Web Video Quality: Companies Are Starting to Care

BitTorrentYouTube made popular the idea of video on the Internet even if it has always seemed to be pretty low on the list of options in terms of picture quality. But now certain companies have realized that just because computers can be another way to watch video doesn’t mean the general population is content with fuzzy, low quality in a tiny window. Today there’s news of at least two companies focusing on Internet video quality: BitTorrent and Move Networks.

BitTorrent has already been downloaded and installed on more than 150 million computers. It was first released in 2001 and is best known as a tool for illegally downloading copyrighted content. But BitTorrent is trying to shed that image and has been making deals with major Hollywood studios and entertainment companies to offer their programming legally.

And now the company has a new distribution method that combines traditional streaming technology with peer-to-peer technology. How it works is that by using BitTorrent’s software to get streaming video, you’ll be getting the content not only from servers but also from other computers that have already downloaded the files. Ashwin Navin, BitTorrent’s president and co-founder, predicted this new system will “…cut transmission costs by 50%, putting high-quality videos within reach of small and midsize programmers.”

Meanwhile, Move Networks, based in American Fork, Utah, has developed a technology which streams video at the fastest rate possible depending on the user’s computer, broadband connection, and network traffic (rather than a one size fits all approach). Move Networks also claims the ability to deliver higher picture quality because content is stored on servers all over the U.S. rather than at one central location. The rumor is the company is close to announcing a $34 million round of funding. Move Networks’ technology is already being used by ABC.com and Fox.com to stream shows like “Lost” and “24.”

For more coverage on the BitTorrent announcement, see this post over at TechCrunch.