Microsoft, Skinkers Ready With LiveStation

Skinkers, a Cambridge, UK-based startup, was in the news recently for its P2P software that allowed you to watch live television. The software was based on Microsoft’s technology, and today at the IBC 2007 trade show in Amsterdam, Microsoft (MSFT) announced that the technology is ready for large-scale technical trials. In other words, it is still not ready for prime time and needs further tweaking.
Microsoft calls its technology LiveStation, and says it will enable broadcasters to deliver live audio and video over broadband. As part of the offering, the company will release the LiveStation player, an application based on Microsoft’s Silverlight technology. The company claims that it will bring the fixed-cost economics of broadcasting to broadband, thanks to a unique peer network distribution that is far more scalable and economic than conventional streaming.

“LiveStation is based on real-time peer-to-peer distribution technology exclusively acquired from Microsoft,” explained Matteo Berlucchi, CEO of Skinkers. “This allows broadcasters to take advantage of a managed peer network to reach large online audiences with live radio and television and reduce their distribution costs dramatically.”

These type of new streaming technologies are good for broadcasting live events such as sports and fashion shows, but there are some who think that in this age of hyper personalization, where DVRs are de rigeur, streaming is a throwback.