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Norwegian Broadcaster Evaluates BitTorrent Distribution Costs

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the leeches-welcome dept.

Media 175

FrostPaw writes "An experiment was conducted recently by Norwegian broadcasting company NRK involving the release of the series 'Nordkalotten 365' (a wildlife program) in a DRM free format using BitTorrent. One of the broadcasters has posted the approximate figures for the overall distribution costs, and discussed his reasons for doing so. Their estimated cost for using Amazon S3 to offer the files through HTTP/FTP/etc. come to approximately 41,000 NOK (about $8,000 US). However, when using the Amazon servers as the originating seed and utilizing BitTorrent, their total cost for distribution of the entire project, thanks to generous seeds, would amount to approximately 1,700 NOK. The post with the original figures is available only in Norwegian.

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175 comments

At last! (5, Funny)

nih (411096) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685820)

the definitive documentary about the Møøse!

Re:At last! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22685876)

A møøse once bit my sister.
Mynd you, møøse bites kan be pretty nästi.

This Just In: (5, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685828)

Making other people do your work for free makes your own costs cheaper. Film at 11.

In other words, why is this news? It's something that has been obvious about BitTorrent since day 1: if you can get/make your users use their own upload bandwidth, you won't need as much of your own, and in a cost model that means your costs are lower. Did this really require a study?

Re:This Just In: (5, Insightful)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685850)

It's news because a lot of marketers need it spelled out for them, with big juicy numbers with currency symbols attached, once they start to really realize the financial positives of using the most efficient distribution systems, they might stop trying to shut down just that, a highly efficient distribution system. it's not the personification of piracy.

Re:This Just In: (5, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686060)

I'm surprised this hasn't already taken off for TV. Here's why:

1. Right now networks can only own one station per market. With HD they can in theory broadcast multiple streams on it, but only a few. With online distribution they could put out as much content as they would like.

2. Right now anybody can record and redistribute the off-the-air content. So, DRM is trying to lock up the front door when the back door is already wide open.

3. Right now due to inefficient distribution schemes shows only run in a local market, creating a huge demand for online content. Typically this content lacks commercials, and is ignored when calculating ratings even if it did.

4. If a TV station made it EASY to download their shows with full commercials they'd take over the market overnight. The big networks could collaborate to make it easy to watch their shows just like watching TV. Who would mess around with nzb files and all that when you could just fire up your online "Tivo" and it has already downloaded everything you're interested in. The polished experience would give them 99% of the market all the time.

5. Sure, in theory somebody could find some way to redistribute their content and strip out all the commercials, but the scale of this task except for a few shows would be hard to match with the level of polish that the networks could deliver. They would still own copyright so they would only need to deal with distributed bands of unpaid volunteers redistributing their work - if anybody tried to organize they could be dealt with in court. The court cases would be stronger since the networks could convine local governments that they are actually genuinely trying to get their content to everyone (right now some countries turn a blind eye to copyright violation since it enables their consumers to get access to TV they wouldn't ever see otherwise).

It seems like the TV execs are missing a huge opportunity that they could just own without issue if they just stepped out and took advantage of it.

This Just In: AdBlock comes to video. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22686140)

"2. Right now anybody can record and redistribute the off-the-air content. So, DRM is trying to lock up the front door when the back door is already wide open."

The "back door"is being paid for by ads. Record all you want. The question is, can content producers survive in a world hostile to any means of them recouping their costs?

"4. If a TV station made it EASY to download their shows with full commercials they'd take over the market overnight"

Right. Much like the NYT distributing their content for the price of signing up, and see how they're taking over the market.

"Who would mess around with nzb files and all that when you could just fire up your online "Tivo" and it has already downloaded everything you're interested in."

Apple TV.

"They would still own copyright so they would only need to deal with distributed bands of unpaid volunteers redistributing their work"

Yeah right! [piratebay.com]

"It seems like the TV execs are missing a huge opportunity that they could just own without issue if they just stepped out and took advantage of it."

It must be nice living in a world free of reality.

Re:This Just In: AdBlock comes to video. (3, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686544)

The "back door"is being paid for by ads. Record all you want. The question is, can content producers survive in a world hostile to any means of them recouping their costs?

Yes, and the online content would be as well. They're already surviving in the world you describe - you can get most shows today ad-free, and yet almost nobody does. Oh sure, the average slashdotter might, but I'm talking about the other 99.999% of folks who have money to spend on advertised products.

Right. Much like the NYT distributing their content for the price of signing up, and see how they're taking over the market.

Uh, the online news market is dominated by probably 3-4 companies (I'm talking about the content and the ads - not the portal people visit through). To the extent that they're losing out it is to companies like google who are doing exactly what I'm suggesting the TV networks should do. All of them were traditional news networks before the internet came along. I don't see your point. No one network would beat out all its peers by doing online - but they could make a lot more money this way.

Apple TV.

Uh, what will Apple TV do? Make it easy for people to download TV shows with random filenames posted to random distribution networks by random people? Easier than obtaining the TV from a couple of TV networks distributing shows via standardized protocols over big pipes with lots of infrastructure behind them? I'm sure the networks would give Apple a cut for every referral - the button to watch Battlestar Galactica from the official sources will be bold and on page 1, and the option to configure browsing through random files on TPB will be buried on configuration page 12...

Yeah right! (linked to TPB)

Ok, go ahead and schedule 10 TV shows to auto-download all episodes from TPB so that your 80-year-old grandmother can just click on the show they want and watch it on their TV using a remote control (not a keyboard). Oh wait - the 10 shows don't have any metadata, and the filenames aren't consistent, and a few are posts by guys who didn't bother to seed.

Sure, TPB works, but not well. And it won't have the Gardening special that aired last night or anything not of interest to geeks (who make up all of 1% of the population).

And TPB exists now, and for whatever reason 99% of everybody doesn't use it. Maybe everybody you know does, but most people don't. So this isn't a new threat. And going online will probably actually help to combat it, as opposed to networks sticking their heads in the sand.

