BitTorrent may have been originally known for debatable torrenting practices on the web, but the protocol can also be used for totally-legit live streaming television events. BitTorrent Live, previously released for FireTV and Apple devices, is now available on Android. With it, you can livestream sports, music events and more, all for free – perfect for cord-cutters.
The peer-to-peer (P2P) nature of BitTorrent allows users to sidestep the usual latency issues associated with live streaming via HTTP. As the company notes on its website, BitTorrent Live is a “multichannel, live and linear video streaming platform with channels spanning news, sports, music, tech and youth culture.”
By leveraging BitTorrent’s proprietary protocol and P2P network, the burden of pushing all that live data around can be shared amongst users, meaning expensive satellites and subscription packages are not necessary. BitTorrent’s latency is currently around 10 seconds, far less than services like Sling TV which can take up to a minute to reach viewers.
Available channels currently include the likes of Newsmax TV, NASA, Heroes TV, Fightbox, Clubbing TV, Fast&Fun, OANN, Filmbox Arthouse, One World Sports, TwiT, NUsic TV and OpenNews TV. New channels are being added every day. When the platform first launched in mid-2016, BitTorrent noted that paid programming might arrive in the future, but for now all channels are still available for free.