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P2P comes to the rescue of Internet video

VTT Technical Research Center of Finland researchers, working with a consortium of 20 industrial partners on the P2P-Next project, have developed NextShare, an open source peer-to-peer (P2P) video-streaming platform. The researchers designed, implemented, and tested algorithms and protocols to use P2P architecture to stream video. "The key difference with P2P applications for file sharing is that video data can't be broken into different packets and sent in any order, it has to be sent in sequence and maintain a certain level of quality of service," says P2P-Next project coordinator Jari Ahola.

The researchers initially based the system on the BitTorrent protocol, and then developed their own open source protocol called Swift. The researchers tested the technology by building Swarmplayer, a Web browser plug-in that enables Internet users to access Internet video via the Firefox browser. The researchers also developed a set-top box to demonstrate how the technology could be incorporated into consumer electronic devices. The box has "social networking features so, for example, users can view Twitter comment feeds about what they are watching as they watch it," Ahola says. The researchers found that the P2P approach cuts bandwidth demands by at least 65 percent compared with the unicast streaming approach.

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Source: Europe's Information Society

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