Re:This Just In: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22686260)

Scary that this gets modded up to +5 with almost no commentary on it. You guys do realize that nearly all of the US-made TV content you watch is paid for by advertising, right? And you're sitting there saying "I don't see why the execs don't jump on this method where advertising suddenly won't play a role anymore." I wonder how quickly you could run a network into the ground. Hell, you probably can't even run your own home business.

Re:This Just In: (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686410)

Uh, I stated that the online content would contain ads.

Sure, people could strip them out and make a competing version since there is no DRM. But:

1. How many people would bother to even look for the ad-free version? Sure, most people here would, but that just means TV execs will have to live with losing 0.001% of their profits...
2. Who is going to bother to strip all those ads and redistribute? Sure, maybe for Battlestar Galactica, but most geeks with time to kill don't do this stuff for the other 95% of TV programming.
3. Sure, TPB and all will still be around, but who would use it if they could just click and get the polished version? The network version would have hundreds of seeds most likely on high-bandwidth pipes. And nice fat clients and TV grids and side-content as well.

I don't see why this couldn't work. After all - in theory all those pirate channels exist today, and yet 99% of the viewing public watches it TV by turning on a TV. The online versions would only have more and better content, so why would piracy suddenly be such a threat?

Re:This Just In: (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686686)

More to the point on files with advertising intending to support TV production and internet:
How are they going to determine what the ads are worth and who is going to decide that?

Re:This Just In: (1)

tknn (675865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686404)

Of course is they provided TV shows for easy download with the commercials it would kill the online market. But you would most likely FF right through them.

Re:This Just In: (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686420)

They have to deal with that reality anyway. DVRs are owned by something like 20% of the viewing public. And they're probably owned by 90% of the kinds of folks who spend lots of money on the kinds of stuff advertised on TV.

I just don't see the downside to online distribution. All the "negatives" associated with it are already here today. Networks have to deal with that stuff already. So why not at least capture some of the upside of the online world?

Re:This Just In: (1)

Cybah (444190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686532)

I'm surprised this hasn't already taken off for TV
I argue that "Internet TV" has already taken off, at least from my perspective in the UK, and some of it with P2P. Of course, you have to be able to agree on what "TV" is now and is going be like in the future; i.e. endless stream of content spoon-fed to you or "on demand" streaming of your choice of show.

For on-demand TV: there's Joost (P2P); BBC iPlayer (client/server); Channel 4 on Demand (client/server); and in the next few years P2P Next (EU funded). I bet there are a lot more systems in the pipeline.

For non-demand *P2P* we have the BBC iPlayer, Sky Anywhere and Channel 4 on Demand (4oD) which all use P2P for download then watch functionality (Kontiki).

Jon

Re:This Just In: (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686538)

Of course, you can already watch TV on the internet as provided by the large networks. It's known as Hulu, and you can watch stuff for free (with some commercials) at places like this [fancast.com] . It's not as revolutionary as being able to download via bittorrent, but it's a step in the right direction. Adult Swim does their own thing though. They put new videos of shows on their web site every friday.

Re:This Just In: (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686072)

Bittorrent is not efficient - far from it. What this shows is that if you push your costs onto the end users (in the form of increased ISP bills to cover the bandwidth used by the torrenters) then you can save money on your own bottom line.

An evaluation of the true costs would be interesting, but probably nearly impossible to calculate as it's too distributed.

Re:This Just In: (1)

English French Man (1220122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686194)

I don't agree with that... I'm paying for my upload even if I don't use it. I'm not paying more if I spend my whole time torrenting files...

You could say that my ISP pays more if I use my upload bandwidth, but those costs are normally quite integrated in their prices calculations, and are still cheaper than paying for bandwidth on a file transfer server...

Re:This Just In: (5, Interesting)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686246)

Bittorrent is indeed efficent as it scales far better than http or ftp. A better example than that in the article would be the following article that was recently posted on torrentfreak.

http://torrentfreak.com/university-uses-utorrent-080306 [torrentfreak.com] Dutch University Uses BitTorrent to Update Workstations

The worst case scenario is when every single users deems uploading to be too costly for their own good and therefore caps it to nothing. In that specific case, bittorrent basically have the same efficency as http or ftp, needing the same amount of dedicated servers and bandwidth. There would be a slight efficency loss due to protocol overhead, but that is minor when dealing with large files.

In most cases however, the upload bandwidth of a peer will be less expensive than that of a dedicated seeder for the simple fact that the peer is idle otherwise, while the dedicated seeder is working at full capacity.

Also, spreading out the distribution costs on the users lessens/removes the need to actually have to charge the users for that same distribution. Even if the users have to pay some/most of that money to the ISP instead, the simple fact is that removing the need for micro transactions is a huge benefit in itself.

This Just In:P2P gets a spokesperson. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22686436)

well two things. P2P is going to use more bandwith than straight http or FTP due to that whole enforced sharing thing. Second high-speed bandwith nodes aren't peers but supernodes unless artificially throttled down reducing one of the advantahes of P2P.

"Also, spreading out the distribution costs on the users lessens/removes the need to actually have to charge the users for that same distribution. Even if the users have to pay some/most of that money to the ISP instead, the simple fact is that removing the need for micro transactions is a huge benefit in itself."

P2P should be renamed the Popularity Protocol because it's vaunted efficiencies over other means are dependent on how popular the content is.

BTW reagionalization of TV is due to customer demand. Iranians are interested in different TV than say middle America.

Re:This Just In:P2P gets a spokesperson. (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686546)

well two things. P2P is going to use more bandwith than straight http or FTP due to that whole enforced sharing thing
There is no enforced sharing with bittorrent. Sure, you can get a download faster by trading pieces with other peers, but if you don't you will still get your fair share from the dedicated seeds as well as anyone else who stays on after completing downloading and seeds for a while.

A fair comparison is to compare a distributor using http/ftp with a specific amount of bandwidth with someone using bittorrent with the same amount of bandwidth. In that scenario, those using bittorrent would be able to download at the same speed as those using http/ftp just by connecting to seeds, and without sharing anything at all. However, if they decide to also share with their peers they could download at speeds that the http/ftp user could never reach.

