Thursday, February 21, 2008

BPN 1015 European research project to shape next generation internet TV

This is an important announcement from the European research front on the next generation internet TV. P2P-Next, a pan-European conglomerate of 21 industrial partners, media content providers and research institutions, has received a €14 million grant from the European Union. The grant will enable the conglomerate to carry out a research project aiming to identify the potential uses of peer-to-peer (P2P) technology for Internet Television of the future. P2P-Next will develop an open source, efficient, trusted, personalized, user-centric and participatory television and media delivery mechanism with social and collaborative connotations using the emerging P2P paradigm, which takes into account the existing EU legal framework. The partners intend to develop a Europe-wide “next-generation” internet television distribution system, based on P2P and social interaction.

P2P provides an alternative to the traditional client/server architecture of computer networks and signifies the next big step in the evolution of internet media delivery. While employing the existing broadband networks, each participating computer, referred to as peer, functions as both a client and a server for a given application. A P2P network enables the sharing of content files or streams with audio, video and data content. Today it is considered increasingly as a potentially efficient and reliable mechanism for distributing any media to the general public worldwide.

The P2P-Next project will run over four years, and plans to conduct a large-scale technical trial of new media applications running on a wide range of consumer devices. If successful, this ambitious project could create a platform that would enable audiences to stream and interact with live content via a PC or set top box. In addition, it is our intention to allow audiences to build communities around their favourite content via a fully personalized system. This technology could potentially be built into Video on Demand (VOD) services in the future and plans are underway to test the system for major broadcasting events.

The project has an open approach towards sharing results. All core software technology will be available as open source, enabling new business models. P2P-Next will also address a number of outstanding challenges related to content delivery over the internet, including technical, legal, regulatory, security, business and commercial issues.

One of the project managers is the TU in Delft, which developed Tribler, a social based peer-to-peer system. The system can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Linux and GNU Linux. With this system, the TU has been able to experiment and attract the attention of TV giants like the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The complete list of Partners is:
AG Projects - Haarlem, Netherlands
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) - London, United Kingdom
DACC Systems - Taby, Sweden
Technische Universiteit Delft - TU Delft - Delft, Netherlands
Fabchannel - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Institut für Rundfunktechnik - IRT - Munich, Germany
Josef Stefan Institute - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Kendra Foundation - London, United Kingdom
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan - KTH - Stockholm, Sweden
Markenfilm - Wedel, Germany
Norut - Tromsø, Norway
First Oversi - Petach Tikva, Israel
Pioneer Digital Design Centre Limited - London, United Kingdom
RTV Slovenia - RTVSLO - Ljubljana, Slovenia
STMicroelectronics - Milan, Italia
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - Geneva, Switzerland
University of Klagenfurt - Klagenfurt, Austria
University of Lancaster - Lancaster, United Kingdom
University of Rome - Rome, Italy
University Politehnica of Bucharest - Bucharest, Romania
VTT – Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tampere, Finland

Blog Posting Number: 1015

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