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Joost soon to offer live TV, starting with sports

Joost is adding live programming to its lineup. First on deck is college basketball, starting with March Madness.

If you're a college basketball fan, March clearly holds a special place in your heart. It brings the NCAA tournament (also known as March Madness), along with the occasional bit of that annoying thing called work or school. If you're somehow in a position of being unable to make it to your giant, high-definition television, Joost's got you covered. The software-based video content network is streaming all of the games (with limited commercial interruption) live, as they happen.

The resolutions for the live streams is expected to fall in line with the rest of Joost's programming. This is aided by the fact that the stream is being given a hand by distributed P2P instead of a typical server farm--a system that's prone to fail or slow down without heavy infrastructure investment. Using distributed content serving can help, which is where Joost's P2P technology can show its chops for something other than prerecorded content.

To see how well the new system would handle the load, the company ran a stress test earlier today, utilizing the live user chat hooked up to a video feed from the company's offices. It didn't last too long though, as the streams were discontinued about an hour after their start at 11 a.m. PST.

The move is an important step in differentiating Joost from some Web-based content providers--notably Hulu, which left private beta yesterday and serves up archived television content (just like Joost). With the right participation of content providers, Joost could serve up live television streams (not just this test run with the NCAA) as they happen.

Live video streams will show up in the content source bar in Joost. Seen today are two of the five live feeds used to stress-test the new system. CNET Networks