BitTorrent connects to 20 smart TVs

November 20, 2012 10.28 Europe/London By Robert Briel

BitTorrent has reached deals with 20 CE manufacturers, bringing both legal and pirated content into the living room.

Speaking to Multichannel News, BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker confirmed that the company’s deals are for TV models that will launch, as early as this holiday season, in Europe and Asia. “You may not see them as much in the US,” he said.

Among the 20 companies, Vestel is most likely one of the partners. At this year’s IFA in Berlin, Vestel was showing its first BitTorrent prototype.

Hakan Kutlu, deputy general manager responsible for marketing at Vestel said during the show: “Consumers want all types of personal media and internet content in their living rooms and the TV remains the most desired device for consuming this digital media, regardless of source. BitTorrent certification helps our TV line meet this consumer demand and ensures that Vestel products remain at the forefront of technology innovation and adoption.”

BitTorrent, which is funded by venture-capital firms Accel Partners, DCM and DAG Ventures, is using peer-to-peer technology to bring content to viewers. Its business model rests on advertising income and in licencing deals with web services such as Microsoft Bing and and now CE manufacturers.

The name is infamous with many entertainment companies as BitTorrent technology is also used for illegal distribution of pirated material, but Kinkel said his company is not responsible and he has no idea of the extent of illegal usage. “We have no idea. It’s like asking Chrome [Google’s Web browser] how much pornography there is on the internet.”

Last August, the Internet Archive made over one million pieces of archived content available to the world via BitTorrent, including all of the Archives’ live music concerts, the Prelinger movie collection, the librivox audio book collection, feature films, old time radio and lots of books.