Watch out for Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, the guys who created Kazaa and Skype. They’re now working on P2P TV, aka Joost. Based on their track record, it wouldn’t be wise to bet against them.

In a little conference room tucked behind a bull pen bustling with new hires, Friis flips open the laptop. He pokes a few keys, locates a Wi-Fi network, hits a few more keys. Then, with a final click and the slightest little smile, he spins the machine around and … how about that: a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, running full-screen. Another click. Razor-sharp footage of pandas munching shimmering stalks of bamboo. Click. Fear Factor, back from the grave. Click. Earth: Final Conflict. Click. Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Laptop TV! Not to mention desktop and palmtop. “It even looks pretty good hooked up to my plasma,” Friis says.

The vision: universal TV, running on a hybrid P2P platform—millions of exquisitely networked PCs fortified with traditional video servers. Free to viewers who download the player app. Friendly to content owners, thanks to industrial-strength encryption. Delightful to advertisers, adding pinpoint targeting to their all-time favorite medium. Everyone’s a winner!

The goal is to render DVD-quality pictures – no sudden freeze-ups or obvious artifacts – at around 400 Kbps.

The system will be capable of delivering HD content, but that requires the user to have a 2MB internet connection, so it might be a while before that part of the program is ready to go.

It’s an interesting project, but it will probably be a while before big media content is transferred over the internet at this quality. Nothing scares off the networks more than the possibility of piracy.