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Roll Your Own Television Network Using Bittorrent

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the or-at-least-think-about-doing-so dept.

Media 252

Cryofan writes "Mark Pesce, lecturer at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) writes here and here about using p2p networks, specifically bittorrent, to create a grassroots television network. He cites as an example the BBC's "Flexible TV" internet broadcasting model using that as the core of a "new sort of television network, one which could harness the power of P2P distribution to create a global television network." Producers of video entertainment and news would provide a single copy of a program into the network of P2P clients, and the p2p network peers distribute the content themselves. Thus, a virtual 'newswiki' where the content is distributed bittorrent using some sort of 'trusted peer' or moderator mechanisms as a filtering/evaluation mechanism. So what is stopping anyone from doing this now? Awareness of the concept, perhaps? Lack of broadband connections? Lack of business models for content producers?"

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Where I live (4, Informative)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445871)

many people have to pay for their broadband bits, so it costs quite a lot to leech stuff off bittorrent

Re:Where I live (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445892)

So why don't you move?

Re:Where I live (-1, Redundant)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445947)

So why don't you move?

Why would I want to do that? You want me to move to another goddamn country just so I can get cheaper broadband? Perhaps if you had a life outside of the internet you would realise that having broadband is nice, but it's certainly not the most important thing you can have in the world.

Re:Where I live (1)

flatt (513465) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445993)

Broadband.

Yes.

Debatable.

Re:Where I live (1)

stiffneck (785847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446001)

having broadband is nice, but it's certainly not the most important thing you can have in the world

heh, having broadband actually made me less productive. if only suprnova and animesuki will run out of shows and other stuff to download. :-/

limit upload bandwith? [Re:Where I live] (1)

stiffneck (785847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445950)

most bittorrent clients allows you to limit your upload bandwidth, maybe they can do this in BT TV.

but then again, if everybody started limiting their outgoing bandwidth, this will never work.

Re:Where I live (1)

Tek Tekson (601577) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446247)

you can get a decent amount of media within the monthly limit. many ISPs have unlimited deals too

Hmm... (5, Funny)

Mike Rubits (818811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445874)

Between this and the Podcasting article, one thing is to be for sure:

Slashdot is looking to become the next media giant

I, for one, welcome our new Slashdot overlords?

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445897)

Mod this up.

Time to fire up Bittorent...

Re:Hmm... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445903)

Slashdot is looking to become the next media giant

What? You don't like CowboyNeal Sings Mother Goose?

You communist!

SlashdotTV? (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445881)

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to SlashdotTV's News, I'm Timothy, your host. If you have moderation points or metamoderation you may use them <ouch> at anytime during the <ouch> netcast. Please use res<ouch>ponsibly. Later we'll broadcast a slashpoll with CowboyNeal somehow worked <ouch> into the final option.<ouch><ouch><ouch>

Oh fsck this, <ouch><ouch><ouch> damn, take <ouch><ouch>these wires off<ouch> damn, what a <ouch><ouch>way to run a <ouch> network!

Re:SlashdotTV? (5, Funny)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446085)

Sorry about that ladies and gentelmen, the moderators responsible for that have been sacked. Now for the News.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to SlashdotTV's News, I'm Timothy^WCmdrTaco, your host. If you have moderation points or metamoderation you may use them <ouch> at anytime during the <ouch> netcast. Please use res<ouch>ponsibly. *Aside* - What do you mean by 'dupe', CowboyNeal? Later we'll broadcast a slashpoll with CowboyNeal somehow worked <ouch> into the final option.<ouch><ouch><ouch><ouch>

Dupe?<ouch><ouc h> What do <ouch>you<ouch> mean dupe? Dammit! <ouch><ouch>Who's fscking idea <ouch>was<ouch><ouch><yeeowch>th is anyway? You <ouch>moderators are going to be sacke<bzzzzzzt>

Re:SlashdotTV? (4, Funny)

jrockway (229604) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446206)

Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

The directors of the firm hired to
continue the credits after the other
people had been sacked, wish it to
be known that they have just been
sacked.

The credits have been completed
in an entirely different style at great
expense and at the last minute.

Re:SlashdotTV? (3, Funny)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446153)

SlashdotTV wouldn't even need Bittorrent, seeing as how there would only be one episode that gets repeated every day.

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445883)

torrent this ...tv sucks.

