Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for March, 2008

HD TV Series Mass-Distributed for Price of an iPhone

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Norwegian Public Broadcaster, NRK, recently made waves with the success of their pilot project where they put one of their full series online, in HD, without restrictive DRM, over bittorrent.

The initiative has been a huge success on every front — viewers love the super high-resolution picture and most people have reported incredibly short download times (given the file sizes). Furthermore, viewers have been downloading the episodes en-masse (around 80,000 times in the past 3 weeks). To top it all off, NRK hasn’t broken the bank to deliver the goods; in fact, they haven’t even broken a sweat.

To-date, NRK has paid a total of $350 for storage and delivery of the entire series. This information was disclosed to me by project manager Eirik Solheim; he also estimated that the bandwidth bill would have been roughly $8,000, had NRK chosen a more traditional delivery method.

Eirik shared the secret sauce behind the project:

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.

The ease of use is very important, because it encourages more people to participate in watching and sharing the shows. 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.

All in all, the pilot has been a major success, and is blazing a trail to wider adoption of bittorrent delivery for NRK programs. We’ll definitely post here when we get more details.

Miro in London and Madrid

Friday, March 7th, 2008

I’ll be in London next week meeting with people about Miro. Here’s the lineup:

First, on Wednesday March 12 I’ll be presenting at the Greater London Linux Users Group meeting at the University of Westminster (thanks John!). Then on Thursday March 13th there will be a Geek Dinner (thanks Ian). Finally, on Saturday March 15 I’ll be doing a presentation at the free culture conference OKCON.

And if you’re in Madrid, there will be a Miro meet up and/or workshop on Sunday. It’s being organized very last minute, so if you’re interested email hwilson at g mail . com or send a text to +34 620724468.

Become a Miro Sponsor: Support Open Media, Reach Lots of Users

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

I’m happy with how our work on Miro is going. It’s continually becoming a more powerful application, and we have a strong voice in the fight for an open and democratic internet. We’re facing a tough problem though: we need more programmers to make Miro into the game changing application it has the potential to be.

We’re a small non-profit competing against companies like Joost, Vuze and Veoh that have tens of millions of dollars in venture capital and scores of programmers. We can’t raise enough money through foundations and donations to even come close to matching their firepower, much less hire the people we need to. Hence, this blog post. We’re looking for organizations and individuals interested in sponsoring Miro. We will expose the brand and message of our sponsors to our 350,000 users, who are typically tech savvy early adopter types, and we will thank our sponsors from the bottom of our hearts. Here’s a link to more information about sponsorship.

Would your company or organization benefit from exposure to our audience? Are you an individual capable of supporting us who’d like to get a message out? Can you think of someone you know who we should talk to?

If so, please shoot me an email at jessep [at] pculture.org

Two New Versions of Miro: Sliced by Genre

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

We have just launched two new versions of Miro: Food Edition and Christian Edition!

Share Miro

Share Miro

Each of the downloadable players comes pre-loaded with a handful of channels that relate to the respective community. With over 3,500 free channels in the Miro Guide, we think now is the perfect time to introduce a content-centered approach to internet TV.

These players make it really easy for a community to recommend internet TV that is totally relevant to its members. Furthermore, because Miro is free and open source software that empowers independent creators, these players are beneficial to both the viewers and the creators in the community.

Now, it’s just a matter of spreading the word in all the right places. If you have any suggestions, as far as blogs or websites that relate to food or Christianity that we should be in touch with, please leave a comment. Additionally, if we’re missing any critical channels in either genre, please add suggestions to the comments.

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