Of course, the whole point of using bittorrent is so the distributor can use less dedicated bandwidth than if he used http/ftp by leveraging the upload the peers have to his advantage. So if you don't trade with peers, you will indeed notice a slowdown because of the savings the distributor is making on bandwidth.

That is however not because bittorrent is inefficent in any way.

Bittorrent does add a slight inefficency due to protocol communication, but that is a minor part, especially when dealing with big transfers. On the other hand, bittorrent ensures that files are transferred correctly by using checksums which http/ftp doesn't do. These are minor things though, and doesn't play a big role in the bigger whole.

Second high-speed bandwith nodes aren't peers but supernodes unless artificially throttled down reducing one of the advantahes of P2P.
Sorry, don't understand what you mean by this.

P2P should be renamed the Popularity Protocol because it's vaunted efficiencies over other means are dependent on how popular the content is.
Of course. Bittorrent grows more efficent the more popular the content is. If there only is a single downloader, the protocol is reduced to the efficency of ordinary http/ftp.

However, having a worst case scenario equal to http/ftp isn't a disadvantage. I dare you to show me a protocol that has a worst case scenario that is better than that.

Re:This Just In: (2, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686128)

... once they start to really realize the financial positives of using the most efficient distribution systems, they might stop trying to shut down just that...
..and instead concentrate their efforts on ruining -strike- regulating it.

Re:This Just In: (2, Insightful)

Cybah (444190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686460)

P2P file distribution is not efficient. It might appear to be cost efficient from the content producer/distributor's perspective because they're paying less money for bandwidth and server equipment. Yes, there are savings in server and hosting expenses since client/server requires a much larger centralised infrastructure. However, P2P moves the bandwidth costs onto the consumers and their ISPs. Furthermore, P2P is bandwidth inefficient due to its overheads.

Given its inefficiency, we're still seeing huge investment in P2PTV. Not only in commercial services like Joost but also public sector such as the recently announced 14m investment in "P2P Next" by the EU http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7259339.stm [bbc.co.uk] . I reckon most of it is fuelled by the perceived cost savings for the broadcaster. However, ISPs are already complaining about the shift in costs, so how long before this investment backfires and the ISPs do something to readdress the balance?

Re:This Just In: But should be left out (1)

chawly (750383) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685910)

Are you fluent in Norwegian ? Just curious. If you are, then you will have read the study. As I say - I ask out of curiosity only ?

Re:This Just In: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22686482)

it is news because although it is clear that this is a good way to distribute files, it has not been widely adopted by commerce

Translation (3, Informative)

generic-nickname596 (1035978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686810)

Quick, literal translation of the Norwegian story for all who are interested:



Use of BitTorrent - numbers and costs

We can conclude that our experiment with BitTorrent has been a success. Most importantly, according to the comments from our users, this is something you really like. We have read more than 500 comments, and it's the first time we have seen an event with this much publicity get this much positive feedback. We have tried a lot of crazy things on the net: we've had stories on both Digg, Slashdot, BoingBoing, Reddit, Engadget and Metafilter. In these places, trolls always show up: the guys who only whine and give negative feedback. In the discussions around the fact that we as a large public broadcaster uses BitTorrent, the feedback has been almost 100% positive. Something we have never seen before in stories this large.

We can't base a new strategy for NRK on one or two comments, but when we get hundreds of them and many like this one:

You should all get medals! Marvellously ingenious. Publish more content through torrents. I'll gladly pay the license. I actually think you could increase your licensing with a 1000kr [Norway-bucks, corresponds to something like 170$ from a conversion rate of 1NOK->0.18USD] a year. The quality is excellent. Keep going!

...it would be insane not to apply this to our strategy. Using big words: you who are posting here on NRKbeta are forming NRK's strategy for digital distribution.

In addition to this, the test has been a technical and economic success. To get this material up quickly and painlessly, we chose to use Amazon S3 both for storage and tracking. This means that we pay the bandwidth out of Amazon's S3 servers.

Some numbers

Note: Du to lacking statistics from the tracker itself and the fact that we use our S3 account for more tests, all these numbers are estimates.

Number of downloaded torrents so far: about 91000.

Due to problems with the first episode and adjustment for those who likely downloaded torrents without getting all the episodes, we subtract 11000 and end up with a number that tells us about 10000 people [likely a typo, I assume he meant 80000] downloaded all of the 8 episodes.

This means that we have distributed about 80 000 x 630 MB = 50 TB of data.

If we had paid for this through Amazon S3, it would have cost 50 000 GB * $0,16 pr GB = ca. kr 41 000.

The way it looks now, we have paid about 1700 kr for all distribution related to Nordkalotten 365. If I was a knife salesman, I'd kall this a 96% discount...

This is all good, but the most important part is that relating to the distribution itself, BitTorrent gives a fantastic user experience when it works as well as it did in this experiment. There is an automatic safety net in the fact that the load is distributed over the net. In contrast to other experiments we have done where servers have gone down, this system has handled the load and delivered the files with unusally high speed to the audience.

Once again, thank you to everyone who downloaded, shared and commented! You will see more exciting things like this in the future. Our experience of recommending Miro http://getmiro.com/ [getmiro.com] to those who don't have experience with BitTorrent or the video formats we used, was very positive.

Miro is an open and gratis solution for multiple platforms. The philosophy of the "Participatory Culture Foundation" fits well with the role of NRK as a general broadcaster in the new media world. So far, I can reveal that we have had meetings with Holmes Wilson from Miro/PCF to discuss an extended partnership. Stay tuned...

Government owned (5, Informative)

Armakuni (1091299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685834)

It should be mentioned that NRK is owned by the Norwegian government, and that the programmes are not advertisement sponsored.

Re:Government owned (-1, Offtopic)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686062)

The Norwegian government is so fucking loaded with petromoney that their national anthem should have been changed to the theme from the "Beverly Hillbillies" in the Eighties. How rich is Norway? Well, if any of you have been to Sweden, you'll know that it's one of the most expensive countries in the world. Well, Swedish kids go to Norway to work in their 7-11's, because the pay is so much higher.

The State actually does a considerable amount of head-scratching about what to do with the money. Things like cultural subsidies and energy research are pretty common destinations for it nowadays.

