silverlight, Microsoft's answer to Adobe's Flash, to playback the content on the broadcasted channels. "Imagine your audience being able to watch your live TV content at their desktop, at the airport, at home and in fact, anywhere they can get an Internet connection to their PC! Imagine a quality image with no buffering or stopping! Imagine the possibilities of being able to allow your audience to 'click' on a TV advert exactly as they do on the web but while watching your existing TV channels. All without having to change your current business processes in the slightest!" Let's hope when the two go at it, they'll not only be fighting for picture quality and reliability but for less advertisements as well. The beta program will start small, but all requests will be considered as more testers are needed.

View: Live Demo
Link: LiveStation Beta Signup | Home Page

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What is Emil (the thread poster) talking about having "less advertisement" ? I hope he is willing to pay for it in the future....

Good job, I'm starting to like it... There are lotz of posibilities with Silverlight, It really is that good!

Hey guys,

Thanks for the post. We are really excited to see that you are finding the LiveStation idea interesting. We are working very hard on trying to bring a "television-like" experience to the computer.

I'd like to add a couple of important comments though:

1. While Microsoft has a minority stake in Skinkers (the company developing LiveStation), this project is very much our own initiative. We are developing the platform on technology originally developed by Microsoft Research in Cambridge but now it's fair to say that we are going forward with our own engineers (with the occasional phone-call to the MS researchers for hard-to-find answers!).

2. Unlike what some people are saying, we are definitely NOT TAKING ON Joost! We love Joost and think it's a great idea, but we are trying to do something different and complementary: we are trying to get live television on the computer. We believe that the user experience with streaming so far has never been really good enough. We hope to move the user experience a step forward and maybe to the point where people will look at LiveStation and think "Wow, I can ACTUALLY watch this and keep it on my computer".


Thanks again for the support and interest but please don't go around shouting "Microsoft is taking on Joost". The correct slogan should be "Skinkers is trying to get TV working on the computer!" and I can assure you, it is fun but very hard!


All the best.


LiveStation Team

It's sick! The actual power of this is PEER to PEER sharing. No streaming server limitations. This is huge!

I wish MS would stick to specializing in certain fields and doing those well instead of dipping into everything like they do.

I don't mind ads if they can provide content and quality, wo points Joost is struggling with.


So will this be linked with/part of the xbox iptv thing too ?

Funny stuff. Good content? I doubt if MS can manage anything half decent on Live Station. After all they still cannot come to an agreement with Australian TV guide providers for a Guide in Media Center! It has only been 4 years but who's counting?

OMG... Microsoft is completely copycat. iPod (Zune), YouTube (MSN Soap or something like that) and other stuff... Now Joost?..

The only thing they did right maybe was xbox. But now, please, stop this marathon of copying everything ...

david13lt said,
OMG... Microsoft is completely copycat. iPod (Zune), YouTube (MSN Soap or something like that) and other stuff... Now Joost?..

The only thing they did right maybe was xbox. But now, please, stop this marathon of copying everything ...

You'd rather live in a world without competition?

MaceX said,

You'd rather live in a world without competition? :blink:

Have you seen Microsoft's market share? The goal of capitalism is to dominate the market, not to compete. A so-called free market can't exist for long without government to protect it from its own predatory nature.

Not quite, this handles live broadcast. Joost is all purchased and advert supported material.... that all sucks and is never updated.

They both have room to exist, and this solution looks good.

If they can get past w/e is keeping Joost from allowing its good(or even mediocre) content from streaming to Canada then I'm all for it!

I'm in Canada and Joost ain't worth the time it takes to boot it up.

Don't get me wrong Joost is a great idea/program, Joost always runs smoothly on my 1.5 connection and looks pretty good too with minimal advertising too! But without content you've got jacksquat.

Bring on LiveStations(if its got good Canadian content, if not then BAH)!

Joost is good but has a hard time playing with my connection so i hope LiveStation works better with my connection since i havent had any problems with Silverlight so far. Im sure Joost will get better and having two options are good (i know theere are other internet TV programs but they just most of the time.