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BitTorrent Inventor Demos P2P Live Streaming

Torrent Freak reports that BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen recently demonstrated a new P2P-based live streaming protocol that's been in the works for quite some time. Cohen is currently finalizing the code and hopes it will become the dominant streaming solution on the market just as BitTorrent took the P2P crown.

"Doing live properly is a hard problem, and while I could have a working thing relatively quickly, I’m doing everything the 'right' way," Bram Cohen told TorrentFreak late last year. At the time he added that the BitTorrent protocol had to be rewritten to make it compatible with live streams. That included getting rid of TCP and using congestion control algorithms different from what was created for UTP.

Now months later, Cohen's new protocol is near completion and he's allowed a public demo to be captured on video, as seen below. While the details surrounding the actual protocol are minimal, BitTorrent’s VP of Product Management Simon Morris said Cohen's new protocol is innovative because of his approach to manage latency at "an unprecedented low" while controlling network congestion.

"The management of live p2p streaming on the open internet requires split second reconfigurations to reroute content delivery in the fewest possible round trips between peers in the event of network hiccups," he said. "Bram’s methods to manage network reconfiguration wrap rerouting together with a novel approach to congestion control. Obviously we’ll be happy to share more technical details in due course, but only once the technology reaches a level of maturity that it makes sense to share."

The official release of Cohen's P2P live streaming protocol won't take place for at least a few more months. However when released, Cohen believes this will be a viable alternative to those who can't sink a lot of money into an infrastructure for broadcasting video to the masses (like Ustream, Justin.TV).