Use A Custom Miro For Church Videos and Conference

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MikeHillyer-p40
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Use A Custom Miro For Church Videos and Conference

Postby MikeHillyer-p40 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:08 am

Ok, there was already a bit of BitTorrent talk here: http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=562

In it I mentioned the idea of using Miro, having just finished watching Conference I want to expand on it.

In my city in Alberta, we're fortunate enough to have conference viewable on cable TV. Problem is that the Saturday afternoon session was pre-empted by a local football game and I had to fire up the laptop to watch.

The Windows Media feed would not even come up and the Move Networks feed was 32k/s, like watching old seminary slide shows. It paused so much that we finished watching conference at 4:30, 30 minutes after it had actually ended.

Enter Miro: http://www.getmiro.com/

Miro is an Open Source video distribution platform. It combines a media player with a video catalog and a BitTorrent client, and it is available on Windows, Linux and Mac.

Look at the demo video at http://www.getmiro.com/screencasts/ and imagine with me...

You customize Miro, create a channel for the current conference session. Someone runs a box with a realtime h.264 encoder. You can get a 20 minute conference talk into about 3-4 megs, call it 10 for fullscreen broadcast quality.

You push these out as soon as a given talk finishes and add them to the channel list. Within minutes the video will spread out among members, with so many pulling the talk the bandwidth for members to grab the talk will allow them to get it within minutes. The church's bandwidth cost will be low because they only seed it to the first 50-100 users, then it spreads via bittorrent. The members can get broadcast quality video of conference and only be one or two talks back. Miro could be configured to do a more regular pull on the live conference session and automatically play each entry in the queue as they download.

When not being used for conference, the system could still be an on-demand catalog of church videos and other talks in regional conferences and whatnot.

Imagine being able to search through the entire catalog of church videos and pull them on demand? You could even add functionality to automate the burning of a church video to DVD so people could watch them easily on their TVs.

Something like this would be really easy to do since the core work is already done by the Miro team, it would just be a matter of maintaining a branch.

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Postby thedqs » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:13 am

Is there a way we could even get it semi-live. As you noticed with Move Networks (the reason for the slow speed I believe was the massive numbers of connections everyone was making to it) it got behind which could be annoying for people who switch medias often (watching at home, get it car to drive to SLC for second session listen on radio) and they'd miss about 15-30 mins of conference). If realtime was too difficult then maybe even 3 min delay which at least is still in the same talk.
- David

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MikeHillyer-p40
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Postby MikeHillyer-p40 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:28 am

You could incorporate something like ESM from Carnegie Mellon Uni, which is a peer to peer streaming system.

The nice part of the system is that the viewer source is Open and available under a BSD license, and the viewer is the same as that in Miro, so one could easily hook ESM into Miro:

http://esm.cs.cmu.edu/

I think the benefit of the straight Miro solution is the quality of the video and lack of skipping, but ESM would augment to allow for realtime streaming of Conference without the huge bandwidth hit to the church without having to wait for the individual talk recording to finish downloading. One could use the two together to watch in realtime while downloading a video archive on a per-talk basis for later viewing.

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Postby thedqs » Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:23 pm

This would be a really good idea, especially since as more people join on to watch conference the better the quality and hopefully no bandwidth crunch (unless everyone on your block is on cable and so you only have 28.8 Kb connection anyway).
- David

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WelchTC
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Bittorrent and licensed property

Postby WelchTC » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:46 am

This is an interesting idea. Currently if the Church holds the copyright of the material and does not grant individuals the right to redistribute the material, how does that play in with Bittorrent? Technically people are redistributing it with Bittorrent, but not in any kind of malicious way.

Tom

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Postby PhillipsCJ » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:40 am

tomw wrote:Technically people are redistributing it with Bittorrent, but not in any kind of malicious way.


I don't know the legal answer to this question, but there are some good examples from commercial content owners using bittorrent to distribute content.

For example, Joost is based on a P2P distribution method, but CBS and other content owners are allowing their content to be distributed through the system. BitTorrent DNA has been in the news of late with a similar system that they are marketing to content owners.

I don't know if the Church would actually have to change their licensing on content or if it would be adequate to maintain control of the distribution process, even though users would be shouldering some of the bandwidth load.

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Postby MikeHillyer-p40 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:25 am

I think the key here is Unauthorized Redistribution. As copyright holder the church has the right to name its terms, including allowing for distribution to its members through any channel it sees fit.

It wouldn't be that hard to come up with a license that restricts usage to personal viewing with a ban on unauthorized public performance or modification.

There are technological ways to restrict how the content is used such as is done with commercial users of BitTorrent but I don't think the church needs to go down the road of DRM.

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Postby thedqs » Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:05 am

Also I think the church is worried more about modification of the video then the actual distribution itself. (I maybe wrong too) But the way I see it is that the church is distributing it (since each client must connect to the server to see who else they can download it from) through the resources of other users (similar to when some buys a DVD, the church distributes by the media was created by a third party).
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:35 am

thedqs wrote:Also I think the church is worried more about modification of the video then the actual distribution itself.


I hadn't thought of that, but how secure is the medium from tampering? Would it be possible to insert a segment from some other video into the data stream by spoofing the desired data? Granted, I don't think it's happened so far, but then that's not to say it won't given the right motivation. I don't see connecting to church servers for information from where to download as providing protection from that.

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Postby MikeHillyer-p40 » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:45 am

BitTorrent prevents corruption or injection of data from a malicious third party. Because the download list would be officially maintained the risk of getting malicious material through the official client would be minimized or even eliminated.


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