BBC iPlayer to launch Christmas Day

6 12 2007

The BBC is to fully launch its iPlayer TV downloads service on 25 December, according to this report. Not mentioned by Broadband TV News, but covered in an earlier BBC announcement, the iPlayer will also offer streaming video before the end of the year, promising access to 400 hours of TV shows from the last seven days.

Well-mannered p2p file-sharing

4 09 2007

A round-up of recent coverage on Tribler, the file-sharing service which does for p2p what planting trees does for people who fly alot:

“Computer scientists at its [Harvard] School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are working with a Dutch team using unique P2P video sharing technology to explore a next-generation model for electronic commerce,” gushes

“The technology is being assessed by a European broadcasting body looking at ways of piping TV across the net, reports BBC News. “Tribler has also been used to turn Sony’s PlayStation 3 into a video-sharing device.”

“Use of Tribler is governed by a market in bandwidth, analogous to a market for physical commodities like oil. Users earn credit by uploading and can then spend it by downloading. Its creators say this ought to ensure that no one leeches, and that content is made available quickly,” reports New Scientist.

Storage vs. bandwidth re-visited

6 08 2007

Rewind by three years, courtesy of journalist Kate Bulkley’s painstaking cataloguing of everything she’s ever written, and James Murdoch proudly proclaims “storage trumps bandwidth”, referring to the greater efficiency of content delivered via the broadcast stream to a DVR-type device, rather than using a IP for delivery.

BT Vision chief Andrew Burke cried: “Pah!”

Apart from being slightly curious to remind myself when young Murdoch first proclaimed on this (if memory serves me well, it was possibly a year earlier), it’s worth dredging up the remark, if only to recognise how much things have moved on since and how Sky’s own position has moved to embracing IP delivery of content.

In fairness to James, Sky’s advances with its DVR product are significant (I recall following the story right back to the early rumours in 1999, when Sky first negotiated a co-marketing deal for TiVo’s ill-fated entry into the UK market) — penetration of which now stands at 28% of its U.K. customer base.

But then enter broadband, a utility which has defied expectations from even the savviest media-watchers and broken all records for consumer uptake (oh, yes, there’s Freeview too). Let it iterate and enter YouTube, taking a category which didn’t exist three years ago and making it mainstream. MySpace followed, and was snapped up by young Murdoch’s dad.

As we come full circle to today’s environment, it’s worth a read of this piece in today’s New York Times, which suggests streaming trumps downloads. How far we’ve travelled…

So, to return to the original question: does storage trump bandwidth? Or re-phrased: does streaming trump storage and downloads?