Cybersky-TV is a free software
application for sharing television streams.
It allows users with a broadband internet connection
to share the TV channels they are able to receive.
TV channels can be shared irrespective of the
means of reception, be it by cable, terrestrial
or by satellite, be it analog or digital, as
long as there's a way of getting the signal
to your pc. You can watch incoming channels
in almost real time. There will be a constant
delay of about 5 to 10 seconds.
How does it work?
Internet television has been
around for quite a few years. All sorts of parties
are offering it. It could be a paid service
in combination with your internet/cable subscription,
for example. It could be a service by the TV
station, either free of paid for. Almost without
exception getting the signal to the viewer involves
a traditional client/server architecture: the
client computer asks for a signal and the server
computer sends a data stream containing the
signal to the client. The signal provider needs
to send every user an individual stream. When
broadcasting live over the internet providers
are literally sending thousands of times identical
streams from their servers to the viewers' computers.
It's an obvious waste of bandwidth (and therefore
money) for the provider's server in particular,
and for the whole internet infrastructure as
With peer-to-peer (P2P) technology
data can be distributed in a far more cost-effective
manner. Cybersky-TV uses this P2P approach.
For this the ByteTornado protocol was created.
Similar to existing P2P protocols such a eDonkey,
BitTorrent, Gnutella and Kazaa, ByteTornado
is sharing data delivery workloads across connected
client systems as well as the distributor's
own server infrastructure. This way it drastically
decreases the operational costs for a stream
What do I need to watch Cybersky-TV
All you need is a broadband connection,
the Cybersky-TV software and the appropriate
codec to decode the data stream. And a PC of
course. Your broadband connection should have
a download speed of at least 400kbit/sec, which
is rather common these days. Slower connections
work as well, but the quality may suffer. For
watching, firewalls, NAT routers and unsufficient
upload speed are no problem. Read the Watchers'
FAQ for more details.
What do I need to share TV streams?
Apart from the above mentioned
Cybersky-TV software and broadband connection
you'll need to have a way to provide a video
signal: an analog or digital tv-card, or if
you decide to operate your own TV-station a
webcam and/or video content on your hard drive
or on DVD. Your broadband connection should
have an upload speed of at least 400kbit/sec.
Read the Broadcasting FAQ for more details.
In what sense is it better than
It's free (no spyware, no adware,
no dials, no malware). There's an unlimited
number of channels. Channels are available worldwide.
There is no server capacity limit for broadcasters.
You can watch without a TV (e.g. in the office).
Are there any drawbacks?
Videotext and close caption are
not supported. If you want to watch on your
TV, you need to connect it to your PC (this
can be done quite easily). If your internet
connection suffers from traffic problems, Cybersky-TV
Is this bad news for TV stations?
On the contrary. It's TV as it
has always been, just distributed differently.
Making TV has always been a costly affair, particularly
the distribution of it to the viewers. This
now changes thanks to Cybersky-TV. Whether this
is bad news for any particular TV station, depends
on their own perspective. Fact is, whether Cybersky-TV
will be a success or not, that peer-to-peer
technology is going to change the way live TV
content arrives to the viewers. This means risks
as well as opportunities for everyone.