(Score: -1 Flamebait)

Re:first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445894)

Not even close, luser

Content (5, Insightful)

sport_160 (650020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445889)

I think what is stopping people now is a lack of legal content that they can share. You can bet that nobody wants to watch my home videos.

Re:Content (2, Funny)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445997)

You can bet that nobody wants to watch my home videos.

I don't know, it depends on what you are doing in them...and more importantly who your doing it with.

Re:Content (1)

dickeya (733264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446072)

From what I've seen on the internet, it doesn't seem to matter who (or what) you're doing it with.

Home videos? Please be more specific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446038)

What kind of home videos are we exactly talking about? Maybe you have to change the actors and plot a bit. Masks are optional.

Re:Content (2, Insightful)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446051)

I think what is stopping people now is a lack of legal content that they can share

I agree, and frankly, what is availible usually isn't very good so it requires a lot of "filtering" to find much you like. I think that this will change, though, once artists realize they can make money more directly.

Re:Content (1)

midol (752608) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446111)

News happens everywhere. With the widespread use of highly connected audio/video recording devices, fixed and mobile, I can think of lots of impromptu clips I'd like to see of important news events, and the less they get edited by the big networks the better I'd like it. Indymedia everywhere all the time

Re:Content (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446115)

You can bet that nobody wants to watch my home videos.

No kidding. Homespun nerd TV shows would be like having tubgirl as Slashdot's background image. You'd have to look at something vile in addition to it spewing a bunch shit.

content, content, content. (1)

sserendipity (696118) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446172)


Hear, hear. We've got a PLETHORA of distribution methods already.

Until we have a method to make content production viable, there's going to be nothing to stream.

Re:Content (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446199)

So you think they'll mind if I start streaming out Star Wars Movies, with no sound, and my own commentating? And video editing where Luke wears a funny hat and Darth has a barbie-pink lightsaber?

Well, i did this. RSS + Bittorrent (5, Interesting)

thenightisdark (738700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445895)

All someone would need to run a station would be to run an rss feed. Everyone would download .torrents basied on the RSS, then boom, instant 'station'. Hell, i might pay someone to access their RSS feed for this purpose.

Re:Well, i did this. RSS + Bittorrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445952)

(proxy || rss torrent) == pwn

Re:Well, i did this. RSS + Bittorrent (1)

noselasd (594905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446177)

That 'instant station', how well does that work with bittorrent, given that bittorrent downloads arbitary chunks of a file ? You'd have to
wait till the whole show is download.

Bah, bring back multimedia through multicasting...

I'm using Bittorrent right now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445906)

to download the Linux Doom III demo.

Re:I'm using Bittorrent right now (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445919)

Yeah, I'm sure you're downloading "the demo" and not the full game. You sicken me, in fact all who use Bit Torrent sicken me!!!!

New show on the SCO network? (0, Offtopic)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445966)

I'm using Bittorrent right now to download the Linux Doom III demo.

bittorrent is so slow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446046)

Now if only bit torrent would work in the first place(being actualy fast instead of slow) may be we should consider it.

upstream quota (5, Insightful)

discord5 (798235) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445908)

How about the average broadband connection having an upstream quota cap. 1.5GB of upstream traffic a month for me, and not a byte more unless I "contribute" a generous amount to my ISP.

This is still one of the major issues for me when it comes to ISPs. If I would download something popular from bittorrent or edonkey, 1.5GB is absolutely nothing. So the only solution would be if I were to firewall incoming connection and be a leech, or put QOS on all traffic going out, limiting it to 0.5K/s.

This all is of course hypothetically speaking... ;)

Re:upstream quota (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445962)

"or put QOS on all traffic going out, limiting it to 0.5K/s."

And it's wankers like you who fuck up the very meaning of file-SHARING. I hope all your downloads are corrupt.

Re:upstream quota (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446009)

...the average broadband connection having an upstream quota cap...


In addition, many ISPs around here are adding extra routers between themselves and blocks of users. These routers, of course, block as many ports as possible in the name of security. BitTorrent is often reduced to a trickle.

Not to forget that on slow viewing days, BitTorrent will naturally suck as there would be less available seeding.

