Welcome to the new T.V.

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about what the future holds for traditional T.V. I wrote about it in a previous post but now it’s time to look at some key startups looking to usher in the next generation of television. There are three that catch my attention….

MobiTV provides television to mobile phones and has raised a whopping $100 million in funding! I’ll write about them soon but for now, check out this write up on who they are and if they really need all that money. TIOTI (TapeitOfftheInternet), which looks to be the early Napster of T.V. with some pay-per-view mixed in.

The one that has me really excited is The Venice Project, a new venture from the same guys that brought us Kazaa and Skype (these guys come up with some cool names!).

Here is the quick description from co-founder Janus Friis:

“Television is the most powerful mass medium, and we are trying to do is marry the best of television with the best of internet. What people love about the television is the story telling. What people don’t like is television that is locked in linear time. We want to try and preserve the best bits of television, and discard bits people don’t care for.

People like the freedom of choice and like freedom from choice. For example, channels are good, because they define the content. Today, the channels are locked in legacy infrastructure, but on broadband the channels are not locked in time.

That’s what the Venice Project is doing. What we have done is created a streaming P2P platform for television. This is a platform, which is good for content owners, for advertisers and of course the viewers. Since there are no borders on the Internet, this is a global platform. Sometimes we think content owners have legal reasons to restrict content locally and the technology allows them to do that.”

The Venice Project is a game changer. Imagine the power of P2P and social network when watching T.V. Having previously developed disruptive offerings Kazaa for music and Skype for voice, Jan Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are working with the establishment this time around. We can call it an ‘accepted disruption’ of television.

Let’s face it, next generation T.V. is on the way and it’s smart that content providers are not stubbornly fighting the inevitable, but instead recognizing what the future holds and working with innovators to be a part of it.

The Venice Project has an ad-based revenue model similar to the existing ad-supported television world. As Jan suggested, the difference is in leveraging the power of Web 2.0 to make television a more enjoyable, consumer attentive experience.

An interview with Jan (from which the above quote was leveraged) can be found on here and provides some great insight.

I’ve signed up for beta testing and can’t wait for my invite! If all goes well, I think I won’t be alone is cancelling my cable subscription.