The Venice Project gets a name

KaZaA and Skype co-founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis have picked a name and put up a new website for their next endeavor, a service some say will do for TV what Skype did for telephony. Previously code-named The Venice Project, the service has now been dubbed Joost. A new website sheds more light on the service and shows some screenshots of Joost in action.

The goal behind Joost is to provide broadcast-quality streaming video content from studios, cable providers, and anyone else free of charge over the Internet. Joost will be ad-supported in very much the same way as network TV, but users will be able to access any show they want at any time and skip back or forward within that show. Behind the scenes, Joost will rely on peer-to-peer technology to make high-quality video streaming viable. Users can already sign up to beta-test Joost here.

Joost may face tough competition from already-established services, though. In what seems like a preemptive strike, Netflix has announced a service that will offer TV shows and movies to users as streaming video. The Netflix service will initially offer around 1,000 movies and TV shows, but users will have to cough up subscription fees to view them. Watching time will also be limited depending on the subscription plan (for example, the $18/month plan will allow 18 hours of watching time a month, CNet says.)

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