Bram Cohen, the author of the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, has demonstrated a version that handles live streaming.
According to an interview with TechCrunch, Cohen has spent the last three years figuring out a way for live streaming to work via the peer-to-peer protocol.
Although current streaming technologies are considerably cheaper than either satellite or terrestrial TV broadcasting, they can still prove to be prohibitive for individuals or small companies. By having a seed stream to viewers and those viewers onto other viewers, the protocol can, it's claimed, "offload 99 per cent of the data transfer to users and achieve just a five-second delay".
If you want to see BitTorrent Live in action, flick your browser over to live.bittorrent.com. For now you'll need to download a piece of beta software to your computer before you can watch streaming video in your browser.
Let us know your experience with BitTorrent Live in the comments section below. At the time of writing both video and audio were exceptionally patchy with just 12 viewers watching the live stream and a maximum downstream transfer speed of around 120KBps.