The European Union has made a grant of €14 million available for research aimed at identifying the potential uses of peer-to-peer (P2P) technology for Internet television of the future. The research will be undertaken by P2P-Next, a pan-European conglomerate of 21 industrial partners, media content providers and research institutions.
The partners, including the BBC, Delft University of Technology, the European Broadcasting Union, Lancaster University, Markenfilm, Pioneer Digital Design Centre Limited and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, intend to develop a Europe-wide “next-generation’ Internet television distribution system, based on P2P and social interaction.
A spokesman for P2P-Next said: “The P2P-Next project will run over four years, and plans to conduct a large-scale technical trial of new media applications running on a wide range of consumer devices. If successful, this ambitious project could create a platform that would enable audiences to stream and interact with live content via a PC or set top box.
“In addition, it is our intention to allow audiences to build communities around their favourite content via a fully personalised system. This technology could potentially be built into Video on Demand (VOD) services in the future and plans are underway to test the system for major broadcasting events. The project has an open approach towards sharing results. All core software technology will be available as open source, enabling new business models.
P2P-Next will also address a number of outstanding challenges related to content delivery over the internet, including technical, legal, regulatory, security, business and commercial issues.” www.ebu.ch