Myka, BitTorrent, and the slow death of TV

There is lots of video on the Internet, but you don't always want to watch it in a little window on your computer. If you have ever tried to play a YouTube video clip with three or four people peering over your shoulder, all trying to see the tiny picture and listen to the tinny sound, you know what I mean.

This new device, called a Myka, is just one of a new generation of devices that takes IP-based video, movies, and TV clips and puts them on your TV (bigger, better picture and better sound) without a lot of fuss.

The device looks suspiciously like an AppleTV box, which is no accident--the AppleTV pioneered the Internet-direct-to-TV device marketplace. But the Myka simply takes BitTorrent streams, stores them on a hard drive in the Myka box, and then gives you an easy way to play them on your TV.

This is the kind of box that makes Comcast and Verizon network managers lie awake at night in a cold sweat. As more and more people simply skip TV altogether for the convenience of Internet-delivered video of all kinds, the old copper-based DSL and cable modem networks are groaning under the strain. These networks were all designed for the old, rub two sticks together Internet, where most people did nothing but email and a little light Web surfing. Video increases demand on these networks by a factor of 100 or more, meaning they just don't have enough bandwidth if everyone decides to watch the YouTube dog on a skateboard video at the same time. It's why places like Danville and Galax are building digital roads made of fiber. It is the new community broadband--digital roadways to every home and business.

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