The guys that brought us the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol known as BitTorrent or Torrenting for short have brought us a new and innovative way of streaming content.
BitTorrent Live is a platform that enables users to stream their content to large audiences with the quality of the stream improving as more people begin to watch the stream. This tool would be incredibly useful for companies like Sony to harness when they do live streams of their events. During the PS3 press conference and live stream, their stream kept cutting out and losing signal. Instead, with BitTorrent Live, their signal would only get stronger and the quality of the video would get better as more people joined the stream.
This technology is based off of the BitTorrent technology where your speeds improve as more people are both downloading and uploading the file. With BitTorrent Live, users with large audiences can experience performance improvements instead of degradation as more users join. This appears to be a natural evolution of the BitTorrent technology, as some clients that use torrenting like uTorrent allow for the streaming of torrents as you download the content. Since a live stream is less data up front, there is less time necessary to actually get the appropriate stream up to a good quality.
Peer to Peer streaming, however, may introduce new problems for the content companies to protect themselves from copyright theft. Currently, they find themselves fighting off public torrenting sites like The Pirate Bay and Demonoid, however, with Torrent Streaming a whole new set of problems occurs since the content isn’t technically being downloaded anymore. As BitTorrent Live begins to be supported by new clients and content providers, we shall see how the market adopts it, but there is no denying that BitTorrent Live could once again change the way we consume content.