Re:upstream quota (2, Informative)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446053)

most telephone providers (at least in canada) dont care AT ALL about bandwidth caps. they just use it as an excuse for busting other things not covered in their EULA or contract...

its the little guys that care the most about it, and cable companies, id assume because the badwidth is shared between users of a segment as apposed to dsl.

i was actually told by a guy who worked at dsl.ca that they only had that cap in there as a catch all to kill peoples accounts that they didnt like. i regularaly download ~50gb /month and upload about the same amount without a peep from sympatico or telus.

i've heard rogers on the other hand, sends alot of thretening letters.

Re:upstream quota (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446060)

Azureus allows you to set upstream limits. The only problem is that it should take a LOT longer to download your torrent unless there are a lot of generously configured seeds out there.

Re:upstream quota (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446075)

By the way. You're supporting a tyrant. Dump them. Set up your own network if you must, wireless works really well these days.

Re:upstream quota (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446160)

What kind of crappy broadband do you have? Get yourself a better one. Move if necessary.

How do you advertise? (5, Insightful)

cranos (592602) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445912)

I think one big hurdle to this sort of thing would be how do you cover you're costs.

Producing even a basic news show still costs money, even if all the people running it are volunteers.

Re:How do you advertise? (2, Insightful)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445998)

I was thinking maybe product placement commercials, or banners occasionally running across the screen.

No No fundage necessary (2, Interesting)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446035)


A friend and I produce a little 1/2 hour news talk show which we broadcast on local cable channel three. Now we are looking to get it on our local pbs station. costs are negligable. My friend who is a tech freak has the latest G5 with a DV card and a high end Sony Cam (about $5000 in hardware). Studio time is free based on cable regulations. (if your not aware FCC requires cable operators to provide free service and equipment to local users.) for us this included a studio with 3 mounted cameras, an editing room and post editing equipment. The hardest recourse is time. but for someone who is dedicated is the price we pay.

Re:No No fundage necessary (2, Informative)

cranos (592602) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446084)

Yes but when we are talking about internet broadcasting every bit bites into your wallet.

Here in australia we don't have access to cable the same way you do in the states. As far as I am aware there is no legislation saying our local cable companies have to provide public access

Re:How do you advertise? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446047)

Advertising on the web is not terribly expensive, just submit to slashdot. As far as equipment costs, I think web cams are pretty damn cheap, pc's are cheap, and broadband is moderately cheap. So while the cost is not $0.00, it is much more reasonable than a normal television network. At least I think a $500 dollar per studio startup cost with a $40/mo upkeep is a bit cheaper than what I imagine CBS pays, but I could be wrong.

Re:How do you advertise? (1)

cachorro (576097) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446110)

Yep, we're just waiting for someone who knows what step two is:

2) ???

Huh? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445917)

Haven't people used bit torrent to download TV shows for as long as it has existed?

Ohhh, you mean legitimately!

They are doing it... illegally (2, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445924)

Whenever a new episode of Stargate comes out a bittorrent streams it live as it is created... I'm not sure exactly how they're doing it but they're doing. The reason nobody is legally doing it because the distributors pay them I.E. the local broadcasters and sattelite/cable companies for usage. It's an extra dollar they wouldn't make. Actualy it's an extra million dollars they wouldn't make.

Re:They are doing it... illegally (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445983)

1. Create a service where people watch your show over bittorrent.
2. ???
3. Profit!

In light of recent news, step 2 is "sue your customers."

Re:They are doing it... illegally (4, Interesting)

Black Acid (219707) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446151)

Whenever a new episode of Stargate comes out a bittorrent streams it live as it is created...

Is this possible with BT considering that it sends out blocks in a non-sequential order and the .torrent file contains SHA-1 hashes of the blocks? eDonkey sends out blocks in random order, as well, in order to optimize against the rare missing block problem. I think this is a good optimization to take, especially on file distribution networks, but it sacrifices the ability to stream (as far as I know). Anyone know any more about this?

Still too hard for the average user (4, Insightful)

papasui (567265) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445949)

While I think Bittorent is pretty easy to use when I tried to explain it to my sister she had no idea what I was talking about and wanted to know why it was better than Kaazaa. In order for this to take off beyond the geek community to average users it needs to be somehow streamed to a easy to use media player or embeded in a webpage. There is a lot of potential with this type of technology, but it really needs to be super-easy to make any kind of splash. And I can also see this type of network abusing the end user who isn't smart enough to exit the program and then can't figure out why their internet connection has been moving at dial-up speed for the last 3 weeks.

