What is BitTorrent
BitTorrent is the biggest name in file sharing. It has been working on live streaming for many years and now, it is all set to offer live video streaming service, BitTorrent Live.
Whenever broadcasters want to transmit a live video, they need to invest heavily into their capabilities in terms of hardware and infrastructure to stream content in real time to their users. During peak hours, especially if the broadcasters have miscalculated the demand, lags in videos is the most commonly encountered issue. BitTorrent solves this problem by using P2P (Peer-to-Peer) technology. This means that if anyone is downloading or streaming a video on BitTorrent’s streaming service, then the video content will not be aired from the BitTorrent’s servers. Instead, the content will be streamed from the devices of other users who have previously downloaded or streamed the content.
This is in contrast to other streaming services offered by competitors who use digital broadcasting with central servers distributing programmers to users via their content delivery networks. P2P technology has made BitTorrent successful, so much so that it accounts for approximately 5% of the internet traffic. BitTorrent Live will launch its service on Apple TV with both iOS and Android versions.
With BitTorrent Live, a large number of viewers can watch live video with only a minute level of latency, and that too without requiring any massive infrastructure. The failure rate in content delivery by BitTorrent’s streaming service is likely to be much less under high demand.
This is something that is quite uncommon with other providers. In fact, in 2014, BitTorrent CEO, Eric Klinker suggested Netflix to switch to P2P architecture. Netflix has hired employees to develop P2P technology, but has not announced any specific plans to use it in its product.
Right now, BitTorrent will launch only a handful of channels free of cost. There is a decent selection of content that includes channels for news, sports, music, youth culture, and technology. Free channels include AWE, Clubbing TV, Fast & Fun, Filmbox Arthouse, Newsmax, NUsicTV, OANN, One World Sports, OpenNews TV, Pursuit Channel, and TWiT, FightBox and Heroes TV. He defended his decision for providing lesser known channels by arguing that BitTorrent is providing a free service, whereas other competitors like Sling TV charges people for the basic packages as well. These channels are lesser known. However, the future versions will charge a subscription fee and will include many more channels.
The Vice President of Media at BitTorrent, Erik Schwartz announced that the company is in talks with major content providers for licensing their offerings. In future, BitTorrent Live will include all major channels. It will live-stream all regional and international content including sports, music, movies and everything else.
What does BitTorrent provide?
BitTorrent powers a massive file sharing culture and this might allow it to become a big player in the market of streaming services as well. BitTorrent Live will become a particular success in regions with slow internet connections. BitTorrent Live will be immensely useful for bloggers and internet marketers who heavily rely on live broadcasts. One unique feature for broadcasters and viewers is that they can chat with each other using the ‘Live chat’ feature.
This service is free at present and anyone can sign up for an account.
To watch hassle free videos, users just need to download BitTorrent Live from its official website. It is available for Mac, Windows and Ubuntu operating systems. One drawback with this service right now is that people can’t stream videos on smart phones or videos.
Highlights of the Service are:
Biggest file sharing service
Use of P2P technology which means you get no lag while streaming videos live
No need for an expensive content delivery network
Facility where broadcasters and viewers can interact with each other
Works well with slow internet connections
Free of cost channel packages
Free of cost broadcasting
Services available on Apple TV and Android
According to Christian Averill, Vice President of Marketing at BitTorrent, their streaming service Live should not be considered as a competitor of Facebook Live, but rather as an alternative to Hulu. BitTorrent has always contributed towards mobilizing content on the internet and will now dive in to fix the major streaming issues that plague the market.
BitTorrent will soon be preparing to compete with cable television and satellite TV too, but that will come later. BitTorrent is likely to change the way we see television right now. It will provide both subscription based, and ad-supported services. In addition, there will be on-demand pay per view content available too.