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San Francisco’s KQED uses net to file swap TV

Leading a movement to escalate the broadcast connection to the Internet, KQED-TV, a public broadcaster in San Francisco, has begun putting television programs online for downloading through a peer-to-peer file swapping service.

Jeff Clarke, president of KQED, said he’s a fan of Internet file swapping because it gives viewers a greater access to his station’s programming, CNET News reported. For the last several months, Clarke’s television and radio stations have been putting content online using a four-month-old peer-to-peer service called the Open Media Network.

For now, the station KQED is doing this with only a few programs — documentaries about San Francisco history, for example — but more content is on the way. KQED has long experimented with putting video and audio on its Web sites, and the peer-to-peer service now makes it much more affordable to distribute its TV programming online, Clarke said.

Due to the huge file sizes involved with distributing video programs, peer-to-peer technologies have made television downloads more practical. Commercial companies including Kontiki and Red Swoosh already offer inexpensive ways to distribute large files such as video or computer games using their own proprietary file-swapping tools. Independent producers, in turn, have largely turned to BitTorrent, an open-source technology.

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