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BitTorrent TV teased at Euro tech show

Televisions due this winter that integrate BitTorrent support directly into the hardware make their first public appearance at the IFA conference in Germany.

Vestel's BitTorrent prototype. BitTorrent

Best known for its decentralized file transfer system, BitTorrent (download) has joined with digital television manufacturer Vestel to create the first TV that comes with torrent support baked in, the two companies announced today at IFA in Berlin. Originally announced in January at CES 2011, the BitTorrent Certified televisions will be able to download, play back, and share media, including videos you've shot on your cell phone, high-resolution photos, and BitTorrent's growing library of legally shared media content.

The library of legal content isn't the only aspect of BitTorrent's business that's growing. The company claims more than 100 million active monthly users, putting it in the rarefied territory of major Web browsers and free Windows security suites.

It's that user base that BitTorrent hopes to grow by expanding its technology beyond computers.

"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," Hakan Kutlu, deputy general manager for marketing at Vestel, said in a statement.

The process to prepare BitTorrent for a wider range of devices than just desktop computers and smartphones went public earlier this year as Project Chrysalis. Shahi Ghanem, chief strategist at BitTorrent, added, "People want access to their entire content library--personal media, Internet files, and artist-approved content - regardless of source, media type, or file format."

The BitTorrent Certified program will eventually include DVD and Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, and other content-distributing hardware.