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This article was published on May 17, 2016

BitTorrent is taking on broadcast television with a multichannel livestream platform

BitTorrent is taking on broadcast television with a multichannel livestream platform
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

BitTorrent’s peer to peer data protocols are most known for file sharing through torrents and Sync, but now the company believes it can tackle a completely different platform: live television.

To be clear, the company isn’t taking on livestreaming platforms like Periscope or Twitch; it’s setting it’s sights on broadcast television. Called BitTorrent Live, the platform will focus on the areas Web streaming hasn’t quite cracked yet, including sports, news and events – all which BitTorrent says hold the majority of television viewership.

Part of the reason large scale streaming video has been problematic is simply an issue of scale: the more viewers a network has, the larger and more expensive its content distribution network has to be. We’re all too familiar with laggy livestreaming.

P2P livestreaming could theoretically be much cheaper to monetize at large scales.
Credit: BitTorrent
P2P livestreaming could theoretically be much cheaper to monetize at large scales.

That’s where P2P comes in: Every viewer becomes part of the distribution network by both receiving and sharing that video at the same time – just like a torrent. Only this time the protocol has been tuned for latency; BitTorrent promises under 10 seconds of latency without the need of an expensive CDN, even at the scale of traditional over-the-air television.

The platform will include 13 free channels to start – including live sports, news, tech and film channels – but will later expand to include subscription, ad supported, and pay-per-view networks. Head on over to the source link below for more details on the current lineup.