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Skype founders to launch P2P IPTV for millions of people?

Ryan Block, @ryan
12.18.06
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According to the Financial Times report, Janus Friis and our man Niklas Zennstrom -- whom you may know from a little company called Skype -- are supposedly developing a peer-to-peer IPTV service with the intention of distributing video online the same way Skype and its P2P approach distributed VoIP calling online. Supposedly some six thousand users have already been in on beta testing (what, none of you thought to ping your old pals at Engadget?) this service, aptly codenamed the Venice Project probably after the community of streams. The system is intended for use by copyright-holding content owners who no doubt intend to advertise on this new network; their video data is encrypted so the P2P here isn't the same kind of P2P you might be thinking of. Friis apparently demonstrated full quality full motion video to the FT at a local Starbucks -- where all new internet projects shown off before launch -- but there's no way of knowing how real world use will clog the proverbial tubes; right now P2P video TV might not work the smoothest considering that no matter what upstream bandwidth will never equal the downstream bandwidth necessary to sustain millions of viewers, but that will begin to change in the coming years.

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