Tuesday, November 28

P2PTV, two years later.

Around this time two years ago, I had just about had enough of not being able to watch my favorite Soccer leagues on TV due to their relative narrow demographic and lack of profitability. So I researched, and thought I had found the solution, at least as far as my Champion's League cravings were concerned, with UEFA.com's RealPlayer streaming of matches. A paid service which turned out to provide little satisfaction, filled as it was with buffering problems and some pretty dumb choices (no commentary, really?).

So I did my research, and learned about Coolstreaming, a faulty but promising new take on InternetTV, using Bittorrent technology to decentralize distribution of video streams. Though I had limited success with it, I was able to watch streams in full screen (resolution) at a quality (bitrate) that I felt content with. This, was clearly the way to go.

Then the P2PTV development community exploded.

Suddenly there were a handful of efficient programs to choose from (ironically competing with each other for the user base necessary to sustain a quality stream) which seemed to appeal mainly to asian viewers and starved american soccer fans. Sure, the commentary was often in Cantonese, but the emotions came across loud and clear.

Unlike CoolStreaming, some still exist today: PPlive, Sopcast, Feidian, TVAnts

The most english-friendly? Sopcast.
The most widely used? PPlive.
The better one? Sopcast.


Well, they let you broadcast your own streams. Which, in case you want to be fanciful about it, means you can broadcast your own channel. That's why.

Soccer content is almost impossible to come by on them nowadays, which is why I stopped caring for it as a resource. But I never stopped caring for it as an idea.

After all, if enough people wised up to it, no, if the masses somehow came to accept to sharing their upload in exchange of download as a second nature, we could stream a lot of very pretty content. If that's too idealistic, at least we wouldn't have to put up with the seemingly eternal nature of HD downloads (the only way they're available nowadays: Microsoft).

I wonder just how many people make any tangible use of their upload bandwidth nowadays. Sometimes I send friends songs I like, and I find myself uploading pictures to my server often, but I am me and I do more with a computer than some people do with their whole lives. I am demanding, and the only thing that ever ticked me off about uploading is crossing the line between caring for others and having your upload bottleneck your download speed. Which means with the right formula, someone as easily irritable as myself would have no objection to entertaining such a noble thought.

If you don't bother me, then you're free to go ahead and service me with forward thinking stuff like P2PTV. So please, someone out there, BRING IT.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried all kinds of p2p TV, the best I prefer is TVKoo, never buffering during playing.