Peer to peer set top box

AHT international are working on a series of set top boxes that includes both peer to peer streaming and downloading. It’s an interesting concept. Taking the price and hassle of a computer away from what you need to access content on the internet.

They’re building boxes that run Tribler P2P software. In addition to this they are releasing the software for regular computers as well. You can download a beta of the software to have a look. The NuvioOne set top box will let you browse huge amounts of internet streaming channels.

Some quick tech specs for the NuvioOne:

Embedded CPU with RISC core and integrated I/O and video decoder functions
Memory 32bits DDR2-333 64MB
Flash 32MB
Video Memory 64MB
Video Hardware Decoders for MPEG2, MPEG4 H.264, Microsoft VC1
Video Resolution up to 1920×1080 Video
Scaling and Picture in Picture
SCART with R/G/B, CVBS, Audio L/R
HDMI for high definition output (HDTV)
S/PDIF output in optical
Ethernet RJ45
USB 2.0
Infra Red Remote Control (keyboard optional)
Windows Media DRM
External power supply
Cables Scart, AC Power Cord

Without local storage you can only view streaming channels. But you can add external USB drives or an internal SATA drive to the box. Letting you have the box running and pulling content of the internet.

In addition to existing content they aim to include both premium content from production companies and will also let you start your own channel:

Your very own TV station

So you have your own blog? Nice, but why stop there? The NUVIO ONE allows you to broadcast in up to HDTV quality to all other NUVIO ONE worldwide. But that is not a limitation, the NUVIO ONE software client will also become available for a wide range of settop-boxes, Windows, Macintosh and Linux PCs.

Lots of big words, it will be interesting to see if they can deliver. I have given the Nuvio.TV software a quick run on my laptop. At this point I was able to watch huge amounts of mostly low quality internet streaming channels. And access local content on my computer. The P2P streaming open Tribler’s P2P streaming module, so that part seems like it is not really incorporated yet. Still, the Nuvio.TV software is already a very remote control- and TV-friendly frontend for internet streaming channels and local content.

NuvioTV Local

There’s something here that reminds me of the LamaBox. I really don’t know what happened to that one…

Ron Van Herk
Ron Van Herk, the CEO of AHT International showing one of the prototypes they are working on. This one is a complete set top box that is going to give you peer-to-peer streaming on your TV for 99 euro.

These are interesting technologies and might some day give you all that internet content without the price and time needed to keep a PC running…

Peer to peer set top box

13 thoughts on “Peer to peer set top box

  1. Tomas says:

    I’d like to see the threshold for number of users/bandwith needed in an area to provide HD content to all of them.

    Something like :
    X users with minimum Y upload bandwith with less than Z latency in between them.

    At the moment, it seems like most IPTV services with peer-to-peer technology uses quite small bit-rates on their transmissions. Probably with good reason.

  2. Have just read an artichel on Apple TV (norwegian), here:
    It says that this box is full of “spare-parts” from Mr. Jobs.
    My question is then! If this works a Media Center PC does not need to have the hottest hardware in all parts. I’m thinking that if you have a decent sound- and graphicard and big harddisc, then you can come up with a low-price solution?
    So what do you think av livingroom HTPC MUST have i spesifications? I know you have a list, but to cut down the price to minimum and still have a decent HTPC for the livingroom.

  3. Tomas says:


    It really depends on if you want HDTV or not. If not, you can get away with surprisingly low specs.

    I’m talking 1st generation P4 etc.

  4. Tomas:
    Yes, the main problem with P2P streaming is upload bandwidth. It’s perfect for streaming up to about 500 kbit/s but gets pretty useless above that. A company called Octoshape has a solution where they add “supernodes” in the network to help when too many people want to watch a stream that not enough people share.

    But you can’t really benefit more that the average upload capacity. So, if you want to stream 2,5 M/bit you can only get down to about 2 M/bit pr. user for your own servers because the gain from people sharing your stream is limited by the asynchronous nature of ADSL.

  5. Lasse:
    If you want a HTPC that can play music, show pictures and play standard definition TV you won’t need much power.

    For the TV functionallity you need a TV card with hardware encoding. And a graphic card that can help on the MPEG2 decoding would also be nice. But standard MPEG2-decoding is not very hard, so a 2 GHz P4 or similar AMD would manage.

    You don’t need very fast disks and you don’t need huge amounts of RAM. So, yes – you can build a quite OK HTPC from some old pare parts…

  6. I am using an old Pentium 4 with 512MB RAM running GBPVR. This system is responsive and good. I have tested a similar system with Team Media Portal that was slow so I think this also depends on the software. I use a GBPVR350 TV Card with a dedicated TV out. I dont know how fast the system is using the display card.

  7. My question was more what is the MOST important specs.

    If the computer runs, handles the software and hardware, the most important specs is: Graphic-, tv- and soundcard right?!????

    Other issues like cabinett, design etc. is whats keeping HTPC from getting into the livingroom. It’s to expensive and most people will not build it themselves (like this site-owner has done). They just want to plug and play and have a nicelooking thing!

    I bet you could manage to sell many “spare-part”/cheap/old-fashion HTPC with great sound- graphiccard etc. to people that wantet to get IPTV, listen to music and watch movies and use internett – in their livingroom.

    The point I’m trying to make here is that its not that damn hard to get a system working. The problem is thats it’s just not done. Due to high pricing of HTPC from the stores. If someone sold a cabinett and published a list of software – users could find the prices on the different pc-stores around and then they would realise that it’s niot that complicated. With a nice cabinett and the right stuff it’s something that everyone could handle (someone might need some tips or help, but if you own a screewdriver…. pice of cake!!!!).

  8. Joost is very interesting. I am a beta tester, and I really like some of the functionality. However, the video quality is not good enough (thery’re streaming about 700 Kbit), and it would be interesting to see a Joost Set top box…

  9. atle says:

    As for HTPC: I for one think the “end game” would be cabinet free solutions – ie. something you can stick in the corner inside whatever sort of storage furniture you have – and then just run a video cable and IR transmitter to the TV (or put another way: if the WinVista extender concept worked for all game consoles, including ps3 and wii – and for all media formats … then we have a winner)

    Regarding Joost: it is incredible how much press the “official” branded version begot, especially here in Norway where it has been all but ignored since the people behind it are danes and swedes (much better coverage in Sweden, DI and others – do a comparison search on and .no to see)
    I like the concept of open source plug ins – even tested putting this blog in the news ticker, worked like a charm. For my laptop the video is more than good enough, but for the 24” screen it leaves a bit to be desired, especially for the faster moving clips like California street dance.

    But it is better to walk before you run – and with 130+ million Skypes out there, I think this baby could scale mighty quick and enable both HD and niches at the same time

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