Re:Government owned (1)

CyberK (1191465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686100)

The State actually does a considerable amount of head-scratching about what to do with the money.
Yes, on things like "how do we avoid causing massive inflation by pouring all this money into the economy", and "What are we going to do when the oil runs out". Pouring oil money over everything seems like a nice, simple and popular solution, but incredibly enough the reason why they don't do it is because they realize there is a downside which may well outweigh the benefits. (Actual responsible government, who'd have thought it?) Besides which, NRK has always been paid for by license fees from people who own televisions, so it is a) a moot point, and b) in the TV-owners interest for NRK to save money whilst getting high quality products to them. (And even if Sweden is one of the most expensive countries that doesn't really change the fact that Norway is the most expensive.)

Yeah yeah, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22686326)

How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?

DVD sales in parallell with BT distribution (1)

Terje Mathisen (128806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686622)

I'm Norwegian, and I've watched most of these programs when they were originally broadcast:

The discussion page on http://nrkbeta.no/last-ned-lars-monsens-nordkalotten-365-gratis-og-i-full-kvalitet/ [nrkbeta.no] (Norwegian only) contains a lot of comments from the NRK people where they answer questions about all kinds of technical details (camera, sw, scaling/de-interlacing from 1080i to 576p, redoing the first episode to improve the quality etc.)

They also explain that the main/only reason they cannot do this with most of their productions is due to licensing issues, particularly for music for the soundtrack.

For this series they planned around this from the beginning, including commissioning a custom musical soundtrack.

It really sounds like they are trying to make BT distribution the default some time in the future, even though this will cut into the income they currently get from DVD sales.

Terje

BBC iPlayer (3, Informative)

dunstan (97493) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685884)

The BBC iPlayer doesn't use BitTorrent, but it does use a P2P technology for distributing the DRM encumbered download versions of their programmes. The whole thing wouldn't scale without it.

If you're not putting DRM on, then vanilla BT seems a perfect and ready-made medium. The Beeb, however, sell their programmes around the world, so won't knowingly let unencumbered versions out into the wild.

Re:BBC iPlayer (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685888)

I'm sure that there must be something in the iPlayer to track you so that when the TV licensing people around they know you're a violater. I can't prove it though.

Re:BBC iPlayer (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685940)

Unlikely. If the film studios & record companies can't get hold of a subscriber's details without a court order then what chance does the BBC have.

Re:BBC iPlayer (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686282)

You don't need a TV license to watch things on the iPlayer. The rules for needing a TV license are quite clear with respect to online content - you only need one if you are watching content that is streamed at the same time as it is broadcast. Programs do not appear on iPlayer until an hour or two until after they have been broadcast, and so this is never an issue (you do, however, need one if you watch the live sports streams from the BBC, which caught out a lot of businesses during Wimbledon last year).

In response to the grandparent; the last figures I saw showed about a 10:1 ratio of users between the flash player and the Windows DRM thing. Since the flash player streams the content directly, I don't think they have any problems scaling. Of course, the BBC doesn't host all of their content themselves - they have deals with all of the broadband ISPs in the UK to mirror the big stuff.

Re:BBC iPlayer (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686296)

Oh, I wasn't aware of the need for a tv licence to view iPlayer content.

Luckily there is one for the house I'm in. Guess I better get a license when I move out. Seems daft to do so, since I haven't owned a tv for years, but there we are.

Re:BBC iPlayer (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686088)

It scales just fine - that's why the flash version is the most popular way of viewing iplayer. Added to that that the P2P is kontiki, which is a horrid piece of crap that eats bandwidth even when you're not using the iplayer (and with many users on 1gb/month caps that has already led to some enormous bandwidth bills)... people with sense don't install the app.

Why... (2, Insightful)

kyriosdelis (1100427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685892)

...should they use the Amazon servers at all, if they are planning to utilise BitTorrent? Don't they have at least a moderate connection to act as a seeder themselves?

Re:Why... (5, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685974)

Amazon S3 has a unique feature. Lets say you got hugefile.mov to serve. User can click the .mov file directly to download via ordinary http/ftp or you simply add ?torrent to the URL and it creates/enables a torrent and start tracking it.

Re:Why... (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686138)

Do they have enough upload capacity to deal with the initial "surge" before anyone has enough to seed? Do they have the technical expertise to set up the torrent? Are they set up to handle user support requests?

They're not an internet specialist, so it's entirely sensible for them to pay a modest sum to someone who is rather than try and do it all for themselves.

Re:Why... (2, Informative)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686450)

Do they have enough upload capacity to deal with the initial "surge" before anyone has enough to seed?
This is usually not a big problem. A single 10mbit/s connection is more than enough for seeding purposes. Even with a 1mbit/s upload that I have, I could managed to seed a full copy of a tv episode in one hour, and a little more than one copy is all that is needed to get it going.

Still, the rest are are all good arguments. There is also the matter of having dedicated seeders that keep older torrents alive. Also, if you have more dedicated seeding, the downloads will go faster for everyone. Just because you can seed bittorrent from a slow connection doesn't mean that you need to be satisfied with it.

they are too much optimistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22685896)

I don't think they will be "generous seeds" if they know there is a big company behind. It will lower their costs, but they can't take as reference any torrent that is today out there, they should count more on just peers (that also give bandwidth).

Re:they are too much optimistic (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685920)

That is probably largely true, but most bit torrent programs seed to at least a 1:1 ratio by default; many seed more. As long as the average person seeds close to a 1:1 ratio, most of the corporation's costs are defrayed.

Re:they are too much optimistic (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686026)

And you can use a tracker that will ban users if they don't seed to atleast 1:1, that would help to keep the number of leechers down, but ofcourse wont eliminate all of them.

Re:they are too much optimistic (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686184)

The problem is that pretty much limits your distribution to geeks.

