- 7 Jan 07, 05:52 PM
A few years ago BitTorrent was being discussed in the same earthy tones reserved for Napster back when it was turning the music industry on its head, helping people pirate music for free.
BitTorrent is a program which makes high-speed transference of large files across the net simple to do.
Unsurprisingly it was soon adopted as the program of choice for people wanting to distribute copied versions of films and TV programmes.
But BitTorrent the company has successfully turned itself into a player in the digital media world of the 21st Century and has done a number of deals with content providers to distribute their programmes, films and videogames using the BitTorrent software.
Netgear, makers of routers, modems, and digital media devices, has now teamed up with BitTorrent to "promote video downloads streamed to high-definition TVs".
What that means is that legal content will be delivered via BitTorrent to a new device unveiled by Netgear at CES - the Digital Entertainer HD.
The machine is basically a wi-fi-enabled super-set top box. It can connect to your PC over your home network and access movies, photos and music stored on the hard drive and then play it on your television - and in high definition too.
The player can also act as a personal video recorder - allowing you to record your favourite TV programmes direct to the device.
Vivek Pathela, vice president of product marketing at Netgear, was suitably jubilant about the device but reserved his greatest enthusiasm for one particular feature.
"You can watch YouTube on your TV," he cried.
Yes, the Digital Entertainer HD will let you access You Tube clips and watch them on your television.
Apparently the ability to watch American youth shove mentos mint sweets into Diet Coke bottles is apparently a big selling point.
On a wider note, many of the functions of the Netgear device are expected to form part of Apple's new iTV player - to be unveiled in a couple of days.
I'm guessing that there will be a lot more attention given to the iTV than to the Digital Entertainer HD.
The battle for control of the living room in the digital age is far from over.