Is The Dream of Internet-based Broadcast Television Finally Here?
Network Foundation Technologies (NFT) announced today the results of the latest test of its NFT-TV client and server for Windows PC. NFT-TV is a revolutionary distributed broadcast solution that enables the online transmission of audio / video content to large audiences via the Internet – at a fraction of the costs of other systems.
The goal of the company is to bring television to the Internet.
During the two-hour test broadcast, held on August 23, a single PC running the NFT-TV server software constructed and maintained a distributed broadcast network of over 100 simultaneous viewers. The test was conducted over the open Internet with standard PCs and consumer-level broadband Internet connections (cable and DSL modems). Viewers were geographically dispersed across the US and Canada – from California to Florida to Rhode Island, to Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia. A number of international viewers from the UK and Japan participated as well.
Network bandwidth utilization for this test broadcast peaked at 5.2 Mbits/sec (104 viewers each receiving a 50 Kbits/sec video stream), while the bandwidth consumption of the NFT server held steady at 100 Kbits/sec. Thus, during the August 23rd test, at peak load NFT was responsible for just under 2% of total network bandwidth. In other words, the bandwidth costs to NFT were over 98% less than normally would have been the case using industry-standard streaming technologies.
The reason NFT can achieve this amazing result is that while the server constructs and maintains the network – adding new viewers to the network and monitoring network health – it directly feeds video to only a small number of viewers, just two in the August 23rd test.
For major providers of streaming video content, NFT technology represents tens of millions of dollars in potential savings. For smaller media companies, this technology means lower entry barriers to the streaming video marketplace. To consumers, it means that the long-promised goal of true television-style broadcasts over the Internet, instead of the short video clips so common today, may be just around the corner.
For now, the August 23rd test vividly demonstrates that clusters of PCs running the NFT-TV server can be used to reach audiences in the thousands, with modest hardware and bandwidth costs less than 2% of traditional streaming systems.
However, soon NFT intends to demonstrate that reasonable size clusters of PCs should be able to support hundreds of thousands, or perhaps even millions, of viewers at broadcaster bandwidth cost levels almost unimaginably low by today’s standards – a tiny fraction of one percent.
About Network Foundation Technologies:
Network Foundation Technologies, LLC is a privately held company focused on the development of technologies that provide the foundation for Internet-based broadcast networks.