Sunday, November 13, 2005

AOL Employs Konitiki's P2P for Internet VOD Service

AOL will begin offering a free, Internet-based VOD service that will feature multiple channels in high-resolution video of vintage TV episodes from Warner Bros. The network- called In2TV - will allow consumers to stream full-length TV episodes and will be available for free on the portal in early 2006. The service will be supported by commercials. GM is the first sponsor during the trial period.

AOL will use the Kontiki Plug-in and Relay Network delivery mechanism to deliver the VOD service. AOL is promising DVD-like quality in full screen playback mode.

The Kontiki Relay Network links the machines of all participants who install the AOL Hi-Q Video plug-in into a P2P speed delivery system that can deliver files faster by enabling the network to use the resources of participants' hard drives.

The Relay Network and the Kontiki software analyze the hard drives and connections of potential participants that have already received the file being requested to determine from where the file can be accessed and delivered more quickly.

The AOL Hi-Q Video plug-in is able to deliver videos from any of the other users in the Relay Network, which should be faster than accessing a remote server.

The Relay Network's "Grid Delivery" mechanism also delivers videos in pieces from many users simultaneously.

The AOL Hi-Q Video plug-in continuously monitors the responsiveness of every user it's getting a delivery from and requests data at the speed that user's machine can support.

AOL is using Windows Media DRM to protect media files from tampering and illegal distribution. AOL's Hi-Q Video will allow playback for videos for specific periods of time only, after which the media file will no longer play.

"With In2TV, we are enabling Web users to experience and interact with television programming in an entirely new way, and creating a new distribution platform for TV content," said Kevin Conroy, Executive Vice President, AOL Media Networks."

"Our goal is to be a leader in offering consumers unique and innovative entertainment options so that they can have as many choices as possible when it comes to choosing content. This deal with AOL is a great example of moving in that right direction," said Kevin Tsujihara, President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

  • In October 2005, Kontiki announced the fifth generation of its flagship software for delivering DVD-quality video across the Internet or enterprise. Called Kontiki 5.0, the new, enhanced platform enables content providers and enterprises to securely publish, protect, deliver and track rich media content at a fraction of the cost of traditional distribution systems, while giving users on-demand access to rich media content. Specific capabilities include:

    Content Security – Allows only authorized users to receive and view content and employs MS DRM (Digital Rights Management) to prevent unauthorized or illegal copying or sharing of content with another individual or device.

    Content Audit and Tracking Features -- Consumer media companies can measure the effectiveness and popularity of specific content. Enterprises can measure content consumption by employee or by region.

    Controlled Publishing – Only authorized users or groups can publish content for distribution.

    Efficient P2P Delivery – Maximizes the delivery and download speed of media content and manages bandwidth usage to reduce service provider costs. The peer-to-peer download process is transparent to the end user and does not impact the performance of the device.

    Customization and Integration – Kontiki 5.0 features a set of APIs enabling the enterprise and consumer media company to create fully customized and branded user interfaces.

    DVD-HDV Quality – Video quality is preserved, with full-screen, DVD or HDV quality.

  • The BCC is using Kontiki for its planned online content launch. Announced in August 2005, the "MyBBCPlayer" will let viewers legally download up to seven days of the BBC's most recent TV programs. For UK viewers, a simulcast of BBC One or BBC Two will be available online at the same time as the television broadcast. The Internet based service is expected to launch in 2006.

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