If there is one problem with the Olympics it's this: it's international. Now, hold off before you begin calling me a fascist, isolationist pig. All I'm saying here is the "globality" of this massive sporting event causes problems for television viewers who wait four years for the games to take place. This is particularly true when the Olympics take place halfway around the globe from the North American continent.
Take this year's event, being held in China. For those of us in the United States (and Canada, we can't forget about you), we are getting the back end of the coverage, since many of the events that will be broadcast on NBC will be pre-recorded from several hours before. Of course, if you are a die-hard Olympic fan, or fan of an individual personality, you can probably tune in during the wee hours of the morning to watch some events being covered by USA Network, MSNBC, or one of their various online outlets. You can also record these on your DVR, but that will destroy the feeling of watching them live. Meanwhile, your friends over in the Asia-Pacific region will mockingly text you and let you know who won the Archery competition before you watch it on TV. And, there's nothing that irks you more than knowing the Archery results ahead of time.
I know, I know, you're feeling dejected about the whole thing. Fret not, though, as there may be a solution thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet. Click ahead to read on.
- Create user profiles and add friends
- Recommend torrents you think your friends might want to download
- Search BitTorrent trackers besides Vuze, including MiniNova, SumoTorrent, and others
I'm not surprised at all to see shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Lost and Battlestar Galactica among the top of these rankings. Just think of the kind of audience these types of shows are likely to draw. It's unfortunate that this list couldn't have been compiled a few weeks ago when most of the broadcast networks were still streaming new episodes. So You Think You Can Dance ranked pretty well, but I wonder if American Idol would have been tops here as well. Further into the list were some even more interesting choices.
What this means is that TV fans aren't just watching TV shows live or using DVRs and TiVos alone. They're just as apt to download a show to view on a laptop, desktop or iPod. According to the article, "over a billion TV shows are downloaded every year and this number continues to rise."
And here I thought it was According to Jim. Who knew? Maybe this year.
Until then, NBC's Heroes is the number one most pirated TV show of 2007, according to a list compiled on TorrentFreak. Nearly 2.5 million illegal downloads were made of the super-hero program, with the BBC program Top Gear coming in second at about 1.2 million. Others on the list are Battlestar Galactica (706,000), 24 (524,000) and Scrubs (tenth on the list at 427,000 downloads).
Here's my question concerning all of this...why is this still illegal?
Well, here's a rarity: a TV producer who wants you to watch a show illegally!
At least she's the only one who is admitting in public, that is. Weeds creator Jenji Kohan actually loves the fact that episodes of the new season are available online. In fact, she wishes that the entire season was online already:
"Revenue aside, I don't expect to get rich on 'Weeds.' I'm excited it's out there. Showtime is great, but it's a limited audience...if I had my druthers, the whole thing would be available right now."
While most users probably think of BitTorrent clients as software for downloading TV shows and movies illegally, Vuze is all about partnering with networks and independent video producers to sell content.
And while there's not much premium content available right now, Azureus has snagged the right to distribute some interesting programming, including Showtime's Weeds, Dexter, and The L Word. Vuze will also distribute the BBC series Sorted, which is otherwise unavailable in the United States. This should come as good news to anyone hoping that other BBC content such as Life on Mars, or the original version of The IT Crowd might one day be distributed via Vuze or BBC's own online video service.
[via Ars Technica]
Well, it looks like we can cross that one off the list. While it's no longer hosted on his web site for obvious reasons, one fine fellow managed to extract a disc image of the AppleTV OS. He reports that it's now available on various BitTorrent sites.
The disc image is about 200MB, and right now it only works with the AppleTV hardware.
NewTeeVee has gone and compiled a great list of 10 sites that offer free BitTorrent downloads. Some of the sites are music only, and focus on live concerts from bands that encourage their audiences to share recordings.
But there's also a fair bit of freely available video content. For example, last year the documentary The Corporation was released by its makers as a free download. You can download a torrent for the movie from Torrentfreak.
Public Domain Torrents is another great site, featuring films that are no longer bound by copyright laws. There are a lot of movies here you've never heard of, but you can also get some classics like the original Little Shop of Horrors.
The store will feature about 3,000 movies at launch, and several thousand television episodes. There'll also be about 1,000 video games, and 1,000 music videos.
Aufero is an information gathering application written for use with Vista Media Center. Oh yeah, and it has a BitTorrent Client written in. The program's still in development, and there's no download available yet, but here's what Aufero's meant to do:
- Navigate and view information about movies, previews, trailers, reviews, and torrent files using your remote control.
- Manually download torrents.
- Manage library of downloaded media.
- Create a wish list of videos you'd like to download, and schedule automatic recordings as soon as that video is available.
- Notifications when a video file is downloaded.
Huge news right here if you can't wait for the new season of 24 to roll around. Apparently, the first four episodes of the new season have been leaked to the web and they're readily available for those that like poking through various BitTorrent sites. It's speculated that this may be the doing of AsiaTeam, a group who has been credited with uploading TV shows in the past. Seems like they may have gotten hold of the DVD that FOX plans to release after the premiere airs.
It took me a few minutes, but so far I've found dedicated links to the first two episodes. For legal reasons, I can't provide the links. However, I'm not even close to what I would call technically savvy. So if I can find these, anyone can. Happy hunting Jack Bauer fans.
That's the happy fluffy bunny part of the announcement. What none of the stories floating around get into is how this is all going to shake down for the customers. This is certainly a case where the devil will be in the details, and knowing only what we know now, I'm not too excited about the service's prospects.
Last year, Bob Sassone asked if the Internet would one day replace television. One of the points he made was why BitTorrent software wasn't being used by the networks to allow viewers to download an episode of their favorite show to watch at their convenience.
Well, BitTorrent is now being used by a number of users in an, um, illegal fashion. OK, the networks are pretty much calling it piracy. In a recent development, HBO has sent letters out to a number of cable companies asking their subscribers to stop BitTorrenting episodes of such shows as The Sopranos. What's happening here is that HBO is watching the BitTorrent sessions come through a particular IP address and then they are tracking the address back to its source. Once they find out it's a cable company they send a letter out that, subsequently, goes out to the subscribers.
At this point it doesn't seem like the networks or cable companies will change their minds any time soon to exclusively use BitTorrent. However, with the recent influx of downloadable shows going to places such as iTunes and the increase of DVR machines this could change.
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