Another beta build has been released and we are getting close to extending beta test invitations to more people. We currently have limited bandwidth to Leiden, which will hold back the amount of invitations until we manage to get our primary datacenter on line. It is very exciting, but somewhat scary at the same time. Doing estimates on how many people you will be able to support with our current infrastructure is more an art then a science at this point. The more traffic and data we get, the better we will be able to predict our usage and load in the future.

It has been great to work with the operations team in getting our primary datacenter up and running. We still have a lot to do, but everyone is making sure we flag every SPOF and plan to address them as we build out our infrastructure. While we scale up for all of you to check it out. I provide you with a screenshot of the service to hold you over. I will provide you with more of them as time goes along.

The Venice Project Screenshot

If you haven't already done so, but are interested in checking out the service in person, please sign up to be a beta tester. It is the best way to ensure you will be able to experience the service as soon as we have capacity. We will be expanding the user base with invitations afterwards.

The project is very exciting and obviously has been keeping me very busy lately and I suspect it will for the next few months, if not years, to come. If you have contacted me lately and I haven't gotten around to pinging you back, this is most likely why. People want access to The Venice Project and there are only soo many hours in the day. I mostly have been spending that time focusing on the project and maturing the operations department to provide you the best experience that we can give. It is about time television leaps to the next level and takes advantage of globalization and the internet. I hope you feel the same way.

On another note, we all know by now that licensing content is a long process that takes a lot of time and effort. As described in my earlier post, you would need to talk to the content owners even if you are using the content as background music. Now how about screen shots of a product that delivers content over the internet? If the screen shows content then that could be compared to background music. Therefore the above screen shot of the Venice Project User Interface was specifically cleared by the TV content owner. Of course, how to clear the rights and which rights you need cleared differs depending on where in the world you are. This is tricky stuff. I am happy to say that The Venice Project is doing their part in providing screen shots that have been cleared by the content owners and working hard to provide legitimate playback of high quality content over the internet. Something that has been lacking quite some time.

Update (12/19/2006): I have been getting a lot of requests for invites lately, so I wanted to provide a quick update. Since we are still running on limited capacity all invites that I have are sent out. Best way to get access when our infrastructure allows is to apply on the TVP site.

Update (12/22/2006): Applications for beta testing are now no longer being accepted. We have been getting a ton of interest, so thanks for those who have already signed up. Access will be granted gradually once we get the Luxembourg datacenter online and tested. If you had not signed up yet and you want to be a beta tester, you will have to be invited by a current beta tester to join.