You need to change BT so it doesn't penalise dowloading before it'll be useful as a distribution mechanism. There are three problems with demanding ratios like this:

1. A lot of (probably most) users are on asymmetric connections - I'm on 8mb down, 832k up. So your 1:1 ratio forcing now limited me to 832k down maximum. I'll use an FTP server at 8mb thanks.
2. Nearly all users are on NAT, which means that they *can't* seed without farting around with port forwarding. upnp is rare - even when it's switched on (which, after much education about security, it isn't generally) different upnp implementations are incompatible with each other anyway.
3. Increasing numbers of ISPs are starting to account for upload bandwidth, precisely because of people taking the smeg with P2P software.

A 100% share ratio requirement is unrealistic (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686252)

And you can use a tracker that will ban users if they don't seed to atleast 1:1
It is mathematically impossible for everybody to seed more than 1:1. That would require the sum of uploads to be greater than the sum of downloads, when they're supposed to be equal by definition. Besides, for an older file that has 20 seeds and 0 downloaders, how can one seed to 1:1 without keeping the computer turned on and connected to the Internet for weeks at a time, praying that another downloader might show up?

Re:A 100% share ratio requirement is unrealistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22686502)

It is mathematically impossible for everybody to seed more than 1:1. That would require the sum of uploads to be greater than the sum of downloads, when they're supposed to be equal by definition. Besides, for an older file that has 20 seeds and 0 downloaders, how can one seed to 1:1 without keeping the computer turned on and connected to the Internet for weeks at a time, praying that another downloader might show up?

Life's a bitch, but there's always another late comer sooner or later. I recently seeded back a torrent that was over a year old on a private tracker. There was one seed when I leeched, they left, now the new leech is the seed and they have yet another later comer. I always turn my machines off at the end of the day too.

But that doesn't matter. Sites that desire 1:1 ration tend to allow you to upload. Thus whiney lame excuse types are shown to be be the faggot leechers they really are.

Free content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22685908)

It would be good if more free content providers utilised and advertised the use of torrents.

It would add credibility to the system as well as put yet another dent in DRM/Copyright groups.

TANSTAAFL !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22685912)


TANSTAAFL !!

Eventually, it's going to cost someone, somewhere. You can punt a ball around an open field all day and no one will notice. Put 100 punters in that field and someone is gonna get hurt !! 1000 punters ... death awaits some when those balls come down, or the feet go up, or whatever else can happen ... will !!

Well duh!! (3, Interesting)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685922)

If you reduce the audience for your product then it's not surprising if your distribution costs go down!

Obviously yer average slashweenie has heard of BitTorrent, and even I would probably mange to be able to find it and install it and make it work if I really wanted to ... but I wouldn't bother with all that hassle just to watch a telly programme, so that's one fewer viewer.

And how many people's grandmas:

(1) can cope perfectly well with watching a telly programme on a web page in the normal way

(2) wouldn't have the remotest clue what you were on about if you started wittering about BitTorrent?

Re:Well duh!! (5, Informative)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686020)

That's an interface problem - not a technical problem.

You could probably write a bittorrent client as a flash applet. You press the big, shiny download button that covers half of your screen, and the flash applet connects to peers and starts to download, all with a pretty progress bar. Even my grandfather could figure that out (one of my grandmas can't even use a mouse, the other is paranoid and believes that "They" are spying on her if she use a computer, so she got rid of it).

Or, you could let people download an exe file, that when clicked will automatically launch a simple bittorrent client that automatically opens the torrent file for Nordkalotten 365 and starts to download.

They have thousands of extra dollars that they no longer need to pay Amazon, that they could now throw at the problem. I'm sure they can figure something out.

Re:Well duh!! (3, Informative)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686096)

Point in case, http://www.bitlet.org/ [bitlet.org] Bitlet, the bittorrent java applet

And for those who claim that bitlet is bad because the user is less likely to seed back as much as they take. Having someone not seed back is mostly a problem when dealing with torrents where there aren't any dedicated seeders, in which case torrents eventually will go dead.

For torrents with dedicated seeding like the one mentioned above, that simply isn't a problem. Sure, having peers provide as much as they take is advantageous, but it simply is not vital in that kind of environment. Tit for tat provides enough of an incentive for the peer to atleast provide bandwidth while downloading.

Re:Well duh!! (2, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686098)

No it's a technical problem.

If you don't forward ports to your machine then BT runs like ass - capping out at 5k/s or less. The average user doesn't know what a port *is* let alone how to forward one.

I absolutely refuse to forward ports to BT for security reasons* (and anyway which one of the 20-odd machines here would I forward to?) so even though I know what BT is I can't use it, because the trackers either refuse to connect completely or refuse to serve data.

* There are only 2 machines on this network that allow incoming ports, and those are strictly monitored and have no access to the secure LAN.

Re:Well duh!! (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686158)

..and anyway which one of the 20-odd machines here would I forward to?
Just ensure that each machine listens on a different port (many bt clients allow all traffic to come in on a single port these days) then forward that to the appropriate machine.
Also, take a look at port triggering: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_triggering [wikipedia.org]

Re:Well duh!! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686288)

If you don't forward ports to your machine then BT runs like ass - capping out at 5k/s or less. The average user doesn't know what a port *is* let alone how to forward one.
Then it's not a technical problem. It is a user interface problem, even if the problem is the responsibility of the router firmware developers more than the client software developers.

I absolutely refuse to forward ports to BT for security reasons* (and anyway which one of the 20-odd machines here would I forward to?)
In a situation like yours, with only a couple dozen machines behind a single IP address, you can forward torrent traffic to all of them, one port per machine. Or does your NAT box limit the number of ports that can be forwarded?

Re:Well duh!! (2, Informative)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686338)

Trackers only use HTTP. If you can browse the web, you can connect to the tracker. I'm sure some of those 1337, moronic private trackers refuse to connect you, but we're talking about real, non-crippled bittorrent here. The tracker is not a problem.

If you allow outgoing connections, you can connect to other clients. If you can connect, you can transfer. At any speed. Transfer speeds from other clients is not a problem.

The problem you're describing is a result of the fact that if there's a seed somewhere that has a few hundred kbps of spare bandwidth (for instance, the Amazon seed), it cannot connect to you and ask you if you want some. So until you decide to randomly connect to that exact peer, you won't get any data from that exact peer. However, most clients connect to a few hundred other clients if you just give it time. If they combined can't give you more than 5 kbps, then that torrent isn't very healthy.

