Space Ramblings

NBC Gives It Away Peer to Peer

New details are coming out about NBC’s new episode download program, NBC Direct, one of the more mildly shocking details isn’t just that NBC is allowing users to download episodes of its first run shows free of charge, including formerly top iTunes seller, The Office, but it’s doing it using a peer to peer service, which likely means that NBC Direct is running some form of BitTorrent. A cool concept which suggests that Bram Cohen’s drive to legitimize and mainstream BitTorrent by shoving it in Hollywood’s face as a useful tool instead of enemy is working. NBC Direct will likely be spending much less bandwidth broadcasting its episodes, without having to let YouTube grab 60 percent of the ad revenue. Of course a corporation dumping the load onto cable users is exactly the sort of thing which makes cable companies fume and is likely to begin making Net Neutrality a major issue all over again, especially with Comcast which has been aggressively throttling BitTorrent downloads and terminating high bandwidth using customers.

Further news is that NBC Direct will be offering HD downloads and a customized video player and a free subscription service… and of course commercials. It’s a smart move by NBC and the scale of the rollout suggests that contrary to the carping of some Macheads, this is not some sort of desperation move by NBC in response to its break with Apple but is a program that has been in the works for a while and that likely resulted in a sea change and a break with Apple, which means Apple has been lying all along about NBC jilting iTunes because it was demanding a price hike while nice Mr Jobs was protecting consumers from NBC’s price gouging (bwaaa haaa)

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