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Television Media The Internet

Video Distribution Platform Aiming to Kill TV 207

Posted by Zonk
from the i-hope-this-lasts-more-than-five-minutes dept.
skaterperson writes "I just read about Downhill Battle's new open source video platform - a publishing tool based off of BattleTorrent and a video player written in Python. They've started a whole new organization to sponsor the project. They say "TV channels" will be made out of RSS feeds and anybody can subscribe to another user's content channel. The system is being designed for the express purpose of putting broadcasting in the hands of individuals. I like this idea of using recent advances in filesharing and syndication to allow aggregated content to be delivered to your desktop. There is a radio show on the project available at echoradio." The project is just getting underway, with a (hopeful) launch date sometime in June of this year.
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Video Distribution Platform Aiming to Kill TV

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  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:37AM (#12232925)


    "In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes."
    - Andy Warhol


    Screw that...in the future, everyone will have their own public-access TV show.

    Seriously though, where is this going? It sounds like for every person who decides to actually publish something with thought and content, about 100 people will just be publishing their webcam of them going about their day. This impending explosion of mind-numbing neo-reality TV is going to make Survivor look like Shakespeare.

    Here's a tip: folks, if you're wondering if your day-to-day existence is interesting enough to make into a reality TVshow, odd are you're WRONG. Keep it to yourself.
    • I agree. On the other hand it opens nice opertunities for communities of artists. I've kinda always liked the idea of Open Source TV.
    • by gameboyhippo (827141) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:43AM (#12232993) Journal
      I'm not sure that anything can kill TV. People are just not technical enough to spend alot of time setting up what TV they want to see through RSS feeds and whatnot. I think we need to remember sometimes that we are pretty elite when it comes to technology and thus we should think of technology in the sense of the average user's point of view.
      • Of course.
        But there are a lot of people that use google as their gateway to the internet.
        Googling for videos might one day get to be easier than buying cable, and using the tv remote + cable box remote.
      • "People are just not technical enough to spend alot of time setting up what TV they want to see through RSS feeds and whatnot. " - gameboyhippo

        In those cases you will find people that provide access to RSS selections. Different people will set up a collection of RSS selections and probably sell that selection to the less knowing. We see that today with News Services. How much of the news from CNN or Times come from Reuters or Associated Press, and then some of their own.
      • Uhh no.

        If this platform takes off with the geeks then the content will be out there and the geeks will make a knoppix distro that you control with a remote. Now all grandma has to do is buy an E-machine at wallmart, pick up a supported remote and plug her computer into the TV and internet. Pick up the remote, subscribe to some shows and drink some tea while she waits for the shows to stream in.
      • The entire point of the project which this article links to is to make things as easy as possible. Combining BitTorrent and RSS is not new. There are roughly a dozen download clients already (I have a list at http://www.asyserver.com/~kirwin/cgi-bin/fakessi. p l?vb/btrssoptions.shtml and that's not even complete due to recent client and server software releases which I have not caught up with). I myself already run such an internet TV station/videoblog at http://www.asyserver.com/~kirwin/vb/
        but they are
    • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:45AM (#12233011) Homepage
      This is just a logical development of "blogs". Limited only by the computer power and bandwidth.

      First -- textual blogs. Then -- foto blogs (Flikr, FotoLog). Next -- video clips, then continuous video-streaming, and so on with the possible future technologies (3D-video, avatars, etc.)

      in the future, everyone will have their own public-access TV show.

      Not everyone has a blog today -- most people never will. This hobby (or profession) is not for all. Some prefer hiking, cars, computers...

    • by blowdart (31458) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:45AM (#12233013) Homepage
      if you're wondering if your day-to-day existence is interesting enough to make into a reality TVshow

      That hasn't stopped pod casting has it?

      All of these personal communication technologies, from email, through web sites, the evolution into blogs, podcasting and now this are full of crap. Really. After all, how many web sites of the ones you've surfed have you found interesting enough to check on a regular basis? 10%? And how many of those were personal sites?

      Most of the net content is ego based, not quality based, and unless someone is prepared to put quality content on there it will remain as marginalised as the current ego trip hyped as pod casting.

    • I was thinking the other day of publishing my webcam on the internet. It would be like... me sitting in front of the computer programming all day. Ocasionally the cat would play with the cam and it would end up on the floor, adding new insights and novelty into the daily show.

