Friday, September 2, 2005

P2P TV

Newest Export From China: Pirated Pay TV [WSJ]
"China has become the hotbed of a new technology that distributes live television signals over the Internet, exposing the world's pay-TV operators to the kind of online piracy that has plagued the music and movie businesses.

The technology, called peer-to-peer, or P2P, streaming TV, enables viewers anywhere in the world to watch cable, satellite or broadcast TV on the Web free of charge. Pirate services offer the programs to anyone equipped with a high-speed Internet connection who downloads some simple software.

The most active of these services are based in China, where a rising number of people are using them to watch channels such as HBO, ESPN and MTV. Now, the practice is spreading to Europe, where users have begun tapping into the Chinese services to watch European soccer matches unavailable on their local TV channels. Much of the programming is in Chinese, but HBO, ESPN and some other Western cable channels offered on the mainland are in English with Chinese subtitles."

If they could figure out a way to do this legitimately, I think it could revolutionize the way content is distributed. Can you imagine? Any user with high speed Internet would be able to access any TV channel from anywhere in the world!