Hi everyone. This is my first post for the Internet Blog. I run a new team (RAD) doing rapid development in the BBC's Future Media department, within the Research & Innovation section.
One of our first projects is something I'm really excited about: it's called P2P Next.
It's a Europe-wide consortium of 21 partners spanning broadcasters, technical universities, content and metadata specialists and hardware vendors. We are building a new, cross-platform, Free/Open Source software-based, legal, peer-to-peer system. It's based on a core technology called Tribler which has been worked on at Delft University of Technology for a few years. The programming language behind Tribler is Python - which was chosen for its portability, cross-platform nature, and speed of development.
Last summer, I and the other members of the P2P Next team successfully pitched for European Union funding as part of the 7th Framework project, which is designed to encourage Europe-wide cooperation and technical excellence. 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.
We're aiming to build Mac, Windows and GNU/Linux clients, as well as a dedicated hardware Set Top Box client, to allow us to deliver the core technical goals: an open standards-based “next-generation” internet television distribution system, using P2P and social interaction.
It’s early days for this project. Funding, and the work itself, only started on January 1st, but already we've seen the plans take shape. This isn't yet a project that TV viewers will see and it's never going to replace the BBC's consumer offerings (e.g. iPlayer); it's a test bed for new ideas, allowing us to collaborate with colleagues across Europe, and to hone and develop technology which could help shape the TV of tomorrow.
I'll be keeping this blog updated with news on P2P Next as it progresses.
George Wright is Executive Producer, Rapid Development Unit, BBC Future Media & Technology