In short: trackers work, transfer speeds work, but it could take some time if the swarm has the wrong properties.

Re:Well duh!! (2, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686398)

You set up a network that work quite but not exactly like the internet and then complain when an application actually use a part of the internet that the network setup doesn't support. Your complaint is no more valid than me complaining that some websites don't work because I only allow outgoing http traffic with a destination port 80.

If you don't want to deal with port forwarding, you should either not expect your users to have full access to the internet or you should avoid using NAT in the first place.

Firewalls are no different. If you block all incoming traffic, any application that rely on incoming traffic will not function until you setup the firewall rules to work for you. And if you for some reason block outgoing traffic, you shouldn't expect applications that rely on that to function.

Besides your 5k/s or less complaint is mostly valid when you are dealing with torrents with very little dedicated seeding, in which case it is to the benefit of everyone on the torrent to not provide you with more than a token benefit which actually is equal to the total seeder bandwidth divided by the total number of peers (unless the seeder is using superseeding to weed out leechers, in which case you will get almost completly excluded). Meaning, that you should get atleast the same speed that you would have gotten if those dedicated seeds had used http for distribution instead.

Re:Well duh!! (1)

haeger (85819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686390)

...the other is paranoid and believes that "They" are spying on her if she use a computer, so she got rid of it.

Your grandmother is more tech savvy than most then? "They" are spying. "They" are compiling a profile of you through data mining. "They" know more about you than you'd like them to.
Hooray for your grandmother. She "gets it".

.haeger

Re:Well duh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22686040)

It doesnt get much simpler than http://www.bitlet.org/ [bitlet.org] . No need to hassle yourself with installing and setting up BitTorrent program, just visit that site, plug in the .torrent url (the content producer could make this even easier) and wait for the download.

Re:Well duh!! (2, Informative)

CyberK (1191465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686070)

Which is why the good people at NRK went to great lengths to explain how BitTorrent works, why it isn't illegal and how you can use it. But in this particular case we are still talking about a sandbox experiment. (Notice the name, NRK Beta.) If NRK were to base a major distribution channel on BitTorrent, you can be sure they would package it in some user friendly way. At any rate they still have traditional web TV in lower quality. (Though they have another experiment running in cooperation with a engineering school where techie people connected to the national educational network grid UNINETT can get all their channels streamed in full DVB-T quality, not likely to make to the mainstream anytime soon. http://media.hiof.no/english/ [media.hiof.no] ) At any rate, I appreciate what they're doing with my television license money.

Uh, yeah. (0)

Damocles the Elder (1133333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685938)

In other news, studies show that it costs less to distribute items when people come to the store and pick it up, versus the store delivering it to the people. GIFs at 11.

Re:Uh, yeah. (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686018)

It may not be new. But its still news.

After all the news is not that bittorrent lowers distribution costs. The news is that somebody else figured it out. Some PHB out there somewhere just discovered how he's going to make his quarterly bonus by cutting distribtion costs, and he's got this 'study' that will show him the way.

Re:Uh, yeah. (2, Insightful)

Real_Reddox (1010195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686090)

The news isn't that someone figured it out. The news is that a big company actually utilizes it, and has the documentation and numbers that proves how effective it is.

Re:Uh, yeah. (1)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686202)

One slight quibble. I want to see the study that shows TOTAL overall costs. The way I understand it, costs are only lowered for the file's creator. The difference between the original cost and the "lower" cost has been shifted to others.

The company would get the exact same economic result (all other things being equal) if it charged an amount equal to a percentage of bandwidth costs.

Translated from Norwegian (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685954)

"If other people are generous enough to give you storage and bandwidth, and you utilize their generosity, then you can save money by using less of your own."

Remarkable!

Next week, a story about uploading video to youtube...

how nice (4, Interesting)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685994)

If everybody does this, home Internet connections need to be upgraded or we're going to get volume pricing again. Either way, end users are going to pay for this.

Re:how nice (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686116)

Overall costs aren't reduced (in fact they're increased - home users pay far more per gb than a large business user does). They're pushed into the users, who think that they have 'free' unlimited bandwidth - then bitch when their ISP increases prices/introduces capping/blocks torrents completely.

Unfortunately the majority don't understand this and will fall for it.

Re:how nice (3, Informative)

tantrum (261762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686262)

well, you might be right about some crappy isps have download limits and or portblockers. However this casestudy is from Norway where NONE of the isps have any of that.

If you're already paying fully for your bandwidth the extra load on your network is already paid for and should be considered sunk cost.

In words you might understand: "The more I download/share, the cheaper my bandwidth becomes"

Re:how nice (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686318)

Even if home users were paying the same amount then it would cost more because Bittorrent has a lot more overhead than HTTP. Since theprotocol is very stupid and doesn't take routing into account, the total load on the backbones is also likely to increase.

Re:how nice (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686780)

Bittorrent has a lot more overhead than HTTP
I keep hearing this a lot. How much overhead? A couple of percentage maybe. That isn't a lot. And the overhead can be reduced by simply lowering the amount of connections you make.

Since theprotocol is very stupid and doesn't take routing into account, the total load on the backbones is also likely to increase.
Umm, the protocol does indeed take routing into account, although indirectly.

It downloads and trades pieces with the peers and seeds that it can get the most out of. And guess which peers that is most likely to be. Of course those near the user himself. And if it isn't, that means that the backbone isn't really overloaded, so it doesn't hurt using it.

Re:how nice (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686842)

Overall costs aren't reduced (in fact they're increased - home users pay far more per gb than a large business user does).
Actually, I pay my monthly fee even if I don't use it, so my current cost per gb is 0. I do pay for upload/download bandwidth, but that I need in any case.

Server bandwidth and cpu have a higher load than the home user computers, meaning that distributing the load to those home users makes efficent use of infrastructure that is already in place.

