The Dutch public broadcasters (NPO) will test torrent downloads using a P2P network for its catch-up TV service Uitzending Gemist. During a six month trial, viewers will be able to download a number of programmes and view them offline.
As part of the broadcaster’s Omroep NL Testlab, people will be able to download and watch programmes in high quality. They need to download a special player, which for the time being is only available for Windows computers.
During the trial, people will be able to download programmes and watch them on a variety of devices. “We want to test two things,” according to the Omroep NL Testlab website, “First, if people want to watch our programmes offline. Secondly, to test distribution using a P2P network.” For the broadcaster, using a torrent network will be much more efficient than having all programmes played out from their own servers. Uitzending Gemist is an extremely popular catch-up TV service with millions of requested streams a month.
For the test, the broadcasters use a platform developed by online video company Bitnomica, a spin-off from Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. The university has been at the forefront of developing P2P delivery of video content over the internet.
The player and the programmes are available from the Bombykol website of Bitnomica, and can be accessed here.