      Of course, it would only be pay per view. I've already started writing the business plan and will be submiting the plan for financing to a local group of investors. Wish me luck! I'll be famous one day!
      • At first I thought your post was funny. Then I realised that this is more or less what happens on a lot of `reality TV' shows that are on television at the moment, and people actually do pay for this kind of thing.

        Mod parent down, -1 Depressing.

    • Screw that...in the future, everyone will have their own public-access TV show.

      I can see it now..."Tune in at 3AM and watch me troll some obscure PHP BB in my own special mini series called "Troll that board!"

      Uggg.

      On the other end of the spectrum, it would be nice to get an all-tech television channel going again, like the early days of ZDTV (Tech TV)
      • ever since techTV took a dive a year or more ago (Depending on who you ask. It was "always better last year"), Ive been wanting to start some sort of replacement for the geeks of the world who like shows like the screensavers, etc. Shows like theBroken (full of half information as it is) are good, but not really something you can consume on a regular basis. Now, if i really knew how to do what im talking about, i wouldnt be working this job.
    • by cyber0ne (640846) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:55AM (#12233141) Homepage
      I doubt it would have any greater of a noise to signal ratio as any other public medium. Read Slashdot at -1 for an example. Sure, if something is made truly "public" and "free" it will get crowded with egocentric garbage and probably lots of porn. But there will be diamonds in the rough. Those of us who are interested enough will gravitate towards the quality sources and invite our friends. As for the rest of the sheep? Nobody told them they had to watch the images on their magical glowy boxes all day. They're just as free to do what they want as we are. If they are placated by Paris Hilton's latest mind-numbing comment to some idiot with a camera, let them have it.
      • Well put. It's not worth complaining about all the crap that'll be produced: except for the hilariously execrable, it'll sink to the bottom. Making content distribution easier is incredibly exciting.
    • Where is it going? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by torpor (458)
      No more control of the air-waves by special interest groups.

      No more religious-right influence on content.

      No more psy-ops programs at weekday prime-time.

      Girlfriend, you've got your own TV show...

      I for one welcome our self-producing-TV-show overlord masters. The previous ones were crap!!
    • This isn't really about homebrew webcams- this is about companies and organizations like the one I run, who have been out there for five years collecting people with Video, audio production and web skills, and developing media on an 'open-platform' basis, experimenting with non television (23min, etc) formats for content and working with streaming video and both traditional and non-traditional mechanisims to distribute.

      This is about the lowering of cost on broadcast and near broadcast quality production me
    • Seems that...in the future, everyone will be able to comment on Slashdot.

      Seriously though, where is this going? It sound like for every person who posts a comment with thought and content, about 100 people will just be posting the first thing that comes into their head. This impending explosion of mind-numbing neo-comments is going to make Hemos look like Shakespeare.

      Here's a tip: folks, if you'er wondering if your thought is interesting enough to make a worthwhile comment, odds are you're WRONG. Keep
    • Screw that...in the future, everyone will have their own public-access TV show.

      Seriously though...

      What's not serious? Everybody already has their own radio show [ipodder.org]. And according to NPR [onthemedia.org], one of the most popular podcasts is The Dawn and Drew Show [dawnanddrew.com], which is nothing but an ordinary couple discussing their day before going to bed. Not something I'd bother with, but I have to admit that it's better programming than, say, Extreme Makeover.

      My own opinion is that the technology isn't there yet for anybody to k

  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:39AM (#12232942) Homepage Journal
    Gosh. Everything's "Kill, Kill, Kill" round here. Can't we have nice, chilled-out, mellow headlines like
    Video Distribution Platform Aiming to Peacefully Coexist With TV
    or
    Linux Can Live Eternally In State Of Perpetual Grooviness With Windows
    Or am I just an old hippy.
  • This scares me. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BuddyJesus (835123)
    Do we really need more public access television?
    Granted, there is talent out there, but is the way to find them to give everyone a tv show and then filter out the bad ones?
    • Look at what Flash has done for amateur animators. 99% of that stuff is shit anyway, but it's the remaining 1% that really gets the attention.

      Granted, live-action videos are different than cartoons. But I'll be willing to bet that there will be at least something interesting to come out of this.
  • by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:42AM (#12232974)
    I think sometimes hi-tech people forget about Cleetus and Maude sitting in their trailer park in Alabama. Cleetus and Maude are consumers, just like us, but like their new 27 inch TV. Advertisers will continue to see these people as valid demographics for quite some time.

