Skype to launch Web TV service

The founders of Skype are close to launching a global broadband television service promising viewers, content owners and advertisers "the best of the internet with the best of TV".

Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, who sold their online telephony business to Ebay for $2.6bn last year, have invested part of the proceeds in developing the service, which has the codename The Venice Project. It will offer "near high-definition", programmes supported by advertising, with tools for users to personalise their channels or discuss programmes with others.

Mr Friis said peer-to-peer technology used by the service, which exploits networks of personal computers rather than central servers, would make it possible to serve "tens of millions of users" while overcoming content owners' security concerns. Programmes would not require digital rights management protection, said Fredrik de Wahl, the project's chief executive, because "the bits and bytes being collected on your computer are fragments of a stream".

View: Financial Times

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It's going to run on top of the open IP protocol, and likely use either the open TCP or UDP protocols, or both, as well. ;)

Heh.. But yes, the application layer will likely be proprietary :-/

TVants, PPlive, SopCast, PPmate, Pcast, TVUPLayer and quite a few others, most of them based in China, have been around using this P2P-TV thing for a long time already so it's nothing new. But this being a less underground kind of thing I guess it'll take off sooner or later, but you need a pretty fast connection to get a decent enough picture, 1MB is the bare minimum to make it viewable but it's still far form HD.

i'm a beta tester of the venice project.

The result is really good.
The software is a mix between bittorrent and skype P2P system (including supernode i think, and everything made for live P2P) with somes great features (ability to talk in live with other viewers or friends in a built-in fullscreen transparent IM client for instance)

The quality is great (not really dvd-quality but still good, but it can evolve with higher bandwidth).
Everything is free (for now), with some little ads sometimes.
The content is professional (not youtube's 30 seconds videos).

The whole system is really great and use bandwidth efficiently.

However, i know a few big ISP not really happy with youtube daylimotion etc... traffic because they don't really pay for last miles bandwidth vs Video on Demand over ADSL-TV.
They will be really not happy with venice.

Yes of course, P2P takes already a lot of bandwidth, but not everyone use it and upload as fast as they can everytimes .
But here the popularity will be bigger, because it's legal and content is average-premium. Like skype.

Because yes, when you shut off the player, it don't stop relaying & uploading, like skype, but with a lot of bandwidth (you need 100 more bandwidth than a simple voice conversation).

So, yes it will be very popular, but all networks must upgrade if many people use it.

Shouldn't the speed should increase with the size of the swarm, reducing the strain on individual peers to upload?

If it's anything remotely like Bittorrent that is...

Quote - Jugalator said @ #2
The Kazaa network, then Skype, now this... Will be interesting to see what Zennström comes up with. :)

AND Janus Friis!

Lol, never forget the cool danish people ;)
Janus Friis is the developer of the software. Zennström is his partner handling marketing or something in that direction.