Hands on with The Venice Project -- P2P TV from the creators of Skype

While Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis might've gotten a bit more respecting of IP over the years, it looks like they still haven't lost their knack for software design and industry disruption. Om Malik over at his GigaOM pad just go his hands on the latest from that intrepid Skype duo: The Venice Project. The basic gist of the app is to act as a distribution platform for next-gen TV, with P2P underpinnings borrowed and improved from Kazaa and Skype. Resolution is near the quality of standard TV, but with bandwidth use at around 250MB per hour, ISPs aren't going to be incredibly stoked about this one. Right now Venice is still in beta, but Om had plenty of love for the simple setup, slick design and ease of use, and while there's a little bit of channel-change lag right now, kinks like that should be ironed out before launch, making for a snappy online TV experience with the already "stunning and crisp" visuals. Unfortunately, it all comes down to content in the end, and there seems to be little of that at the moment, and no major prospects have been unveiled as of yet. A functional, protected and revenue-sharing platform could be just what doctor ordered for media companies looking to break into the currently fragmented market of online TV, but it looks like Niklas and Janus will need quite the winner of an offering, along with some Skype leverage (a bundle, perhaps?) to make this new player ubiquitous enough to succeed.