    My point is that you can have all sorts of fancy delivery systems and video on demand stuff. Most real people will continue to turn on the TV and flip channels looking for "Reba" reuns for a long, long time. Don't throw out those rabbit earrs quite yet.
    • Standardize the protocols and integrate it in a set-top box. Sell the box at Wal-Mart. Problem solved.
      • But then you have to explain the concept of waiting for content. The first thing they are going to say is "I choose it but then I have to find something to do for an hour before I can watch? How is this useful?" Until theres more people who can download hundreds of megs in a matter of minutes then this will not be a mass market.
    • Hehe. I still have rabbit ears. Mostly because having DSL and cable is redundant to me. I can just use my DSL line to download whatever shows I want to watch anyway.

    • They can always have this stuff built in to a settop or something.

      But what hardware company would make it (no profit in selling shows, therefore
      no hardware subsidy, therefore $499 settops instead of $49 one-offs) and what
      content company would subsidise the bandwidth required to allow it?

      Zero.

      Really this kind of effort needs to be organised in cooperation with existing
      networks and NOT a hippy open-source movement. Public access cable is the PITS,
      people want Star Trek, they want Desperate Housewives, they
  • Content is king (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wheelbarrow (811145) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:42AM (#12232978)
    One reason that today;s model, flawed though it may be, is successful is that it provides entertainment that people want to see. If people like the content then they are going to make a free and voluntary choice to not give it up.

    One such example is sports. I'm not interested in a low quality broadcast of the SuperBowl. I'll take the commercial production of the SuperBowl any time.
    • Re:Content is king (Score:5, Insightful)

      by joshmccormack (75838) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @10:14AM (#12233990) Homepage Journal
      Good point. Making a stupid 30 minute TV show once a week requires an army of people to write it, build sets, act, film, edit, etc. And they're all paid. I'm having a hard time picturing people producing content that frequently at any level of quality.

      People thought everyone would publish their own magazines when desktop publishing came around, and it would transform the world. Ditto with cheap video cameras, audio recording equipment, etc. The truth is, digestible content is expensive and labor intensive to produce, no matter what the technology involved.
      • Live action content is expensive to produce. But rendered content is much much less expensive and its reusable. If you build a virtual set/prop it can be modified and used by someone else. Additionally collaborative work can be done by geographically dispersed teams.

        Sure the image quality of rendered content right now is such that no one is going to mistake it for live action. BUT, when you take a look at what engines like Unreal Engine 3 are capable of and you extrapolate out a few more years then you

  • by bmw (115903) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:43AM (#12232989)
    It's good to have goals that aim a bit high but realistically nothing like this is going to kill TV. There's just too much money in it for it to go away anytime soon.

    This does sound like a really cool thing though. One thing I'm wondering about is whether this will actually work or not. I'm sure they must have done a fair bit of testing to have gotten this far with it but I have to wonder if something like BitTorrent would actually work for streaming video at consistently acceptable speeds. Don't get me wrong, BitTorrent is awesome and very often gives me great speeds but it just as often goes incredibly slow. As in 1-2KB/s slow.
    • Bleh. Wish I had had more time to read the article more closely before posting... Apparently it does in fact download everything in the background and then notifies you when it is ready to watch. This sounds really cool. Hopefully it can actually get a substantial userbase and gain some momentum. I still don't think it will put a dent in the TV network's userbase but hey, one can always hope :-)
    • The very fact that bittorrent does that is why this is (IMHO) a great way to watch what you want.

      Popular channels = Great quality, great speeds
      Crap = Crap speeds

      Of course, let's hope that the original seed has a good connection. ;) If we end up with DSL asshats with only 128kbps running a station...

  • Great... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CleverNickedName (644160) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:45AM (#12233004) Journal
    So now when I flick onto a wildlife documentary, or cookery show, I'll get hard core porn.

    Putting publishing/broadcasting in the hands of The People has shown us one thing: The People are perverts.
    • So now when I flick onto a [...] cookery show, I'll get hard core porn.

