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Will live streaming make BitTorrent legit?

February 9, 2012

Accounting for more than 11% of all internet traffic, BitTorrent is a major p2p operator and an innovator in moving large chunks of content through the interweb’s already crowded tubes. As laudable as that is, British market research firm Envisional claims that BitTorrent also moves just under 50% of all copyright infringing content being distributed on the internet. Add to the mix the recent shutdown of cyberlocker Megaupload and the continuing push by the entertainment industry to pass SOPA and PIPA, BitTorrent finds itself in a constantly beleaguered role.

Never-the-less, the technology used by BitTorrent is among the most innovative at dealing with some of the biggest problems faced by streamers: net congestion, latency, and stream quality. CNET’s Seth Rosenblatt has spoken to BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen about what BitTorrent brings to live streaming. LSD’s takeaway: “BT Live scales very well, with projected modeling showing a 4- to 4.5-second delay for up to one million peers.”

So, the promise is a better delivery technology for an overall better viewing experience, including events where viewership could possibly climb into the millions. The question remains, would this proof of concept bring a new-found legitimacy to BitTorrent and raise it above the stigma of piracy enabler? LSD hopes so, because LSD loves disruptive thinking.

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