1. Joost could potentially change the way people watch television. The technology enables the broadcast of TV-quality video over the Internet, and allows people to stream real TV programs from networks like MTV and National Geographic. It also features search, chat and instant messaging, built right into the interface. Much like TiVo, Joost does not restrict you to schedules, allowing you to watch what you want whenever you want. But unlike TiVo, Joost is completely free, and works with most PCs and Intel Mac-based computers with a broadband connection. So far the invitation-only, ad-supported service has more than 800,000 registered users.
2. Trivop produces videos for hotels through a worldwide network of filmmakers, allowing travelers to virtually visit the hotels online before they book. Funded by individual investors, the company plans to expand across 10 major European cities and is moving into the United States, Asia, the Middle East and Africa by the end of 2007.The ambitious plans make sense, considering that Trivop doesn’t need to localize content; video images don’t need to be translated. The startup already has videos of hotels in 173 countries and claims 30,000 unique views per month.
3. Babelgu. On the outside, Babelgum might seem like another online TV-viewing outfit, like Joost. Unlike Joost, Babelgum isn’t just moving mainstream television to the Internet. Instead, it is also offering niche programming, including independent and short films. In the near future Babelgum also plans to allow professional independent producers to automatically upload their videos to its site. The content is free for the consumer, but the company intends to make its money through targeted advertising. Co-founder Silvio Scaglia has already poured $17.8 million into the company and plans to spend another $130 million or so of his personal fortune to get the company up and running over the next few years.
4. Myubo lets you upload and watch videos. So far, it’s no YouTube — in May, the website had just over 3,000 uploaded videos available in a dozen different categories. But we think this startup has potential because it doesn’t want to be a YouTube competitor. It wants to be an alternative for those Slovak and Czech users who do not want their creation to be lost in the tangle of videos on YouTube. Myubo already has more than 2,000 registered users, and offers live streaming of TV content from Al Jazeera news channel, Slovakian TV 3 and a Czech Parliament TV feed.