      Hmm, pr0n with carrots? And Wesson Oil? Sub-SCRIBE!
  • I know people who run fairly successful internet radio stations (one has ~1500 listeners), my girlfiend works as a production assistant for NJN, and my friends like to try our hand at amatuer movies for our own consumption. TV & movies are a lot more technically difficult than radio. I'm the first to admit that our movies are horrible, mostly because we don't have professional-grade cameras, lighting, and audio equipment.

    At best this will create a lot of 640x320 webcam videos being viewed by noone, and a couple semi-pro's showing their content before going "big time."

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @09:15AM (#12233339) Homepage
      if you think gear will make your movies better then you need to stop right now.

      having a million dollars in equipment will not make bad acting, bad writing and bad direction better.

      your lighting kit can be built at home depot for less than $100.00. audio equipment can be low end lapel microphones or a cheap shotgun mic ducttaped to a broom handle. and the camera can be any DV camera made.

      Examples? Blair witch was made with what I just mentioned to you. And many other indie films that are pretty darn good are also... check out rewindvideo.com for some more.

      YOU DO NOT NEED EXPENSIVE GEAR.
    • It's really not that hard to those of us who know what we're doing. The hard thing is getting good content through the nonsensical, dumbed-down beaurocracy of television and cable networks. BTW, your argument could have been made against every modern audiovisual content distribution innovation in the past century and a half. Way to be a reactionary pessimist luddite!
  • by Pedrito (94783) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:45AM (#12233016) Homepage
    The server is based on BlogTorrent [blogtorrent.com] not BattleTorrent.
  • Content? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Baavgai (598847) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @08:53AM (#12233108) Homepage
    So, who will be spending the millions of dollars a year to produce the content that everyone will happily share this way?

    TV is good because it assumes that I watch the commercials and endure some content I'd rather not. That's the current model that pays for things.

    In a choose your own feed senario advertising becomes pruned. So, who makes new content and who pays for it?
    • Channel 1: The Homestar Channel [homestarrunner.com]. Channel 2: The Weebl and Bob [jolt.co.uk] channel. Channel 3 will be dedicated to various Star Wars Kid [jedimaster.net] videos. Don't forget you have a couple thousand channels of porn...
    • Re:Content? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As a Machinima producer in my spare time, and a bittorrent junkie, I find a service/app like this to be ideal! I create video content for shits and giggles and release it for free at festivals and my community site http://www.machinima.com/ [machinima.com] anyway. There are a lot of people in the world just like me and my rag-tag group who still make art and film for people to enjoy, not to charge for.

      Sometimes we have a message, sometimes a new rendering technique, and sometimes we just want to entertain, but we're not s
  • Most people are content to passively recieve information via their tv, GENERATION of content is another matter entirely. It's really, really hard to make a good show, even if you have a great idea and a crew to help you realize it. However, I'd rather watch video of someone's uncle's birthday party than sit through the shampoo commercials and vehicular porn that saturate current television programming. Maybe there'll be another http://15.bloop.org/video.shtml/ [bloop.org] 15 Minute Show.
  • Content - MY WAY! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by webzombie (262030) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @09:00AM (#12233194)
    Someone noted: "One reason that today's model, flawed though it may be, is successful is that it provides entertainment that people want to see..."

    Meaning the networks are better at deciding what content the masses want rather then the masses is rediculous! It may be true in the sense that the networks are the only ones who can control the distribution of said content, good or otherwise.

    What is happening now is more and more passive viewers are not plopping their arses down for several hours a night to watch advertising saturated "primetime" content. More and more are using technology to record and view what the want when they want.

    Primetime and the telelvision advertising model is rapidly disappearing. That is the PRIMARY reason the industry is fighting so hard for the broadcast flag. They must control the hardware or the user will decide when and where the content is consumered not the network and their advertising model goes out the window.

    What the Broadcast Flag is really protecting is the networks advertising model not content. Once users can no longer freely record and watch content the way they want, they will simply find alternatives or find another source of entertainment.

    Don't laugh. This GARBAGE the networks call content is also drastically shrinking the "masses" that tune in at primetime. There is an ever growing list of more stimulating alternatives that do not require the user to sit through hours and hours of advertising. And that is what everyone is trying to protect... the MONEY!

    Locking down shitty content will only cause viewers to find alternative content. Locking down good or better content will only PISS OFF and alienate an ever-shrinking audience!
    • by Badgerman (19207)
      An odd example I've seen is the explosion in anime interest. Yes it has something of a faddish air, but there also seems to be a lot of neophilia - people love something NEW.