Yeah, but what kind of splash? (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446262)

There is a lot of potential with this type of technology, but it really needs to be super-easy to make any kind of splash.


Fine, but a lot of people actually like the non-streamlined, one file at a time nature of BT. The core ideas of bittorent seed/peers have been implemented by other programs for a while. Ares uses incomplete files, and does a pretty good job at transfers too.

What separates BT from the rest is the nature of the transmission. BT bases transfers in a single file, and that file is just about always the file you really want. Go to kazaa, and you'll either get a fake (RIAA), a fake(different file), or the real thing with a virus. Bittorrent isn't really so hard, I've successfully helped 1 out 3 kids at my school... and that's without being next to a computer.

If I could ask for one improvement for steamlining BT... I'd ask the _nova_ to place a prominent link to bittornado on their main page. Other than that, it's easier than opening a word doc.

um they already are doing it (5, Informative)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445958)

'Thus, a virtual 'newswiki' where the content is distributed bittorrent using some sort of 'trusted peer' or moderator mechanisms as a filtering/evaluation mechanism. So what is stopping anyone from doing this now? Awareness of the concept, perhaps? Lack of broadband connections? Lack of business models for content producers?"'

isn't this EXACTLY what suprnova [suprnova.org] is doing?

sure its mostly an illigal "network" but it still substitutes for TV and pushes a hell of a lot of content across it.

Re:um they already are doing it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446033)

Exactly! Why record Star Trek when I can just donwload it a few hours before showtime and watch commercial free HDTV rips???

For the record, I would pay a fee to download high quality versions of television shows at my leisure.

Re:um they already are doing it (2)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446157)

Yes it is exactly what suprnova is doing. For my senior project I'm creating a show meant to be distributed freely online using P2P methods to see how effective it can be, and suprnova is the first place i'm putting my file.

So what's stoping someone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445959)

So what is stopping anyone from doing this now?

Lack of legal to share content that's worth watching (besides pay-per-view stuff like live pr0n, who needs better authentication to collect payment).

Oh well if it's a wiki it must be good. (0, Flamebait)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445974)

Is anyone else getting tired of hearing about wiki's? I'm probably on the outside looking in... but man... please just shut up w/ all the wiki crap. The blog-mania was bad enough.

NEWSFLASH: CBS to merge w/ Hancock Fabrics citign synergies in their fabrication departments.

My first question was, 'why'? (4, Interesting)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445978)

There is a public access cable station where I live, so my first thought was why bother? Do we really need to have that funny guy that lives by the old slaughter house broadcasting world wide his theories about alien brian implants?

From the standpoint of news broadcasting, this could be really big, though. Set up a /. type site with a moderation system, and let people submit their own footage of local news stories. You would get excellent coverage (OSS though: many eyes is a good thing), and it would be hard to censor stories. Localization/Translation might be tricky, though...

Trusted distributors? (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446017)

You could build into the clients a way of rating peers. If a lot of peers think the content distributed by a certain peer is good, then that peer gets a high trust rating. Just download video from peers with a high trust rating.

Re:My first question was, 'why'? (2, Funny)

Kehvarl (812337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446086)

It's all fun and games until someone finds a way to post the goatse image.

Re:My first question was, 'why'? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446136)

theories about alien brian implants? - they implant the dog from the Family guy in your brain now? ow?

Re:My first question was, 'why'? (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446249)

There is a public access cable station where I live, so my first thought was why bother? Do we really need to have that funny guy that lives by the old slaughter house broadcasting world wide his theories about alien brian implants?

Chances are, there are only a few people within range of the public access TV station that care about his theories. Over the whole world though, there may be enough to warrant him having a show.

mass tv over p2p? (3, Insightful)

seramar (655396) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445979)

What happens when people start embedding viruses and worms into media files? With the GDI+ vulnerability, it's only a matter of time. And it'd be easy for people on a p2p network to modify the file and start sharing it. Sure, you could have moderators etc, specified distributors, whatever, but that sort of destroys the point of having something like this utilize a p2p network. And if it's very popular, then you know the files would have a high likelihood of being modified and corrupted. Or how about simple work arounds to make the file appear to be of one media type when it's really another? Sure, few people on slashdot would have to worry about getting tricked. But we're not the masses. And isn't that what this sort of thing is aimed at?

Re:mass tv over p2p? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446140)

hashes.

bittorrent already does this.

you can start a torrent of an infected file, but you can't modify a file and send it on.

