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BitTorrent Stay’s “cable-killer” P2P video app lastly hits iOS


Cable firms rule TV as a result of they management the costly wires and satellites that may ship low-latency dwell content material at scale. Cable firms can then dictate how a lot per month-to-month paying subscriber they provide the channel house owners for entry as a result of there are few options for dwell distribution. And the cable firms can cost customers exorbitant costs as a result of they’re typically the one sport on the town.

However BitTorrent has now accomplished for dwell video what it did for file downloads: invented peer-to-peer expertise that strikes the burden of information switch from a centralized supply to the gang. As a substitute of cables and satellites, BitTorrent piggybacks on the web bandwidth of its customers.

Since P2P dwell streaming is a lot cheaper than conventional methods to ship dwell content material, BitTorrent might pay channel house owners extra for distribution per viewer. And BitTorrent can supply that content material to viewers without spending a dime or less expensive than a cable subscription. The switch expertise and the app that aggregates these channels are each referred to as BitTorrent Stay.

Now, nearly a yr after the protocol’s debut on good TVs, and 6 months after it was purported to arrive on iPhone, the BitTorrent Stay app quietly turned obtainable on iOS this week. Till now it’s solely existed on Mac, Apple TV and Amazon Fireplace TV — a lot much less in style platforms. And that’s after being in growth since 2009.


The app options 15 channels, together with NASA TV, France One, QVC House and TWiT (This Week In Tech) you could watch dwell. The latency is roughly 10 seconds, which might be sooner than terrestrial cable, in addition to methods like Sling TV that may delay content material greater than a minute.

The issue proper now could be that BitTorrent Stay has a fairly lackluster channel choice. It’s nonetheless engaged on placing offers with extra name-brand channels. It might supply some for pay-per-view, however cheaper than the identical content material on conventional TV as a result of decreased broadcasting prices.


To get channels to signal on, BitTorrent Stay will want extra viewers… which would require higher content material. That’s a little bit of a rooster and egg drawback. However with in the present day’s launch bringing it to a massively distributed cellular platform, it might begin to entice an viewers worthy of luring in higher channel makers.


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