      Given a chance at something different, I think a surprising amount of people will jump on it.
    • by Mant (578427)

      Meaning the networks are better at deciding what content the masses want rather then the masses is rediculous! It may be true in the sense that the networks are the only ones who can control the distribution of said content, good or otherwise.

      I don't think that is what it means. I think what it means is the networks are better at making content. This is because they have money and employ lots of people who make TV professionally. Doesn't mean it is all good, but it has a better chance of being something

  • Nope (Score:2, Interesting)

    by philbowman (707419) *
    For this to kill TV, (or even groovily coexist as an alternative) it would require current producers of worthwhile content (e.g. battlestar galactica rather than survivor) to be willing to publish their content by these means.

    Podcasting is beginning to creep into this, but there aren't more than about a dozen "real" (i.e. not produced originally as a podcast) programs being podcast (e.g. BBC 'In Our Time', Virgin Radio 'Pete and Geoff Show', WGBH Morning Stories), and these aren't otherwise commercially a

    • For this to kill TV, (or even groovily coexist as an alternative) it would require current producers of worthwhile content (e.g. battlestar galactica rather than survivor) to be willing to publish their content by these means.

      Were copyright terms reasonable, this would be a great way to publish collections of works that have entered the public domain. As it is, this could still be a good forum for playing the few old movies and films that are now public. Add on to that, some cheaply produced, but inter

    • There is a lot of potential content. Cooking shows, DIY, Motorcycling... Think of anything on DIY, speed, or Outdoors. Eventually I can see someone like Virgin jumping on this. Put commercials in the videos just like TV and make money. Not need for FCC approval.
      In the US alternative language shows say from Russia, China, Mexico, and Korea could be bought cheap and broadcast here.
  • Does ANYONE remember these projects? They were promising the distributed p2p video streaming system 6 years ago. What happened to them? Bittorrent has obviously proved it is possible.
    • They were probably too early. Swarmcast is technically superior to Bittorrent and also have added bonuses that it can be used with multicasting.

      BT is easier and came at a time when a new carrier was needed. Thus it reached a larger audience and took off.
    • From teh Swarmcast website: "Swarming: Grid-Accelerated File Transfer Swarming is a revolutionary new approach to file transfer first invented in 1999 by Justin Chapweske, Onion Networks' Founder and CEO...As the original inventor, Onion Networks, Inc. holds a strong intellectual property position in Swarming and Swarmstreaming(TM) through multiple pending patents.

      Delightful. How long until Mr. Chapweske decides to hire a few lawyers to go after the infrigners..? I wonder if our Bittorrent Friends are
  • Why.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by proteonic (688830)

    Maybe this is a bit off topic, but it has to be said.. Why is every other new tech story on slashdot about one technology/software/whatever trying to KILL another one? I think the appropriate word is "competition". Headlines like the above have lost their sensationalism through over use. Everyone take one step backwards towards reality.

    That said.. unless your average 'other user' can spend millions to put together quality and/or entertaining programming, I don't see television leaving the picture anytim

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @09:07AM (#12233264)
    This all existed once. It was called the MBONE, a consortium of Tier 1 providers who agreed to handle each other's multicast routing protocol requests. You could tune to 224.4.4.2 that day for a MIT lecture on particle physics from your home. You could attend tech conference proceedings.

    But the MBONE broke down. Because there weren't enough multicast addresses to go around. Because multicast had scaling issues with the way feeds got pruned when the # and size of data sources grew large.

    Now, even today, multicast is the forgotten cousin who sits alone under the tree. Corporate networks rarely run PIM or enable multicast. It doesn't even get enabled in small ponds, despite lots of books from guys like Beau Williamson on how to configure it. It gets ignored in the face of a plethora of multicast client and multicast capable encoders.

    Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, got rich selling broadcast.com. The idea was something akin to Rob Glaser and Real, bring streaming video to the masses. Except we have to use unicast and spend our time making tweaks to UDP at the application layer, because that's the only way it will work. Because we can't even create a central organization to manage DNS correctly, much less be issuing and retrieving a scare commodity of multicast IP addresses. People will hog them! The television networks will get the FCC! Boo hoo!

    Shame really. The promise of watching community produced tv from any garage in the world now falls to projects like these, which fall back on bitTorrent to recreate the essential function of a multicast routing protocol: to overlap a node tree map on the internet.

