The BBC is one of the media partners participating in the EU-funded P2P-Next research project, which uses BitTorrent technology to shape the future of web-based video delivery.
BitTorrent is very effective in reducing bandwidth costs and thanks to technology developed by the P2P-Next team, it can also be used to stream TV-shows. Today P2P-Next has launched a new trial where they stream an episode of R&DTV in high definition.
In collaboration with the BBC, who kindly provided a HD episode of R&D TV, the researchers of P2P-Next will use this experiment to gather user feedback and demonstrate that the technology will allow video to be streamed to the public, by the public.
If successful, following further optimization the technology will allow everyone with a standard Internet connection to stream high definition video to thousands of people without having to invest in additional hardware or bandwidth.
“Our ambition level is to craft the next-generation of P2P technology,” P2P-Next scientific director, Dr. Johan Pouwelse, told TorrentFreak. “We hope that our Open Source P2P technology can provide existing user-generated video communities with high quality streaming video.”
Indeed, with this BitTorrent-powered streaming technology it should be fairly easy to create a mashup between The Pirate Bay and YouTube. Thanks to BitTorrent the users take care of the bandwidth, which significantly reduces the costs involved with running a video streaming site.
The current trial is limited to Windows users only, but the streaming plugin will also be available for other platforms in the near future. In order to stream the episode directly from the trial website, users have to install a plugin first, then the R&DTV episode should start to play.
Pouwelse further encourages those who are able to participate in the trial to submit feedback and report bugs. As the technology is only in an early stage of development, problems with some video cards are expected to occur, but it should work fine with the majority.
Those who want to participate can check out the BitTorrent-powered episide of BBC’s R&DTV here. Details on the number of users connected and the bandwidth transferred can be found on the statistics page.