UK firm brings live multi channels to net

26 Sep 2007

The Microsoft-powered Livestation platform for playing live streaming internet television is currently in final negotiations with TV stations which will be unveiled at the trial launch date in coming weeks.

Although there are already many peer-to-peer (P2P) internet TV services out there such as Joost, Zattoo, and Babelgum, which is headquartered in Dublin, these applications offer television shows for viewing as video on demand.

Livestation, developed by London-based tech firm Skinkers, will be providing live streaming broadcasts using technology developed by Microsoft Research.

Rather than accessing download content, Livestation viewers will be looking at live television signals fed in through the application.

A release date for the platform has not been given but Skinkers says that it would be available for public use from 2008.

Skinkers demonstrated their technology at the recent International Broadcaster Convention (IBC) in the Netherlands.

Skinkers CEO, Matteo Berlucchi said that “it will allow broadcasters to take what is on air and put it straight into the a computer with minimal delay using some clever Microsoft bits and pieces.”

Using Microsoft Silverlight for the user interface and peer to peer technology, internet nodes feed packets of information to the user’s desktop allowing for constant live streaming.

Although no participating broadcasters have been named, BSkyB’s Sky News and Euronews were among the channels used to demonstrate Livestation’s ability.

Part of this platform will be desktop alerts to let users know when something they want to watch is playing soon.

“We’re all about watching real television, not downloading things that you missed out because you were out with your friends,” said Berlucchi.

By Marie Boran