    Perhaps this reinvention of the wheel one more time will get it working. But this problem comes up every so often, and I think it will take Internet 2 and IPv6 to solve it correctly. Until then, it's just sharing rips of tv shows off cable and sat, and not the net population ignoring the traditional mediums and making their own shows. It'll be another decade before that shift happens.
    • and not the net population ignoring the traditional mediums and making their own shows. It'll be another decade before that shift happens.

      The funny thing is, this shift could probably be faster than you think, especially if "the masses" get involved as soon as possible. After all, who doesn't enjoy someone else's kid clubbing daddy in the balls with a baseball bat or someone setting themselves on fire for a stunt. "The Internet's Funniest Videos" you could call it, and the content will mail itself to yo
    • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday April 14, 2005 @10:30AM (#12234166)
      Thankfully, as you alluded, mutlicast capability lives on in Internet2:

      http://multicast.internet2.edu/ [internet2.edu]

      At the University of Wisconsin, our new 10Gbps ethernet backbone and all associated equipment in a major network upgrade initiative [wisc.edu] supports multicast to the desktop. We're operating an IP-based television distribution system exclusively via multicast distribution (using locally scoped addresses, so it's only available internally).

      So we can still go to 224.2.231.45, and get a live stream of NASA TV from the University of Oregon.

      For the uninitiated, multicast essentially allows any number of clients to "listen" to the same stream: multicast-aware network equipment just handles when a network gets traffic. If a user on the University of Wisconsin campus decides to watch the broadcast from the University of Oregon, one stream's worth of bandwidth will enter our network. If a hundred - or a thousand - people decide to watch it, it's still that same one stream's worth of bandwidth coming in, that everyone else is simply "listening" to. So for each network segment, whether you're looking at an individual subnet or in a whole-internet sense, there is either:

      - 0 streams
      - 1 or more streams, but all with the equivalent network usage of 1 stream

      It's really a fantastic way of distributing video. Not only is there no additional load beyond the one stream on the network, but there is also *only the load of one stream* on the server.

      If multicast were enabled on the internet-at-large, individual people really could distribute video to the world: all they'd need is essentially enough bandwidth to distribute one stream, and one, or one million, could listen in.

      (And yes, there are ways this can break down, but I'm just trying to give a simplified explanation here.)
      • I think the chief network architect at UW-Madison is Bill Jensen. Is that right? You guys are light years ahead. It's amazing what a really good network guy can do for a university.
  • by Badgerman (19207) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @09:09AM (#12233272)
    On the plus side, I find this very fascinating. It's an interesting idea and I'm bang alongside any attempt to increase people's ability to communicate.

    And where is it going? I haven't a clue - and frankly analyzing the impact of this requires a proper timeframe.

    How long will it take to get off the ground? What kind of content will be produced and what kind of content production tolls will evolve in the next few years? Will there be an overwhelming amount of crap - and if so, will there then be a die-off-pull-back effect that leaves better content, or what?

    My wife is a ad designer who does video editing as a hobby and as a professional. She's watched the tools for broadcast and video editing change radically in the seven years she's done it, watched companies rise and fall. Communication is an odd, tricky, unpredictable business, and this initaitive will be just as hard to assess.

    But it also SOUNDS damn cool.
  • If one thing the internee has done is lower the bar for people to get their creative works out to people.

    If Sturgeon's Law of 90% of everything is crap was true before, as you lower the bar the percentage of crap goes up and finding the good stuff harder.

    I can't help but think TV like this will suffer the same problems, but made worse that it requires more technical skills and money (or at least access to equipment) than say writing or making music. Look at public access TV and fan films.

    This is as li

  • Manhattan (Score:3, Informative)

    by clinko (232501) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @09:24AM (#12233439) Homepage Journal
    You could just have your own REAL tv show on public broadcasting: If you're in NYC, manhattan has 4 channels [mnn.org]:

    "Anybody can submit a show to MNN for air as a series or special. It should be 28 or 58 minutes long. Manhattan residents and non profits get priority. Find out more at questions. "

    If Manhattan of NYC is this easy, image how easy it is in any other town...
    • Re:Manhattan (Score:3, Insightful)

      How many people actually watch public access TV, though? As easy as it is to get your show on the air, getting hooked up to viewers is a much more difficult prospect.

