Norway’s NHK groks The Torrent

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While the music and movie companies rail against BitTorrent, Norwegian broadcaster NRK recently used the torrent’s capabilities to distribute a HD TV program to 80,000 people for just $350 total in storage and bandwidth.

[P]roject manager Eirik Solheim… estimated that the bandwidth bill would have been roughly $8000 had NRK chosen a more traditional delivery method…

All the HD video files were stored and delivered using Amazon’s S3 data service, which has optional bittorrent capabilities. NRK syndicated the .torrent episodes over an RSS feed, which allowed the program to work something like a podcast.

NRK recommends that people use Miro to subscribe: it’s the easiest way for folks to use BitTorrent and it fits their public-interest mission. The estimate that a high percentage of their downloaders (50% or more) are using Miro.

[…] Technically, the cost to the producer for distributing to a handful of viewers, say 300, is basically the same as doing so for 1,000,000 people. This is because after a point, distribution is handled by the viewers themselves; as the number of viewers rises, the work that NRK does stays constant.

I think I should be playing with Miro more…

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