Skinkers interview



Video: Matteo Berlucchi

Last week I had the pleasure of catching up with Matteo Berlucchi from Skinkers where we talked about their innovative technology and their relationship with Microsoft. We also captured a live demo of their LiveStation product that I discussed last week.

These guys area great example of how Microsoft can and does work with small, innovative software companies and the video is longer than usual (17 mins) as Matteo and I discuss that as well as talking about their company, the product and our propensity to buy lots of gadgets!

Don't forget to sign up for the beta and put my name in the "where you heard from field" to faster access!

Comments (27)

  1. Pablo says:

    Interesting interview, beyond the technology and the  nature of the relationship with MSFT.

  2. Livestation , I had never heard of this product before today but after an email from a friend about it

  3. Liam Daly says:

    I have signed up and put in your name as a recommendation thanks 🙂

  4. This sounds really interesting. I wonder how Livestation will work compared to Joost. I’ll sign up and try it out.

  5. Chris says:

    Well hopefully it isnt as processor killing and jumpy as joost is i tried joost once and abandoned it…

    I’ve so been praying for pc based tv over the internet… I dont have cable and at work sometimes i wanna watch some tv when things are slow, yet cant …. maybe livestation will change things?

    I hope they can pool on the xblvm networks and get fox/nbc and the other big stations to allow the rebroadcast i mean their still getting the commercial time.

  6. Michael says:

    How does this compare to Zattoo (www.zattoo.com)? They too offer live television on the computer, so it looks very similar.

  7. Jari says:

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the excitement

    I’d like to add a couple of important comments though:

    1. While Microsoft has a minority stake in Skinkers (the company developing LiveStation), this project is very much our own initiative. We are developing the platform on technology originally developed by Microsoft Research in Cambridge but now it’s fair to say that we are going forward with our own engineers (with the occasional phone-call to the MS researchers for hard-to-find answers!).

    2. Unlike what some people are saying, we are definitely NOT TAKING ON Joost! We love Joost and think it’s a great idea, but we are trying to do something different and complementary: we are trying to get live television on the computer. We believe that the user experience with streaming so far has never been really good enough. We hope to move the user experience a step forward and maybe to the point where people will look at LiveStation and think "Wow, I can ACTUALLY watch this and keep it on my computer".

    Thanks again for the support and interest but please don’t go around shouting "Microsoft is taking on Joost". The correct slogan should be "Skinkers is trying to get TV working on the computer!" and I can assure you, it is fun but very hard!

    All the best.

    LiveStation team

  8. Livestation , from Microsoft Research, streams live TV over P2P using Silverlight to play the media on

  9. LiveStation is Microsoft’s offering for Live broadcasting over the Internet This is the information broadcast…

  10. Wow, you do a short Partner-TV video and the world goes mad!! The guys at Skinkers are no doubt excited

  11. Wow, you do a short Partner-TV video and the world goes mad!! The guys at Skinkers are no doubt excited

  12. connor says:

    How lng from sinning up does it usually take to get an invite?

  13. stevecla01 says:

    not totally sure Connor as the guys are inundated at the moment. make sure you put my name in the request field…may help!

  14. Gregg Bond says:

    As the engineer for a small eSports broadcaster, we were currently looking for a cost effective solution to get higher quality streams out to our end users. This looks to be an awesome product. I hope to be speaking to them shortly (October is way too long guys!)

  15. sherry says:

    For me, live staion is hard to reach the technology success as TVKoo, a Chinese P2P live streaming solution. There are hundreds channels on TVKoo, with millions of users since last year.

    By streaming meter, you will find TVkoo has the best bandwidth saving – up to 1000 times less bandwidth while more than 50000 globle users online simultaneously.

    By the why, i can’t imagine how livestaion can do such an experiement in UK or USA, with so many piracy alike content to keep users watching for years.

  16. My impression of this is that some very clever people have taken an exisintg technology and are putting it to good use.

    Livestation may be great but the LNP delivery is what is key.

    Forget about platforms, delivery channels or device explicit communications.

    Matteo clearly identifies Microsoft as a ubiqtuous platform rather than a software company.

    I look forward to hearing more

  17. YC Yeoh says:

    There is a free service provided by http://www.sayatv.com that allows anyone to broadcast from Webcam, Tuner Capture Card, WMV File playlist and MMS streams using P2P Mesh Network Broadcasting Technology.

    SayaTV also provide some basic social network features that allows users to rate, comment and chatting on the live channel.

  18. syzygy says:

    How does this compare to Sling?

  19. Arthur Scklatoch says:

    I would like to know if the livestation uses the same approach than mTreebone, developed by microsoft research in Asia?

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  21. Over the last few years I've worked on a number of projects where a pretty important deliverable

  22. FJPerkins says:

    Sorry, maybe I’m missing something, but P2P for video isn’t exactly new. How does the Skinkers offering differ from Joost et al?

    It seems to me that the biggest problem with technologies like this is that it’s very difficult for the "broadcaster" to offer (or control) any quality of service assurances.

    The other problem, surely, is that although piracy has driven P2P, more traditionally honest users will perhaps react negatively when they discover that their PCs and bandwidth are being utilised without their control? When many struggle to get decent download speeds, and battle with Fair Use Policies and Gigabyte transfer limits, they’re not going to be happy when usage for others starts to impact on their own service.

    I took both BSkyBs and Joost’s offerings off my PC, when I realised how much my (pretty fast) bandwidth was being used.

  23. stevecla01 says:

    did you watch the video interview FJPerkins? The answer to why this is different to Joost is in there. In summary, Livestation is "live" whereas Joost is recoreded content. All I can say is try it out – Skinkers believe they have a very efficient P2P process.

  24. FJPerkins says:

    Yes, Steve, I did watch the whole of the interview, and kept wondering when the punchline was coming.

    The continuum between "live, live" and "On-demand" has quite a few shades of grey across a spectrum..  I prefer (as a broadcaster) to distinguish between "broadcast" and "video on demand", which are totally different experiences in lots of ways.

    I’m not knocking Skinker. But broadcast streaming has been around for quite a while, and I still am trying to understand what’s really new. I stream my ("live" in its many forms, but specifically simulcast with what is broadcast in other media) broadcast channel, and a radio channel, using multicast (as opposed to unicast) technology (arguably much more efficient than P2P, and zero impact on participants). I’m genuinely open to suggestions as to why Skinker might be an improvement.

  25. stevecla01 says:

    FJ – I guess the proof is in the eating and to date, I’m very pleased with Livestation. It works well, seem bandwidth efficient and not overly burdened by ads. Sounds like you have much more comparative experience than me though so hopefully you’re on the beta and can offer some sage comparisons?

    cheers

  26. Misha Pigulea says:

    We are a small software company based in Romania. We have developed a software solution (among others) that allows you to watch streaming on high quality without any buffering or brakes, and even on the slowes internet connections possible. It can work both on PC’s and mobile phones, transforming the last one in a real remote control. We would like to discuss eventual collaboration in this area. Thank you.

    +4 0729778888

    +4 0788594229

  27. You can’t keep the man Berlucchi off the little screen and following the success of the video interview

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