Zattoo to Broadcast World Cup

One of my professors from last year and a bunch of my friends have been developing Zattoo, a peer-to-peer video streaming technology back in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The client runs on both Windows and Mac and supposedly allows millions of viewers to watch a single live video stream over the Internet without costing the broadcaster a whole lot of bandwidth.

It is a little like BitTorrent in the fact that its peer-to-peer and doesn’t require the original person with the content to have a huge pipe to the Internet. It is very different from BitTorrent in the fact that the content is streaming. Timing makes a difference. If a piece of the video gets lost over the network, there is no need to resend it because you can’t rewind the video. There is no way to save the video to your computer either.

Just a few days ago, the news went out about Zattoo being the the system used for streaming the 2006 FIFA World Cup. That is very exciting news. I’m looking forward to being able to watch soccer over the Zattoo client in June! That is… if they are broadcasting to the US…

Quick-start, Long-play Internet Television Arrives with Zattoo P2P IPTV

Zattoo brings long play P2P broadcasting to Internet TV

UPDATE: Looks like Zattoo has a blog now! Yey!

6 Responses to “Zattoo to Broadcast World Cup”

  1. Dave W Says:

    Hmmm… this is very cool. I’ve long wondered how a peer-to-peer streaming protocol could possibly work… how reliable is it? Are you connected to multiple peers (I’d assume so…), and how is it determined which packets come from where? And… yeah, lots more questions I probably won’t get answered anytime soon.

    Still, this sounds huge for this project… way to go.

  2. Kyle Mulka Says:

    I’m not sure on the details of their implementation. I do know that for this to work each client has to be streaming to mulitple people at the same time, but I’m not sure if clients RECIEVE streams from multiple people.

    I think they have a central server which determines who recieves packets from whom. Or… maybe part of that logic is in the client… not really sure.

    If you are curious on how an implementation of this might work, check out the TMesh project on which Zattoo is based.

  3. Joseph Says:

    How well does it actually work? There was some comments on the web about some quality issues with one of their channels (SF2). Also, how many users do they currently have, and what is the highest number of users who has watched a channel *at the same time*? Does anyone know how to actually use the system. The invite system apparently doesn’t work for most people (or only for those living in Switzerland?).

  4. mk Says:

    I doubt whether Zattoo can offer the same quality as Cubiworld, another company based in Switzerland. I have a demo account there, and the quality is just awesome!

  5. rookie Says:

    The quality of Zattoo is indeed not very exciting, but acceptable I guess (if you have nothing else). There is certainly better out there. However, most other P2P clients are not as easy to use (yet), but that may change.

  6. Kyle Mulka’s Weblog » still working Says:

    […] It’s only the second day of, but I’m surprised its still working. It was posted on TechCrunch last night. I have a feeling it will get really popular, and they won’t be able to support the amount of traffic they will be getting. Looks like its time for Zattoo to step up and help out, (see previous Zattoo post) assuming they are going to have issues. Who know’s maybe they won’t have bandwidth issues and will be just fine. In the style of YouTube, you can embed the live feed right into your blog like I’ve done below. […]

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