OPENSOURCE, TO THE RESCUE! (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446209)

This is an excellent point, but I would hazard a guess that using a open source viewer and file format would pretty much aleviate this problem.

The Real Problem (3, Insightful)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445984)

The real problem with this idea is ubiquity of signal. Anyone can post anything they want, even if broadcasters closed off a single p2p service just their programs there would always be competing services. Pr0n, wicked graphic hunting shows, and real-life stuff would dominate the bandwidth, things we may want to keep our kids away from.

M

Re:The Real Problem (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446044)

Let's think of the children! The solution is to add the functionality to ethernet-equipped PVRs and let users choose their content providers which would be RSS feeds. Each provider, like a normal TV station, would provide a specific type of content.

Re:The Real Problem (2)

MustEatYemen (810379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446185)

You can get this already on the internet. I think the best way to approach the subject is to properly explain to kids what things are, instead of hiding them from it. Give them a realistic base, respect your kids, and teach them what and how to react. I would rather approach a situation from a logical, knowledgeable point of view, rather then a deer in headlights innocents.

OMG WHY NOT PPL! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10445985)

seriously, these articles are strange. the author takes a really new concept that no one has really heard of, or at least the implementation is new and then writes something saying:

OMG TEH MAN HE DOES NOT LIKE P2P! THIZ NEW IDEA IZ PROOF! EVERY T>V MUST USE P2P, BITORRENT IZ JEZ"US! I HATH PROVEN THE MAN HATEZ GOOD IDEAZ!!!!!!! HAR HAR! DOWN WITH CORPORATIONS Who WATZE!

when in reality no one has really considered the concept in all actuality. and for some reason the author fails to notice, could make the whole idea worthless anyway. but we get an interesting slashdot read.......

Re:OMG WHY NOT PPL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446059)

fuck you, straight and true.

P2P (3, Interesting)

dwight0 (513303) | more than 9 years ago | (#10445999)

Has anyone thought of using a P2P network such as Gnutella or Edonkey / Emule for this? What if the provider's webpage had a link for a file hash to be found and for Emule to automatically download. The content is secure because its very difficult to generate a forged file for a hash thus a 'trusted peer' moderator wouldn't be needed. Mule is very good at redistributing content across its entire network even if its not actively being downloaded by yourself, it spreads rare files across the network to ensure that all content is accessible. Any comments on this? This would also useful for general file sharing too.

Re:P2P (1)

AIX-Hood (682681) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446030)

Because Edonkey and programs like are still semi-evil in my mind because they still go and share all the files in your computer's share folders. With Bit Torrent, many naysayers like it better because it's focused on one file and there's nothing else going on with your computer at the same time. You're in, you're out, and it's over and done with. When I go to download the latest news file, it's not also trying to share 100 other files on my machine.

Re:P2P (1)

TidyKiller (786958) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446092)

I don't know about many P2P programs, but Kazaa Lite allows you to decide which folders you are sharing, or if you are sharing at all.

However, I suppose Bittorrent is more efficient, because you can be kind and share your seed without sharing a bunch of other files. So.. kindness without the hassle.

And people say we aren't becoming a socialist world..

Re:P2P (1)

FullCircle (643323) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446121)

The obvious solution is not to store other files in that folder.

I suppose you also blame samba for the files you share on a lan?

Re:P2P (1)

AIX-Hood (682681) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446255)

I'm not sure how you can honestly compare sharing files over the local controlled LAN, with sharing your files to the untold billions of the world.

One little problem... (4, Insightful)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446006)

The one little problem is that bittorrent is not a streaming protocol. It cuts up the whole file and sends a different piece in random order to each client. Each client then trades there piece with the other clients. So you can't go linearly through a video segment without having the whole thing. You could make smaller downloadable segments that would download and then auto load sequentially. It wouldn't be live though.

Not a problem. (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446052)

This is not for live broadcasts, basically it's for downloading and viewing later. BT works wonderfully for this. I select something off one of the sites and it's ready to watch in the evening.

I suppose if you watch more than an hour of TV a night then it's a problem. But for me I have limited number of shows I'll watch. Netflix fills in the movie needs, but I'm giving serious consideration to stopping that as well.

