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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)

Author Topic: BitTorrent's La-Z-boy vision: a client in every NAS, a pipe into every TV  (Read 3352 times)

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BitTorrent announced yesterday that Buffalo Technology will begin embedding BitTorrent technology into its NAS line of products. The company also announced the release of the final version of a Software Development Kit for use in consumer electronics, a sign that BitTorrent wants to see all manner of devices join the P2P revolution.

In an conversation with BitTorrent president and co-founder Ashwin Navin and director of communications Lily Lin, I learned that BitTorrent currently aims to close the gap between the internet and the television by "focusing on devices that allow people to enjoy media in their living rooms." It's apparent that BitTorrent has goals similar to Joost: both want to cross over into the land of the La-Z-Boy, all while maintaining a strong presence on our PCs as well. BitTorrent hopes consumer electronic manufacturers will use the SDK to embed BitTorrent software on "set-top boxes, digital media players, routers, and NAS storage devices" and that they "expect one or all of those [devices] to merge with televisions in the future." However, Navin did note that they don't have any plans to break into the mobile market at this time, but we all know that it's not out of the question in the future.

BitTorrent, currently approaching 160 million installs with their PC client, is already working with their fifth partnership, Buffalo Technology, on a NAS device that will provide massive amounts of storage for BitTorrent data. Other previously announced partners include Netgear, Planex, ASUS, and QNAP, as well as chip manufacturers IAdea/Star Semiconductor and Marvell Semiconductor. Now with a finalized SDK, BitTorrent hopes to see its partner list grow.

While discussing Buffalo NAS devices, Navin also said, "[the] NAS product line is one that has tons of storage, shipping terabytes. Running BitTorrent means an always-on BitTorrent that can be remotely configured to queue up downloads from or any other place." An always-on BitTorrent would also mean that more seeds could be made available, and as a result of that, potentially faster download speeds for more torrents in the wild. We discussed a similar device concept last summer, although we expect the new NAS devices from Buffalo to take the cake with expected capacities exceeding a terabyte.

I think one of the most frustrating problems with torrents in general is that they can often take quite a while to download unless they're truly hot. Imagine waking up before work in the morning, queuing up a few torrents, heading to work, and then coming home at 5 PM with your video downloads stored on a NAS device ready to be viewed from a PC, set-top box or a through a digital media adapter on your TV. When Buffalo was asked whether the company would follow Netgear's lead by offering BitTorrent on their line of media centers, I got the impression that Buffalo will likely stick to embedding strictly in their line of NAS devices, at least for now.

There isn't an official word from Buffalo about when the NAS device will be available for purchase, but those interested in the kit can get more information by visiting BitTorrent's web site. Now go forth and develop.

Ars Technica
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