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P2P Next

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George Wright George Wright | 10:00 UK time, Tuesday, 19 February 2008

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.

tribler_logos.pngIt'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


  1. At 07:02 PM on 20 Feb 2008, xbehave wrote:

    why reinvent the wheel, i know its the FOSS way to do things but why not start with miro and work from there?

  2. At 10:07 AM on 22 Feb 2008, Keir Thomas wrote:

    Regardless of whether this is a success, it can only be a positive step. It's encouraging to see that broadcasters are aware of the need to evolve and are taking steps to embrace internet based distribution. It definitely appears to be more proactive, and the reactive "sue all downloaders" approach taken by the music industry.

  3. At 06:57 PM on 25 Feb 2008, Alastair Agutter wrote:

    I beleive any form of development to deliver cross platform solutions is commendable. But I am concerned that every developer and organization is running off in different directions before even addressing the core fundamentals. Web Developers and Orgnaizations need to meet the bricks and mortar of html 4.01 standards. Design web pages that meet a set size in visual display rather than 800 x 600, 1024 x 800 etc. More importantly set down some ground rules in ethical codes of conduct and behaviour in electronic broadcasting and publishing. Developers have a heavy burden of responsibility to deliver responsible, fully functional services with content of merit to further advance human communication across all nations. It's time to put away the toys and games all the time that children are being abused and people are being tortured around the globe. It's time to develop states of accountability and that can only be acheived through communication and not chaos and that is where we are all heading. The BBC needs to set these standards for others to follow. Forget the current fade of social networking and rich media delivery until the above matters are addressed.

  4. At 08:04 PM on 25 Feb 2008, John Wards wrote:

    Erm if your using Bit Torrent you'd best get the ISPs on board as mine and many others are starting to "manage" their network by shaping or breaking bit torrent so its not even usable.

    My ISP is Eclipse by the way.

  5. At 12:53 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Peter Lanado wrote:

    Okay! So instead of roughly 2.5+mn people illegally downloading stuff via p2p there'll be a few more million doing it (with files roughly 200mb in size) and increasing the lag (slowness) time by 5, 10, 15, 200 fold and all bringing us legally back to the speeds of the dial-up modem. If we can connect in the first place, with the contention ratios! Yep this sounds good.

    As nice as display ratios or the platforms are? It will be more the speed of that initial click to eyeball viewing ratio, that will keep people happy!

  6. At 11:53 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Tom Russell wrote:

    Once ISPs throw away that out of date client server technology and embrace p2p for all Internet connectivity, the system will become what it was supposed to be before Gates halted networking development back in the mid '80s in order to build his own narrow minded dream.

    This is a good stable system and works well, unlike miro which crashes on my Ubuntu box.

    With projects like this, I may see the day in my lifetime when SUN's old mantra of "the network is the computer" finally becomes reality.

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