The End is Nigh (Part 216 in a Series)

by on November 23, 2004

So you want to know what all the cool kids (read as content pirates) are up to these days?

There’s a new Java BitTorrent client called Azureus that supports plugins. Some enterprising fellow wrote an RSS parsing plugin, which enables a user to point the application to an RSS feed and download anything that matches specified filter settings.

In practice, this allows the user to automatically download HDTV television programs with the commercials already edited out.

This is particularly interesting for a number of reasons:

  1. Most people’s computer monitors are capable of displaying an image of significantly higher resolution than their television. I don’t own an HDTV, but my LCD computer monitor can handle 720p without breaking a sweat.
  2. You don’t even have to bother fast-forwarding through commercials. TiVo is so 2003.
  3. The HDTV files you download are even better than the DVD content you would get if you bought the complete season of your favorite program.
  4. Programs turn up on the feeds much quicker than you would expect, often within an hour of the time the broadcast aired.

There are already enough HDTV capture cards out there to keep this going until television becomes completely irrelevant, so the broadcast flag isn’t going to mean jack. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how the networks try to fight this one.

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