A pan-European conglomerate that includes the BBC has received an EU grant worth €14 million to fund a project to identify how peer-to-peer technology can shape the Internet TV of the future.

The conglomerate, P2P-Next, is made up of 21 industrial partners, media content providers and research institutions.

The grant will help P2P-Next to develop a Europe-wide “next-generation” internet television distribution system based on P2P and social interaction.

The research project will run for four years and will include a technical trial of new applications running on different consumer devices such as a PC or set-top box.

A P2P-Next statement read:

“If successful, this ambitious project could create a platform that would enable audiences to stream and interact with live content via a PC or set top box. In addition, it is our intention to allow audiences to build communities around their favourite content via a fully personalized system.

“This technology could potentially be built into Video on Demand (VOD) services in the future and plans are underway to test the system for major broadcasting events.”

The partners include the BBC, Delft University of Technology, the European Broadcasting Union, Lancaster University, Markenfilm, Pioneer Digital Design Centre Limited and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

P2P-Next will also address a number of outstanding challenges related to content delivery over the internet, including technical, legal, regulatory, security, business and commercial issues.