Re:One little problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446090)

I don't know about you, but I've been getting 100Kb/s average, sometimes faster on *cough* linux distro .iso files *cough*

Re:One little problem... (1)

scowling (215030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446294)

I think my record has been 230kbps down and 170kbps up while trading an episode of Rescue Me during the first hour it was up on TvTorrents.

My computer couldn't do anything else while it was doing that, unfortunately.

Waiting too long for a show (4, Insightful)

prozac79 (651102) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446011)

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I try to download something from a bit torrent source, it takes several hours over a DSL modem. This even happens on torrents that have a lot of seeds and a lot of downloaders. So how feasible is it to have P2P, on-demand television? Even if you could stream them, the download rates are far from constant so you would have to pause a lot to accumulate a buffer.

But when most everyone gets broadband,... (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446063)

...then you have a lot more users than you have now, and since it is broadband, a lot faster (and assuming symmetric upload and download speeds), and everyone on the network is sharing, AND you have clients and a p2p network built along the BT model, but easier to use, then you have a network worthy of being called a network.

Look at the broadband connections being offered in Korea, or many parts of Europe. Imagine how you could put a really fat pipe to work, if most everyone has one.

Re:Waiting too long for a show (1)

jpop32 (596022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446207)

don't know about the rest of you, but when I try to download something from a bit torrent source, it takes several hours over a DSL modem.

Maybe your incoming BT ports are firewalled? BitTorrent can work on a firewalled connection, but it works much faster when you can accept incoming connections from other clients (on ports 6881-6889, depending on client).

Anyway, for reasons pointed by others, BT can't be used for streaming, a different p2p protocol would have to be written for that. And even then, you couldn't have real live shows because p2p by definition implies that you can have a different number of clients between you and the seeder.

That being said, BT+RSS could be the solution today, for all other non-live shows. Of course, they would have to be free (as in beer), or incorporate some kind of DRM in the files.

P2P Radio already does it (5, Informative)

ganhawk (703420) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446012)

Using bittorrent to distribute movie files is cool. But it is not exactly network broadcasting.

P2P Radio [sourceforge.net] is the way to go. It can stream audio and video using peers. There are some p2p radio stations out there and TV stations are not far behind.

Peercast already does P2P video. (2, Interesting)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446166)

Peercast [peercast.org] already allows for P2P video streams in most popular formats.

I've had a go with it and its not too shabby.

With clients for Mac, Linux and Windows, availability is good. Unfortunately, Peercast doesn't advertise themselves too well which means there aren't so many video streams available yet (typically 5-15 video streams and 100 or so Audio streams.)

I already do this (1)

redsmoke (37560) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446022)

I already do this using shareaza, a video card that supports tv out(radeon 9500 pro), and windows extended desktop feature. I live in Alaska where cable and internet are rather expensive. I only have a few shows I watch on tv so it didn't make since to me to pay for $60-70 a month for cable just for a couple of shows. I would pay for a service like this if it was actually offered but until then i will use bittorrent/shareaza.

Reality Bittorrent TV? (3, Funny)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446031)

Great, this will allow people to create their own reality tv shows out of their homes, as if reality tv didn't suck enough already.

Torrentocracy (4, Interesting)

lerhaupt (231905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446037)

Check out Torrentocracy [torrentocracy.com] for a way to download bit torrented content from RSS feeds straight to your TV. As far as content, that's the major stumbling block. There needs to be more people willing to license under the Creative Commons. Per that, I'm also currently hosting [torrentocracy.com] interviews from Robert Greenwald's last two movies, Outfoxed and Uncovered.

The reason why (1)

Opticalsky (785289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446042)

Whats stopping is lost revenues in advertisements, piracy even know they willingly give this out. But is basically a revenue issue and current contract agreements with companies.

Multicast (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446043)

This kind of app makes BitTorrent into a P2P multicasting network. Finally, URIs (Universal Resource Identifiers) for media objects aren't limited to URLs (Universal Resource Locators), constrained by network topologies like bandwidth and persistence. Where's the streaming version for media play that doesn't need saving, with buffering and caching for a truly distributed media cloud? All the multicast experimenters, from MBONE to Internet2 and beyond should jump on this platform, finally meeting rubber with road on the infobahn.

Old old old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446045)

I duno about anyone else, but this is old news to me. Everyone here should already know this though:

Broadband + BT = commercial free, on demand, what you want television.

If you start making newscasts, good for you. If you put them up on BT and people actually download them and watch them, well, good for you again.

