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Skype Founders' Next Move: Disrupting TV With Internet Technology

Can Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis Do It Again?

  "We are in the process of launching a secure P2P streaming technology that allows content owners to bring TV-quality video and ease of use to a TV-sized audience mixed with all the wonders of the Internet," wrote Henrik Werdelin in November, on the company blog of The Venice Project (TVP).

Just three weeks later, the first beta version of the TVP client is fully cooked.

Described as "a project that combines the best things about television with the social power of the internet," The Venice Project is the brainchild of Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis (pictured), who gave us first Skype and then KaZaa.

The aim is to give viewers, advertisers and content owners "more choice, control and creativity than ever before," says Zennström and Friis. (It is not a file-sharing application or a video download service, they point out.)

Already, The Venice Project comprises some of the world's best technical and creative people. "Our engineers, advertising experts and content gurus," says the company's web site, "have joined TVP from some of the world's most influential technology organizations, entertainment companies and advertising networks."

Already it is a truly international organisation with hubs in several major cities around the world, including Leiden, London, New York and Toulouse. The aim is nothing short of redefining the way people think about television. 

"The next months will bring successive releases," says CEO Fredrik de Wahl, "with more robust streaming, a video decoder which stutters a lot less, way, way more content, increased interactivity and a whole range of other features, tweaks and improvements (and a few nice surprises)."

Combining the best elements of the TV experience with the most powerful internet technologies is one of the key themes of SYS-CON's upcoming June 2007 event, Internet TV Conference & Expo (iTVcon.com).

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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