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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yet Another p2p Video Streaming Solution

First there was Joost, then came Babelgum, now it appears that we will have Skinkers LiveStream, which the beeb and other uk broadcasters are evaluating as a cheap distribution solution. New Scientist has a very good write-up of the technology which explains the two key differences to Joost.

Skinkers actually have good contacts with the beeb new media juggernaut providing the technology behind the popular beeb desktop ticker. I suppose that it also helps the Skinker sales pitch that the technology was developed by Microsoft in its Cambridge, UK labs, especially given the mysterious understanding between the beeb and Microsoft. Microsoft are part-owners of Skinkers which did a technology transfer deal.

On a more general point, if the broadcasters manage to successfully launch p2p services for video broadcast services with a reasonable takeup, then I suspect the ISPs will move in a rush to enable multicasting throughout their networks, because if p2p takes off then the load on the isp networks will be huge and someone will have to pay the cost and it looks like the broadcasters are doing everything in their power to ensure that it is not them.

P2P streaming of Broadcast also sets the scene for mouth-watering showdown with IPTV, Video-on-Demand and all the expensive services that are being currently designed.