New torrent technology a serial industry killer

New torrent technology a serial industry killer

Summary: The rapid improvement of Torrent technology, based on open source, will transform TV, just as VOIP tools like Skype are changing telephony, enabling integration with other data services.

SHARE:

Dexter on ShowtimeI got the annual notice from my cable company last week.  

Some channels in. Some channels out. And if it's something you really like you can bet it's now been pushed to a higher tier, at a higher price.

They don't just play this game with me. Cable operators routinely demand concessions from program suppliers, both fees and ad space.

It doesn't have to be that way. A decent Internet connection, a TiVo-like bit of software on your PC, and what you want can easily be downloaded in the background.

My daughter got a taste of this over the holidays, when her uncle and cousin downloaded old episodes of a show she liked. All three trooped into his office each day, leaving me alone with the cable clicker.

The race is now on to provide this kind of service, and one of the contestants on the open source side of that race, Miro, just updated their client, adding support for the libtorrent library of the BitTorrent protocol.

The new Miro represents another big win for libtorrent creator Jari Sundell, aka Rakshasa, a student at the University of Oslo in Norway.

On his wiki, Sundell notes that libtorrent is written in C++, that it transfers directly from file pages to the network stack, and that it is able to seed torrents three times faster than the official BitTorrent client.

The rapid improvement of Torrent technology, based on open source, will transform TV, just as VOIP tools like Skype are changing telephony, enabling integration with other data services.

Here's just one example from the Miro site. They're distributing Democracy Now, a talk show unavailable in many markets (and often on very high tiers in cable systems), in HD.

As these open source video tools work their way up from below, cable will come under the same pressure telephony came under a few years ago.

The telephony monopoly is now broken. That of cable will follow. Sundell may not get rich from it, but he is another brick in the wall.

Within a very few years, barring government action to stop it or protect the monopolists,  there will no longer be three networks for data, voice, and TV.

There will be one network, the Internet, and you'll use it as you please, thanks to open source.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Open Source, Telcos, Unified Comms

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

8 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Bittie will likely

    Bittie will likely wet his trousers over this.

    :o)
    Jack-Booted EULA
  • Nice work Dana

    nt
    D T Schmitz
  • List of torrent RSS feeds of practically every show

    This site has a long list of torrent feeds for practically
    every popular TV show, formatted for Miro. You can even
    view the list inside the application.

    Video on demand!

    http://tvfreedom.wordpress.com/
    seattlejoshmartin
  • Two words: Congress and FCC

    Both are susceptible to bribes and influence from the media cartels and the communications monopolies. Congress will pass be bribed to pass legislation mandating that media companies will have new police powers to abuse and harass anybody who threatens their profits. The FCC will endorse the abilities of cable companies to block or discriminate against any broadband traffic that would compete against their monopoly of cable TV delivery.

    Comcast was prescient that P2P sharing would not only overload their shoddy broadband infrastructure, but also begin eating into their lucrative premium content business. Their first attempts to block this traffic has been noted by the other broadband operators, and many different engineering groups are working on new and improved ways of shutting P2P and other content sharing technology sharing on the internet. The broadband providers were happy to sit on the sidelines and watch while consumers learned to bypass the RIAA and MPAA cartels, because it spurred the acceptance of broadband and new revenues for the cable operators. But now that it threatens *their* revenues from premium channel packages, they are taking action.

    LEST WE FORGET: the internet is a highly-centralized commercial enterprise, operated by a select few backbone providers and relatively small number of distribution monopolies (cable and telecom providers ARE government-sanctioned monopolies in most areas). These people have ultimate visibility and control on your use of the internet, and they have the power to kill anything they don't like. DON'T FORGET THIS. You may be able to switch from the single local cable broadband ISP in your area to the single local telecom DSL provider in your area, but they will both be looking to put the screws to you ...
    terry flores
    • Orwellian-- but alas, well said

      Your words ring very loud in my ears. Even now the power of P2P to unravel the strangle hold of entertainment is clear to these cable/entertainment companies/conglomerates, so they are doing everything in their power to stop and/or disable it.
      kckn4fun
  • RE: New torrent technology a serial industry killer

    Great report thank guys, and happy new year!!!
    stevencel
  • We can only hope!

    As a long-time subscriber [i](victim)[/i] of a cable company [i](Charter)[/i] and their double-whammy of backdoor rate increases [i](channels dropped or moved)[/i] followed by the "real" rate increases, it would be nice to believe that this will change the situation. [i][b]But it won't.[/b][/i] You have to have a broadband connection to do this and we all know what Comcast has been doing. Don't you think that, to fight this situation, both types of broadband providers will do [b]everything[/b] in their power to prevent this from working the way we would like it to work?
    JTF243
  • RE: New torrent technology a serial industry killer

    big bro will come down soon for the corps or corpses.
    keymani