BBC might use P2P file sharing to distribute programming.

Remember the BBC’s announcement that they were going to make their archives of all their television programming available online for free?  Well, that’s a lot of hours of TV and the potential bandwidth costs could be overwhelming so just how does the BBC plan to make their stuff available without bankrupting themselves in the process. By considering P2P file sharing networks as the means of doing it:


BBC new media director Ashley Highfield revealed the first details of the plans at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam over the weekend.

He said the BBC was developing a ‘super EPG’ that would work on any platform and let users record programmes as with a PVR.

The Internet Media Player (IMP) will allow programmes to be downloaded or streamed to PC desktops and handheld devices.

P2P would provide the BBC with a cost-effective mechanism for responding to the massive demand for bandwidth that would likely be prompted by the launch of IMP.

‘A fully flexible, platform-neutral, super EPG is in development that will allow TV content to be recorded TiVo-style,’ said Highfield. ‘It’ll enable shows being broadcast now to be downloaded or streamed, and most significantly [let] TV shows that went out recently to be recalled from our archive and downloaded.

‘To save on the huge bandwidth load this will place on us, we’re exploring legitimate P2P models to get users to share our content on our behalf transparently.’

It makes a lot of sense especially if they make use of systems such as BitTorrent. In addition to just being a good idea it also challenges the RIAA’s claims that P2P file sharing has no legitimate uses. Sweet.

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