June 20, 2007 |
One of my favorite Web 2.0 startups Veoh invited me to a webinar today to unveil what they termed a “Joost Killer”, their latest innovation VeohTV Beta. Dmitry Shapiro, CEO of Veoh has proved to be one of the most innovative and intelligent developers of this year and continues to add one excellent aspect after another to Veoh's service. VeohTV has been designed to provide users with an unparalleled Web TV experience and from Dmitry's demonstration of the new service's capabilities users are going to have access to virtually any video with unparalleled functionality, quality and control.
UPDATE: Dmitry Shapiro CEO of Veoh added this link to a video illustrating VeohTV's functions for our readers.
We originally reported on Veoh back in February and I have been following and communicating with Veoh with all of their releases. Veoh is a different platform compared to the other video sites and their continual enhancements and collaborations have produced a very diverse suite of services for collecting, publishing and watching HD Quality video from virtually anywhere on the Web. Veoh's services combined with the Veoh player transform online video into a cinematic experience for their users. The company was founded back in 2004 by CEO Dmitry Shapiro, who is backed by some of the most influential technology investors in the world including; Spark Capital, Michael Eisner's Tornante Company, Time Warner Inc. and Shelter Capital Partners. Veoh currently has 12.5 million unique users with a monthly growth rate of 20-30 percent.
Veoh vs. Joost
There are two ideologies at work in the Web TV venue. Joost has been one of my favorites in this venue and has excelled in every aspect of their development. However, regardless of their innovation, Joost is a “closed” entertainment service because the programming is finite. Veoh, on the other hand has virtually limitless content at its disposal, so programming can be totally determined by the individual user. With the addition of this latest beta Veoh has provided users with one of the most flexible tools I have seen this year. Veoh possesses characteristics that delineate it from Joost and really demonstrate the difference between the two.
Source Agnostic- Veoh uses any source while Joost relies on its closed source
- Format Agnostic - Veoh can effectively utilize any video format and Joost cannot
- Bandwidth Mgmt. – Veoh uses less bandwidth while Joost still needs a great deal
- Disc Space Mgmt.- Veoh helps manage user disc space while Joost has no download
- Library Mgmt.- Veoh has advanced library tools and Joost uses its internal library
- Interactivity - Veoh users have a vast interactive tool set while Joost is limited
- Remote Control – Both services can utilize remotes
- Portability - Veoh has and is adding mobile services and Joost does not currently
Fig. 1. VeohTV HD full screen
Features on Top of Features
Users of the VeohTV interface are going to be allowed unparalleled performance and utility from one simple interface for enjoying video. The download for the VeohTV player is simple and really necessary to experience such excellent performance. The VeohTV player launches into essentially a cable TV type channel interface from which users can browse both internally and across the Internet to such sources as NBC, CBS or anywhere video is streamed from. VeohTV can also transform your PC into a DVR and record pre-selected programming from a user's favorites. PC to HDTV interfacing completes a cinema like home entertainment and Veoh is currently negotiating a set top box for their system. Here is a list of the key features of VeohTV:
Channels – Browse for content by channel
Search – Keyword search for relevance from literally thousands of websites
Favorites – Subscribe to content from favorite TV shows, channels and producers or download and store favorites
Recommended – Advanced recommendation engine suggests content from viewing habits and preferences
Interact Mode – Interact with dozens of widgets while viewing video programming
Fig. 2. VeohTV Interactive Mode
Quality and Content Management
The VeohTV library utilizes drag-and-drop functionality to organize and create playlists, while the download capability emulates a DVR function to automatically save selected content to your hard drive. Veoh has created a personal TV station for every user with the tools to mix and mash content any way they desire. The quality of the player and the HD content is excellent and video streams much more smoothly overall than during many of my Joost tests. Both services display high quality video, but the nod would have to go to VeohTV because of the bandwidth issues mentioned.
I am not sure VeohTV is a Joost killer, but it certainly is a Joost mugger. My fascination with Joost is well documented, but all along my interest has been drawn to Veoh and now I understand why Dmitry has been out of touch. The people at Veoh have been too busy in this development to do much of anything else. Joost does have the advantage of consistently high quality video from their networks and Veoh users will have to manually filter bad video out, but this seems like a small price to pay for such utility and quality. Veoh has left nothing to chance in this development and I applaud their innovation and excellence. Dmitry is an extremely talented and gracious entrepreneur. The proof is in his company and we hope all our readers will sign up for the very limited early beta testing via this link. We will also have a limited number of invitations in the weeks to come and will keep everyone in the loop.
Fig. 3. VeohTV Library – Just drag and drop
More screenshots available here.