Bittorrent as a means of broadcast

  • Thread starter Ulysees
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I have heard that bittorrent does a very good job of finding the sources of a file and downloading efficiently. So if enough people have a copy of a video and share it, performance might even exceed the mighty google. We'd all be broadcasters.

There are some other, low-level routing protocols that deliver broadcast video without duplicating transfers. But the transmission is still centralized and therefore controlled by those who have the resources. Whereas bittorrent is anarchic, everyone broadcasts what they want, as long as it's legal no one can stop them or control them. It's more like true democracy and freedom of speech, as long it's legal. In this respect, bittorrent as a means of broadcast would be superior.

So has anyone thought of writing a wrapper for bittorrent that looks like a video player? Ie gets the video part under the cursor first? It would need a lot of subscribers and disk space to guarantee availability, but once it gets popular, there's nothing that can stop it.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mgb_phys
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The BBC iplayer uses a bittorrent like protocol ( strickly speaking bittorrent is just one example of Peer-2-peer or P2P protocols)

Of course the material can still be DRM'ed and the player controlled - P2P is only the distribution media.
 
  • #3
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There are plenty of p2p broadcasting stations. I use http://www.myp2p.eu/ [Broken] all the time to watch euro soccer games. With programs like SopCast and TVANTS.
 
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  • #4
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Alright... Is it all channels like the channels on tv? Owned and controlled by the same coorporations?

On second thought, there may never be enough people watching a video made by of one of us, for p2p broadcast to work nicely. :frown:
 
  • #5
Mk
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On second thought, there may never be enough people watching a video made by of one of us, for p2p broadcast to work nicely. :frown:
Well that's not very optimistic! There are plenty of Independent filmmakers that already use BitTorrent to broadcast! Mininova just announced that they will be implementing bittorrent swarm video streaming.
torrentfreak.com/mininova-bittorrent-video-streaming-080319/
 
  • #6
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Another issue is, can the searching for peers be completely decentralised? Ie without servers but run as a distributed search engine?

That would be trading speed for independence. In fact a distributed search engine like this might find more than google for rare keywords. Google has been caught red-handed hiding sites and only showing them if you put "site:". And I'm not talking about illegal sites, but ufo-related etc.
 
  • #7
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PS. Email is decentralised, and DNS look-up is decentralised somewhat. Why not a search engine too. Implemented over the p2p infrastuctrure perhaps. Maybe with p2p files containing the index of this search engine, split hierarchically and with massive redundance.
 
  • #8
Mech_Engineer
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http://www.joost.com

Invented by a co-creator of Shareaza, it's a "TV" program that literally uses all of the users to store video and handle streaming. It actually has quite a few good TV shows on it these days, including National Geographic Specials, VH1 shows, Comedy Central Stuff, and a lot of other stuff.

For now they're still in "Beta" testing so you can get on it for free, but when it goes prime-time I'm pretty sure it will have a monthly fee. Still, a very interesting use of peer-to-peer networks that doesn't involve copyright infringement.
 
  • #9
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I downloaded Joost as soon as it came out— it reminded me why I moved from watching TV to mostly watching videos on the Internet.

can the searching for peers be completely decentralised? Ie without servers but run as a distributed search engine?
I don't understand what you mean. The solution today is to have three parts of a whole: Tracker, search engine, browser.
 
  • #11
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(eg after this header: "Searching decentralized p2p networks")
 

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