Starting the annual IFA consumer electronics expo off with a bang, Turkish digital TV company Vestel announced a partnership with BitTorrent that will bring certified file-sharing technology into European living rooms.
Both companies agreed that home entertainment is gradually heading towards a confluence that offers both standard programming and ever-evolving, expansive web content. However, TV remains the lynchpin.
“Consumers want all types of personal media and Internet content in their living rooms and the TV remains the most desired device for consuming this digital media, regardless of source,” said Hakan Kutlu, deputy general manager responsible for marketing at Vestel, adding that the deal was made in part to “remain at the forefront of technology innovation.”
Vestel’s DTV will allow viewers to do what they normally do on their PCs with BitTorrent – search for, view and share files, said the companies.
Side-stepping the obvious criticism about his company’s entanglement with piracy, Shahi Ghanem, chief strategist at BitTorrent, instead focused on the merits of legal file-sharing and empathized with consumers frustrated by the intricacies of digital media.
“The world of digital media has become unnecessarily complex and results in an increasingly fragmented consumer experience,” said Ghanem. “People want access to their entire content library – personal media, Internet files and artist approved content – regardless of source, media type or file format.”
BitTorrent announced in August that its uTorrent client is used by 100 million people worldwide each month.
Complimenting BitTorrent’s move toward becoming a standard application in connected TVs, the company seems eager to expand beyond Vestel. Considering the expected growth of Internet-ready TVs and focus on streaming, it’s not far-fetched that other manufacturers will come knocking.