Newteevee: The BBC’s Distributed DVR Heaven

Summary of post from source:

Imagine a digital video recorder that offers you a few terabytes of hard disk space, automatically recording thousands of shows. Now imagine the same DVR connected to a P2P network of like-minded recording devices, giving you access to virtually any show on television and in turn making The Pirate Bay look like a Blockbuster with empty shelves.

…Loosemore spends most of his time future-proofing the BBC’s many web properties, but a few hours of his work week are reserved for creative tinkering.

…The dictate of programming forces us to overlook tons of good shows, and the absence of an accessible archive makes most of them disappear forever.

…The BBC tried exactly that with its Creative Archive that was supposed to make large parts of the broadcaster’s back catalog available for download and creative reuse.

…A first prototype was developed in cooperation with a company called Promise Ltd. and allowed to simultaneously record 12 channels of Freeview digital video broadcast on 3.2 TB of hard disk memory, giving its users access to every show that aired during the last seven days.

…The device allowed him to literally change channels in the past, flipping from one 8 p.m. recording to the next three hours later, every so often making him lose track of time completely and then stare at the clock in disbelief in the middle of the night.

Then some of the watermarked recordings started appearing online and the BBC shut down the internal test…. This time he wants to have the box record programs from only one channel 24/7 for three entire months.

…His experiments also don’t have any direct impact on other online licensing and distribution deals of the broadcaster, many of which involve digital rights management.

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