      Let's say your show is on a subject that will be interesting to one person in a million. If you're broadcasting throughout NYC, there might be eight people who would enjoy your show if they saw it. And I guarantee you, unless it's a documentary on people who are addicted to public access TV, none of them will be watching when your show
  • Video transported over a protocol which is running on a packetised stream. Sounds exactly the same as digital television to me. They're just using IP rather than PES packets.
  • People have been predicting things like this for years. Anyone who deals with P2P traffic in ISP work knows that this isn't going to fly. For crying out loud, Video over DSL hasn't gone anyplace and DBS is still running in circles chasing its tail. Why? Ease of distribution and bandwidth.

    Sure, there's something to be said about content but not nearly as much as all this. And when it comes to content, people don't want ten million Internet broadcasters clogging up the Internet with pointless vanity crap t
    • I think this thing is more feasible than you believe.

      First, they're not proposing using "streams", but publishing the video as files swapped over BitTorrent. So as the demand increases, so does the supply.

      The comparison to cable seems specious, because there isn't any need to watch more than one show at a time. Cable needs monstrous bandwidth precisely because it's pushing all 500 channels into your living room simultaneously. With this system, you don't need to be able to download faster than you
  • I though EchoRadio was going to be a P2P radio distribution system, but it appears to just be people producing radio-like shows as mp3s on a blog?? I'm interested in a way to broadcast radio on the net without the bandwidth problems that you encounter when you get more than a few listeners. Is there a P2P streaming radio program where peers echo the radio to other peers?

    -paul
  • by radarsat1 (786772) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @09:39AM (#12233596) Homepage
    You know, everyone is complaining about how if you put television in the hands of the average person, they will make a lot of crappy television.

    While this is true, for the most part, there WILL be lots of good stuff coming out of this too, and you can't disregard it.

    Look, if this catches on, it will be exactly what happened to music with the advent of home computers... suddenly, everyone and their mother could write tracks. People started publishing them. Yes, there was a LOT of crap. BUT -- there was still a good proportion of awesome music being made by people who otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity. You had to look for it.. but then along came netlabels, who filtered it all for you... then you just have to find the good netlabels... but my point is that the MORE, the BETTER. the more opportunity for crap, means more opportunity for GOLD, too.

    there might be some really good stuff coming out of this, and I'm sure you'll all be subscribing to the best "channels" of it. :)
  • For any decent piece of content produced somebody is going to have to dedicate some time and resources to it. To do this in a steady stream it will require a near full time effort. Since the basis of P2P is going to be to distribute it free it will be very hard to get a DRM model to work. They could however come up with an ad [dynadco.com] supported system to make it equitable. I guess my only question is, would the community using this type of software be willing to accept that? Time will tell I guess. I do see this as
  • The destroyers of conventional TV will ultimately save it.


  • What self-respecting TV network would donate shows to it? Considering it's all
    GPL, what self-respecting cable network would risk throwing their entire cable
    settop firmware (including the PPV encryption stuff :) out to the public, in
    addition to a few lame-ass Wayne's Worlds?

    This is no better than public access cable shows - your freedom to make shows and
    have them distributed is subordinate only to the freedom of the cable subscribers
    not to watch the inane bullshit that you produce.

    Therein lies the rub!

    Nek
  • So many of you here are saying it will be just 1000s of public access TV low-quality shows. But the fact is that the people who are interested in making this sort of content for public access and for videoblogs and such, have all been DOING IT BY THEMSELVES (or with a couple of friends). But the real potential disruptive force in all this is the POWER OF WIDESPREAD COLLABORATION using them there "Internets".

    The real problem is the scripts for these public access failures. But when amateur content creators really start adopting the open source software creation model, where hundreds of content creators start using internet software to collaborate and create scripts, find public domain and creative commons video footage, and using cheap digital cameras to film events and interviews from all over world, and then divide up the work a la open source software, edit the video using hundreds of different computers using cheap or even free editing software, then, THEN it blow even Hollwood out of the water.

    And the main thing that this copylefted content will offer is something that the TV industry is in REALLY short supply of--a more real worldview and a wider range of philosophical and sociopolitical viewpoints. For example, every friggin day on TV you see celebrities, politicians and other famous people being treated with kid gloves, like the alpha animals they are. But on internet tv, they are gonna get trashed. And people are gonna like that.

