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.
For now, CNET reported, KQED is doing this with only a few programs —documentaries about San Francisco history or a local park, among others — 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.
Due to the huge file sizes involved with distributing video programs, peer-to-peer technologies have made television downloads more practical, CNET said. 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 been using BitTorrent, an open-source technology.