Pesce a good speaker - knows his material. (3, Interesting)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446061)

I attended this talk at the National Student Media Conference last weekend, ( for any other attendees, I was the NSMC volunteer managing the digital projectors... ) and it was interesting to see the ideas mooted here percolating out into the other panels that took place over the rest of the conference. I think the independant media needs to continue to forge closer ties with the tech community to allow things like this to come to fruition.

One thing that didn't get brought up was whether this will compete with or complement Indymedia's upcoming IVDN video distribution framework. I was hoping to chase Mark up on this after the conference, but lost his email address - thanks submitter!

YLFI

P.S., Mark, if you're reading this, I crashed in your suite on Sunday night - thanks for the keys. :-P

Re:Pesce a good speaker - knows his material. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446149)

Mark, if you're reading this, I crashed in your suite on Sunday night - thanks for the keys.

Sure, np.... can you return my gf tho? Thanx. Sometime this week is fine.

Subscription TV is the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446077)

I would be willing to pay a few bucks a year, *directly to the producers* to be able to legitimately download, say, "Scrubs" or "Stargate" as soon as they are "produced".

What's stopping it? (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446098)

So what is stopping anyone from doing this now?

Firewalls

Interesting... (1)

TidyKiller (786958) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446123)

While I find the concepts presented here to be exciting, and even potentially fruitful, I fear for the kind of crap we may find entering the mainstream television market.. as if it weren't horrible already, now anybody can go ahead and just send out home videos and what-not..

While it's true that we will be able to choose what we see, I'd argue that the sudden lack of cost in producing a program may instigate a whole new wave of crappy programs...

Bittorrent is not the right way to do this (4, Insightful)

hyc (241590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446141)

Any connection-based protocol suffers from scaling problems, especially on the scope this article implies. If you want to do a media broadcast, you should be using IP multicast in realtime. Then you don't need to worry about upload rates either, you get maximal efficiency and data only has to move in one direction around the network.

All of the P2P networks have this problem because they are connection-based and on-demand. A TV network is not on-demand, it's a fixed message delivered on a published schedule. That's the model that works most efficiently, making the most efficient use of the transport medium. For the internet you can be somewhat flexible and start redundant broadcasts at staggered time intervals, but in general, if you don't start listening/downloading when the stream starts, tough.

For compressed video you need to make sure that there are plenty of I-frames in the stream so that people can come in at any arbitrary point and sync up, but that's no big deal. Also if you take this approach you don't need to broadcast multiple streams of the same content at different resolutions/bitrates, the network itself will provide rate reduction by dropping frames that the receiver can't pick up fast enough. (Tho doing that will make the audio pretty noisy; I guess you can do low bandwidth streams if you really want to. Or just do separate bandwidth streams for the audio. That way if one audio stream needs too much bandwidth and is losing too many packets you can just select a lower bandwidth stream instead.)

Slashdot TV (SDTV)? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446221)


How about Slashdot TV! 24 hour Nerd News.

Slashdot effect the world!

~-~
Anonymous Coward - The one and only

Freenet already has this, more or less. (4, Informative)

Myself (57572) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446223)

Of course, the Freenet [freenetproject.org] routing protocol is a bit iffy right now, but when it works, it's pretty cool.

The idea of streaming across Freenet's infrastructure has been done before [mail-archive.com] . Who needs a grassroots TV network when you can have a grassroots, anonymous, encrypted TV network?

The other side-effect of Freenet's architecture is that popular data persists. You might be able to retrieve a show from days or weeks ago, if enough nodes watched it in the first place.

For the moment, performance limits it to audio streams, but video might be workable in the near future. The dev team can always use more bright minds. Are you free?

Copyright liability and DMCA roadblocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10446280)

Fear of copyright liability and the power of the DMCA are what is stopping the distribution of any media/entertainment contents via p2p network.

THe RIAA/MPAA has already put the fear of the Copyright Satan into the hearts of any potential entrepreneurs and it will be a long time before we see anything like a p2p television network on the Internet.

I'd like to see a NPR/PBS style approach (4, Insightful)

Dekks (808541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10446335)

Have a network of members and affiliates who all shoulder the cost, donations go to the pool and appropiated by a commitee/board to fund different projects and shows. This way you could have a world community, that drills down to a national community, that can still drill down to a local community, mix and match the international shows with the national and local.
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