Unless of course, there isn't infrastructure in place, like in the US.

then bitch when their ISP increases prices/introduces capping/blocks torrents completely.
I bitch when ISPs cap/block torrents because they single out torrents. If they wan't to cap, cap everything. That is fair, and if they do I can decided how much my upload is worth when using torrents. And, no they shouldn't be allowed to hide the caps.

Here in Sweden companies don't seem to have a problem providing people with very high speeds though. Maybe because they have actually invested in working infrastructure.

And, no population density isn't an argument unless you explain big cities in the US. Besides, the Sweden isn't the most densly populated country. Yes, our population is more clustered than that in the US, but our internet coverage goes beyond using that as an explanation.

Re:how nice (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686160)

As if they don't already do that. Norway has one of the most US-centric broadcast schedules in Europe and we're always lagging significantly behind the US. I'd estimate that over the last 3 years I've uploaded somewhere around 500-1000GB, which averages out to about 20GB/month. No complaints from the ISPs even though HDTV content eats a ton more bandwidth than the regular stuff. So no, I hardly think this will be a major issue above and beyond regular P2P use.

Re:how nice (1)

ghyd (981064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686388)

I too have not heard of bandwidth issue with our ADSL infrastructure yet in France, despite being one of the prominent IPTV market with millions of users. Anyway, our main IPTV carrier is investing billions in FTTP in the next years.

Re:how nice (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686844)

We just discussed how it's radically more efficient, unused bandwidth can now be used at every level.

I assume that you're a capitalist to the core from your silly comment... maybe if you ACTUALLY had faith in the capitalism you seem to represent you'd realize that more efficiency = less cost... all monopoly problems notwithstanding.

A billion posts of Duh (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686002)

After reading just half the article I could hear the thousands of keyboards frantically typing "Duh" in one form or another into posts.

This has to be the most redundant, not-news, article on ./ ever :)

It does not contain anything new... no insightful thoughts, different applications, etc.

Re:A billion posts of Duh (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686028)

Well in my timezone it's early Saturday morning (real early)... what do you expect?

Plus I like his response to questions about owning or "securing" his content:

If you want control of your content you need to lock it down in a vault and never show it to anyone. We gave up control of our content the day we started broadcasting.

Reminds me of computer security jokes "only secure computer is powered off, in a vault..."

Re:A billion posts of Duh (1)

FailedTheTuringTest (937776) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686418)

Most media companies demonize BitTorrent by reflex, and this is a story about a media company that overcomes that reflex, wakes up, seriously evaluates it in terms of costs and benefits, arrives at a positive financial result, and publicly announces that fact.

It is quite significant that a media company, rather than attacking BitTorrent, has seen the potential for themselves to benefit from it and is now prepared to join us geeks in a conversation about it, instead of blindly and prejudicially attacking it.

And the actual cost? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686046)

I would have liked to see an analysis of the actual total distribution cost - not the cost to the originator, but the total. In the UK, cost of internet data consists of two parts: The cost of getting the data to your ISP, and the cost of getting the data from the ISP to your home, usually using bandwidth bought at wholesale prices from BT (British Telecom). The cost for the ISP to send data to your home is around £0.60 per Gigabyte, But the cost to get data from a huge source to the ISP is much lower. For example, getting a movie from the BBC server to your ISP has negligible cost, compared to the cost of getting the same movie from the ISP to your home. A Bittorrent would obviously send data from many, many homes to ISPs, and then from the ISPs to different homes. In other words, the data goes through the expensive route twice instead of once. I would think that the actual cost is actually almost twice as high using Bittorrent. An interesting question is: Who pays for it? In the end, your ISP pays the cost. The ISP will of course calculate your monthly payments so that they will come out ahead, and if you use torrents a lot they might convince you to get a more expensive package with more bandwidth. So in the end you will end up paying the cost.

Re:And the actual cost? (2, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686054)

Same post again, with line breaks:

I would have liked to see an analysis of the actual total distribution cost - not the cost to the originator, but the total.

In the UK, cost of internet data consists of two parts: The cost of getting the data to your ISP, and the cost of getting the data from the ISP to your home, usually using bandwidth bought at wholesale prices from BT (British Telecom). The cost for the ISP to send data to your home is around £0.60 per Gigabyte, But the cost to get data from a huge source to the ISP is much lower. For example, getting a movie from the BBC server to your ISP has negligible cost, compared to the cost of getting the same movie from the ISP to your home. A Bittorrent would obviously send data from many, many homes to ISPs, and then from the ISPs to different homes. In other words, the data goes through the expensive route twice instead of once. I would think that the actual cost is actually almost twice as high using Bittorrent.

An interesting question is: Who pays for it? In the end, your ISP pays the cost. The ISP will of course calculate your monthly payments so that they will come out ahead, and if you use torrents a lot they might convince you to get a more expensive package with more bandwidth. So in the end you will end up paying the cost.

Re:And the actual cost? (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686086)

An interesting question is: Who pays for it? In the end, your ISP pays the cost. The ISP will of course calculate your monthly payments so that they will come out ahead, and if you use torrents a lot they might convince you to get a more expensive package with more bandwidth. So in the end you will end up paying the cost.
I'll pay the extra $0.02 for each movie/CD/hour of tv I download, vs the cost associated with creating the physical DVD/CD/cable channel and getting it from Mexico/Taiwan/Time Warner to my house.

It is cheaper for the producers of content, and therefore they can charge less to compensate for our extra bandwith costs (and more - saving us money)!

Re:And the actual cost? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686148)

Firstly, if you thnk the content producers will reduce prices simply because they've saved money then you're deluded - that's why it's still mostly cheaper to buy a physical CD than buy from itunes.

Secondly, did you read the post you replied to? The increase in cost to the ISP is much greater than the saving in cost to the producer. You will pay *more* in increased ISP charges than you could save by reduced movie costs.

Re:And the actual cost? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686344)

I agree in general with your point, but I think your calculations are being very generous. When you get content from the BBC, the cost of getting the data to your ISP is almost nothing because most ISPs have a caching arrangement with the BBC where they host the large pieces of BBC content for their customers and so incur no external bandwidth charges. I contrast, Bittorrent does not take network topology into account, so you may well be exchanging data with peers in the USA. Since transatlantic bandwidth is significantly more expensive than intracontinental bandwidth this is going to cost your ISP a lot more than if you are just exchanging data with someone on your street.

