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European research project to shape next generation Internet TV

A European consortium of 21 partners spanning broadcasters and research institutions has received a EUR 19 million grant from the EU to research new forms of Internet TV. The P2P-Next project will explore Peer-to-Peer (P2P) applications over the next four years, aiming to d...

A European consortium of 21 partners spanning broadcasters and research institutions has received a EUR 19 million grant from the EU to research new forms of Internet TV. The P2P-Next project will explore Peer-to-Peer (P2P) applications over the next four years, aiming to develop a 'next generation' Internet TV distribution system based on P2P and social interaction. Peer-to-Peer technology provides an alternative to the traditional client/server architecture of computer networks. While employing the existing broadband networks, each participating computer, referred to as a peer, functions as both a client and a server for a given application. A P2P network enables the sharing of content files or streams with audio, video and data content. 'We are building a new, cross-platform, Free/Open Source software-based, legal, peer-to-peer system,' said George Wright, Executive Producer of the BBC's Rapid Development Unit. Based on Tribler, a core technology developed by Delft University of Technology, 'we have funding for the next four years to deliver a number of enhancements to Tribler, covering live P2P streaming, an improved user interface, inbuilt friend/taste recommendations and much more,' he added in his blog. The technology could potentially be built into Video on Demand (VOD) services, and plans are underway to test the system for major broadcasting events on a wide range of consumer devices. The project also has an open approach towards sharing results. It plans to make all the core software technology available as open source in the hope of enabling new business models to emerge. Moreover, P2P-Next will aim to address a number of outstanding questions related to content delivery over the internet, including technical, legal, regulatory, security, business and commercial issues. The partners in the project include the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Delft University of Technology, the European Broadcasting Union, Lancaster University, Markenfilm, Pioneer Digital Design Centre Ltd, and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.