August 4, 2005

HDNet Distributing Shuttle Launch Video

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- High-definition television network HDNet said Thursday it is making available a free 20-minute video clip of last week's Discovery space shuttle launch for download over the Internet.

Dallas-based HDNet, whose high-definition broadcasts of sports events, concerts and television shows are carried on several satellite and cable television systems, touted Internet delivery of its programming as a way to expand its audience.

"As unique opportunities come up to highlight our content, we will use this great delivery platform," HDNet and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a statement.

Computer users who go to HDNet's Web site () can retrieve the file, but instead of downloading it from a central server, the company has opted to distribute it over a peer-to-peer, or P2P, network.

P2P networks take bits and pieces of data from computer users who already have a version of a given file and copy it to another computer. The method is considered a faster and cheaper means of transferring data over the Internet than doing so from a single computer server.

HDNet's shuttle video is 1.3 gigabytes, said Travis Kalanick, founder and chief executive of San Mateo, Calif.-based Red Swoosh Inc., which makes the software used to distribute the video.

Large movie and video files are routinely distributed online over P2P using file-sharing software like BitTorrent, but most of the people swapping the files are doing so without permission.

"This is the first time that high-definition TV is being openly distributed on the net," Kalanick said.


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