You know Bittorrent? The evil scourge of the media world? Well, it’s being pursued by the EU as a possible standard for distributing TV online throughout Europe. Bittorrent’s going LEGIT.
The hope is to establish a Europe-wide standard for online delivery of telly, based around the Bittorrent format, which will provide access to stored archive material and streamed live events – and the P2P nature of it all will help stop the servers crashing on Eurovision night or when Manchester United plays Barcelona.
The EU’s spending 14m euros (£10.5m) on funding the Bittorrent-alike scheme, with additional cash coming from the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union. They’ve even though up a cool name for it, no doubt to help differentiate this legit P2P service from the piracy-enabling existing torrent scene – P2P Next.
Thing is, though, do we really want Bittorrent-like systems? I’d rather not constantly have my web connection bogged down by it beaming bits of TV shows I’ve already watched to other people when I’m on web duty and not even watching telly, thanks very much.
The BBC’s iPlayer kindly lets you switch off file sharing for the shows you’ve downloaded – doesn’t everyone turn this off as well, or is just me that’s a data Scrooge? Surely a torrent format’s just going to annoy people?
For more news about things like this written by people who understand things like this, check out Shiny Media’s telly-focussed blog HDTV UK.