  • by atomic_toaster (840941) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:43AM (#12235017)
    Huh. Yet another reason for ISP's not to give in to RIAA pressure and adopt a code of conduct agreement [slashdot.org]. If broadcasting is put into the hands of individuals, then bandwidth usage is going to go through the roof. The ISP's will like this since it will generate more business for them and potentially force people to sign up for more expensive "business" as opposed to "personal" accounts. But how in the world will they be able to tell, based on bandwidth alone, whether someone is pirating music/video/software, or whether they're running their own virtual TV station? Hmmm, methinks that the ISP's have yet another reason to tell the RIAA to go f**k themselves.
  • A compromise... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by voss (52565) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:44AM (#12235035)
    Networks should allow internet rebroadcast...as long as

    1) The program is provided in original format WITH Commercials and credits as originally broadcast. If someone paid money to make something you either pay for it or respect the way they earn their money(ie commercials). You can always fast forward.

    2) No wildfeeds...no broadcasting programs here before they are broadcast by the original distributor unless the original distributor is defunct or does not intend to air the program in that area.

    The right of first broadcast ought to mean something. The people who made the program ought to have the right to broadcast it first.

  • Tivos FUTURE! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lotharjade (750874) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @11:48AM (#12235088) Homepage Journal
    Add this feature to Tivos and other DVRs that are connected to the web, and you will revolutionize TV networks, DVRs, and how we all deal with TV.

    Its been hinting at this for awhile with service providers moving from one delevery type to a information delevery type. For example phone companies are changing from specifically phone use, to high speed providers that can do phone among other things.

    Just think that at some point in the future, TV companies will not be associated with a channel, but more related to a website. For example, instead of going to channel 23 for Cartoon Network to watch Anime, you may go to their website and get a feed to watch the shows you like. No "TV" channels will even exist. That downloadable chunck will have a small set of ads with it so they can get their revenue. Ads targeted a bit more directly at their consumer as well.

    Its like a SUPER Season Pass for the Tivo crowds. If Tivo is smart they will jump at this immediately. Even extend this to SUPER Season Pass podcast radio shows. Wicked cool.
  • It looks to me that it'll just increase the noise ratio - we'll have access to tons and tons of mediocre crap (which is great for Google as people will flock in to .... search and click on their ads).

    As we all remember some 5 years ago when the Net was becoming popular people used to send via email all kind of shitty attachments - ads, home videos, etc. - it's all gonna be on Google in the future. In that sense it's a good thing.

    However, considering the 80/20 rule, I expect to see top 2% of videos get a h
  • How This WILL work (Score:3, Interesting)

    by haagmm (859285) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @02:35PM (#12237406)
    Ok, so it might not kill TV. but the main problem with everyone's argument that it will or will not work is they are looking at this with the view that it will be for the most part leagal, 17 year old girls being excluded.

    /me takes a deep breath

    But thats not what its going to be. Sure Napster gave everyone in the world the ability to distribute their own Music over p2p. Sure Shoutcast gave everyone a change to run a radio station playing legal unprotected music. Sure, Bittorent gives everyone the ability to easally share large legal files, such as home videos or GNU software. Sure, Winamp's Shoutcast TV gives people the ability to stream there own telivision shows Right Now (yes there are technical diferences bear with me).

    But did they?

    No. Napster was at the top of its game because people shared copywritten mp3s. Shoutcast worked because everyone could take the mp3 collections they got from Napster, build up there own playlist, and stream music for their friends. BitTorrent make it easy to get Everything people wanted, epecially Movies and TV Shows. Winamp's TV has well Porn, Crap, and People breaking the law. Just open it up, look at the streams. The streams running say 24/7 South Park or 24/7 Scrubs, are they legal? Do you really think any money is going to the copywrite holders?

    This will work because it will make it so ANYONE with a halfway decent connection will be able to seed what ever they want, their personal selection of digital media constantly. Say Joe Kid with his 7mbit/1mbit dsl starts a Sapranoes all day every day. Or Jane Kid starts Her own version of The Movie Channel, using her favorite XVID releases she got from bittorent. Shoutcast didnt get popular because it gave people a place to my thier own music, it got popular because it gave people a place where they could play the DJ. This will get popular because it will give everyone with a halfway decent upload the ablity to play Zero Cool his first "hacking" at the age of 18, Running the tv STATION, not the production.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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