Teams up with Pando Networks to become the first US TV broadcaster to legally use P2P to distribute content.
Pando Networks, the leading provider of peer-assisted content delivery services and NBC Universal announced today that Pando has been selected to provide video delivery services for the new NBC Direct service.
NBC Direct will offer free hi-resolution downloads of a variety of NBC Tv shows. Integration of the Pando P2P delivery engine is being finalized during the current beta period for NBC Direct. Enhanced versions of the service will be available to consumers in in the near future.
It also promises to be a secure P2P distribution system with various anti-piracy features incorporated to prevent the unauthorized use of their content, though considering it’s already pretty much free available in a number of places it seems like a pretty moot concern. Pando’s managed P2P solution will use hash matching, digital fingerprinting, watermarking, and end-to-end encryption. The end result is a delivery solution that also provides a superior consumer experience.
"We’re thrilled that NBC Universal selected Pando Networks to power the delivery of NBC TV shows for this important new service," said Robert Levitan, CEO of Pando Networks.
"Our industry leading knowledge of peer-assisted CDN technology combined with our extensive experience building consumer friendly media applications, will help NBC Direct be a successful consumer experience."
Steve Andrade, Senior Vice President, Digital Development and General Manager NBC.com said, "After a comprehensive search and intensive due diligence of available solutions, we believe we have selected the ideal partner in Pando Networks to optimize the delivery of our full-length TV programming over the Internet. Working with Pando, we’re continuing our proud tradition of innovation and leadership by being the first major US TV network to provide millions of viewers free DVD-quality downloads of their favorite shows."
Pando Networks’ peer-assisted content delivery service accelerates hi-resolution media downloads and streams while ensuring peak performance throughout the content demand curve. The ultra-light Pando networking engine and central control servers intelligently coordinate bandwidth utilization between existing CDN servers and participating viewers. Content providers working with Pando can offer consumers a higher quality viewing experience while significantly reducing delivery costs.
Pando Networks’ peer-assisted content delivery service interoperates with traditional CDN services and includes innovations such as intelligent P2P QoS management techniques, seamless HTTP and P2P blending algorithms and consumer desktop "politeness" features.
NBC Direct allows consumers to directly download full length episodes for viewing on Windows based PCs. Viewers are also able to select their favorite NBC shows that they’d like automatically delivered to their computers as soon as they are available.
P2P-delivery systems — such as the ones developed by Pando or BitTorrent — use participants in a connected network to distribute data and files. P2P has become a scourge of the entertainment industry, as films, music and TV shows find their way onto P2P sites, trackers and services. Because the content is usually not stored on a central server, but spread out across thousands of individual computers, it is difficult to police.
P2P is, however, much faster and more stable than a direct download, which is why companies such as NBC have examined using it to distribute content.
NBC Direct’s move marks the first time that a television network has used P2P to distribute programming.
Programs currently available include "30 Rock", "The Office", "Heroes", "My Name Is Earl", "Medium", "American Gladiators", "Celebrity Apprentice", "Friday Night Lights", "Late Night with Conan O’Brien" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."