I was one of the early beta testers for Joost but at the time it first came out on a restricted beta test, it was very rudimentary and needed a lot of work done to it (it would take up to 2 minutes for an option to kick in). So initially I abandoned it as useless and decided to wait until it was improved by the Joost team. I always had high hopes for it and couldn’t wait for the day when it would be sensational. fter re-installing it today, I can tell you that that day has almost arrived.
I say almost because it still isn’t quite perfect but on the other hand, it has improved enormously since last year. Last year, the main problems were its very slow speed and sluggish controls. Today it is much faster and the navigational menus are much better. But the programme choices are still a little on the boring side I feel.
After installing it and logging in (you need to create a free user account), you are taken to the main menu where you can choose a category and then a programme station :
Hovering your mouse over one of the programme station boxes, you can then get information about that channel so you can see if it’s something you might be interested in :
If you want to watch the channel, you just click on the “play” arrow and the channel will start. You can always come back to the main menu to change channels if you are bored with what you’re watching.
Now how fast Joost will go depends on the speed and age of your computer and also what other programs you have running. So you need to keep your CPU usage to a minimum. Try and shut down all non-essential programs before you start and deactivate your screensaver. :-)
Another thing to note is that this is streaming television (internet TV), not a download. So you will also see adverts at frequent intervals. You also cannot fast-forward or rewind through programmes. It’s just like a regular television. Switch it on and watch it. However, you CAN pause programmes and you can channel-hop to the next show.
When the programme starts, you can move your mouse across the screen to start up other options such as “keep on top” or full screen. You can also other options through an option called “My Joost” :
This is just the start of the options as there is more as you scroll down. But here’s the highlights – being able to chat via Google Talk inside Joost, being able to rate programmes, being able to blog about what programme you’re watching from inside Joost, being able to set a PIN number to watch Joost on your computer (good for stopping those pesky kids from watching the Sports Illustrated channel!)
There’s a lot of science-fiction programmes but also German language movies (I am currently watching Harrison Ford in “Patriot Games”). But they also have Comedy Central, Kung-Fu movies, Top Geat, Punk’d, the Horror Channel and the Reuters news channel. They also have a lot of other stuff which to me is extremely boring so I hope Joost spices up their offerings soon.
You no longer need an invitation to download Joost. You can now go to the site and freely download the beta program. If you decide to do so, come back here and give us your thoughts and comments about Joost in the comments section below.
For Joost alternatives, check out previously posted Top 5 Internet TV Players.
Welcome to the future of television – where you can get countless channels online for free. Could this be the beginning of Web 3.0?
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