April 13, 2006

BitTorrent to the rescue / Thought Experiment

Posted in Technology at 11:27 am by antonello

from lost remote

Imagine my surprise when I punched the "My DVR" button on the remote to watch the two most recent episodes of 24. Inexplicably, my Comcast Motorola set-top box unilaterally decided that neither episode was important. In a panic, I ran through my options. Not available on VOD. Or iTunes. Or online. I contemplate sending out an urgent email to my friends to see if anyone has TiVo'd it and can copy it off on a DVD. The best option, I decide, is to BitTorrent the episodes, but I don't want to wait. So I punch up Fox.com to find a detailed, minute-by-minute account of the last two episodes, in text. So, I'm caught up, although the phrase, "She watches helplessly as (he) falls to his death. Chloe’s eyes tear up," doesn't do it justice. Next time, it's BitTorrent. (And the networks wonder why we do it?)

Imagine if Comcast were to actually offer a variant of BitTorrent through its DVR.  Imagine if you were able to catch the last episode of Sopranos and you were able to retrieve it after it debuted, without using OnDemand, but by downloading it bit by bit, byte by byte, from other users who also happened to have recorded that episode on their DVR.  

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