ISPs set their service charges to be the amount an average user costs them in external bandwidth charges, plus their infrastructure and operating costs, plus some profit. Bittorrent will push up the external bandwidth charges and their infrastructure (they currently oversell upstream a lot more than downstream because the downstream is more heavily used).

Actual Torrent Files (5, Informative)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686130)

If you're looking for the actual torrent files, episodes 1-8 can be found at the bottom of this post: http://nrkbeta.no/norwegian-broadcasting-nrk-makes-popular-series-available-drm-free-via-bittorrent/ [nrkbeta.no] . I'm downloading episode 1 right now, and it has 73 seeds and 42 peers.

Re:Actual Torrent Files (2, Informative)

CyberK (1191465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686234)

Lars Monsen programs are actually very good if you like wilderness programs. He's quite popular here in Norway, and has spawned his own tradition of Chuck Norris-style facts due to him being, well, awesome. In this series he lives a whole year outdoors above the Arctic circle, and previously he has done such things as walk across Canada, where he amongst other things scared away a bear by getting angry at it: http://youtube.com/watch?v=hFGwX-BjHX8&feature=related [youtube.com] (Obviously the shouting needs to be done in English since it's a Canadian bear...)

No such thing as a free lunch (4, Insightful)

drhamad (868567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686162)

At some level this is redundant, but I'm going to state it in a slightly different way.

Of course distributing via BitTorrent is cheaper for the originator, nobody could possibly argue this. But I'd like to see a study on the TOTAL cost to society. In other words, yes it's cheaper for the originator, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. SOMEBODY is paying for all that bandwidth/etc. If you have bandwidth limits, perhaps you are paying for them to distribute their file. If you don't (as we in the US do not) then the telecommunications company is paying. Bandwidth does not materialize out of thin air. SOMEBODY pays. Further, BitTorrent is not exactly efficient. It uses a lot more requests/connections/etc to download or distribute via BT than it does via HTTP/FTP/etc.

The offsetting factor may be the more distributed load over the system, since there's no central point, really. I'm not sure how much this really helps though.

I guess my point is, the total cost to society of BitTorrent use may very well be higher than that for distributing by older methods.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (1)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686368)

It make sense that the viewer should contribute some bandwidth.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686692)

I imagine most consumer upload capacity is sitting unused. Of course the ISP pays for its external traffic, but a lot of P2P traffic can stay within one ISP and therefore save those external links.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (2, Insightful)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686734)

BitTorrent is not exactly efficient. It uses a lot more requests/connections/etc to download or distribute via BT than it does via HTTP/FTP/etc.
The overhead is relativly minor when dealing with larger files. It is still the best argument. Minimizing the overhead needs to be a goal of an efficent p2p protocol.

SOMEBODY is paying for all that bandwidth/etc.
Yup. However, if any peers deems that paying for the bandwidth isn't worth it, they should turn off their sharing and get everything from the seeders. It will take longer since the distributor is spending less on bandwidth, but eventually he will get it.

If everyone does the same, the distributor has to increase the amount he spends on bandwidth until the distribution basically becomes like http/ftp but with a minor overhead. And in that case it would of course be better to use http/ftp instead to avoid that overhead.

The only way to let this play out however is to let each peer decide for himself if spending their upload is worth it. This is one of the basic rules of modern economy. The overall pattern of all participating individuals is efficent.

If telecommunication companies in the US cap bandwidth, fewer individuals will share and the distributor will have to spend more on providing dedicated seeds to keep up the same download speeds, making bittorrent less profitable than the dedicated http/ftp downloads.

The offsetting factor may be the more distributed load over the system, since there's no central point, really. I'm not sure how much this really helps though.
It helps a lot. I posted this http://torrentfreak.com/university-uses-utorrent-080306/ [torrentfreak.com] earlier in this discussion, but it worth posting again as it doesn't deal with end users, but an organisation using bittorrent instead of file servers to distribute patches.

The point is that we have already have lots of bandwidth that we use just to get things from servers to clients. This however means that the servers are working at full capacity all the time, while the clients are mostly idleing (both bandwidth and processor). What p2p does is use those idle clients to perform real work, thereby offloading the servers, decreasing the amount needed.

Multicast? (4, Insightful)

gjh (231652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686340)

What I'd really like to see is figures for the broadcaster and the hidden costs to the ISP for each of....

- Unicast
- Bittorrent
- Multicast

Multicast is so obviously the best solution all round for the, what, at least 50% of a national TV station's audience that watch predictable and consistent shows week after week. It would be pretty trivial for PCs to grab a multicast overnight.

By the way, the BBC really tried to do this right [bbc.co.uk] , but ISPs were too stupid to see that it was in their best interests to cooperate. This is my reading of the evidence - I accept corrections.

It's a plan by the man to stick us with the costs (2, Informative)

samuel4242 (630369) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686396)

It's certainly cheaper for the central server, but doesn't it just push the workload out to the local machines and network connections? Doesn't it just push the costs to the local user who pays for the bandwidth? I like P2P and think some of the algorithms are pretty clever, but I can't deny that my local pipe is saturated by the kids downloading things. There are times I would like my email and web traffic to move a bit faster.

My prediction is that some clever Slashdot folks will start claiming that P2P is just an evil trick by the man to stick us with the distribution costs!

In the meantime... (1)

PsyQ (87838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686528)

If you're interested in NRK's programs, why not download them straight from NRK? NRK are streaming almost everything! I've written a little Ruby script [rubyforge.org] that scrapes NRK's JavaScript-heavy website until it gets to the raw mms:// URL, which you can then stream or dump via mplayer. I've included a few utility scripts in svn that let you do either.

Currently I'm working on features to recursively list all of a series' episodes, for example. Then they could be queued or downloaded. We could even parse the date from the filename or the link so that you can specify a time frame for your episodes. Any help is really appreciated, as it's just a rough hack so far (but it works).

Before you ask: I'm trying to learn Norwegian and NRK is a fantastic source of training material :)
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  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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