Thursday, December 28, 2006

Success Factors for GridNetworks … closure

Wrapping up my thoughts on prospects of GridNetworks. Continuation from previous post.

The second method, more likely to work for GridNetworks, is to pre-install or embed the player in to as many devices as possible, preferably the type of devices that are almost always on, almost always connected and publicly available to participate in content distribution without compromising owner-user experience.

One of the biggest challenge in my opinion is to get people to install a P2P based player on their computers. I personally started the installation process several times and backed out. The main concern was the impact of a P2P player on my work machine, both performance and security aspects. Pre-installed player and embedded appliances are a good method to overcome such concerns.

Another challenge is to have as many nodes public and participatory in content delivery as possible. Most computing nodes where users install GN player are more likely to be located behind a firewall/broadband router whether in the office or at home. This may result in a disproportionately higher number of nodes acting as freeriders without aiding delivery to others.

Newell claimed that their player is successfully running on Xbox. Embedding in Game consoles is definitely a step in the right direction. Some of the other devices, they may want to consider for embedding are:
  • Network routers - The ones normally used with broadband connections at home from companies such as Linksys and D-Link.
  • TV Set-top boxes - Comcast provided me a Motorola HD cable box with Ethernet port. May be GridNetworks can help set-top box manufacturers utilize this port for some meaningful purpose.
  • Helping NSLU open source community to install player on Linksys NSLU2 storage device.
  • Develop, partner and market NAS and Media PC devices with embedded player for consumer markets.
They need to focus on embedding their player in to any device that has storage capacity and a network port. This may be the differentiation GN needs to stand-out in overcrowded P2P based online video streaming market.

Good luck to Newell and his team at GridNetworks.

Communication using hand/body gestures at dinner table in Hokkaido, Japan. I knew no Japanese and others knew very little English.


  1. Hi, Mr. Anil Gupta:
    I'm so excited after read your blogger because i totally agree with your opinions.
    From your article, seems you are interested in the P2P topics...
    i may contact you by the phone to discuss this very interesting thing.
    Also, i suggest you to try the TVKOO what is a green p2p software. I mean, you dont need to install it, and it works very well for the 90% of NAT and windows firewall users around the world. You can use it to watch online tv, movies and so on. Or even, you can broadcast your own live video by using it with one single sever with 25M bandwidth. The official website is:
    Good luck!!

    P.S. because of the earthquake in Taiwan, you many wait a couple of days in order to visit its site.

  2. Maybe Newell said that he had the Grid player running on XBox, but I do not believe that it is officially supported by them just yet. For that matter, my 15 year old son had it working on his XBox live also, almost a year ago, but it was a kludge. They are promising support in 2007 though, as well as native Mac and Linux.

    The Grid player is designed (in theory) to be platform agnostic, so porting it to other platforms is more a matter of Grid allocating the resources than any real technological difficulty.

  3. Michael,

    Thanks for expanding on the Xbox claim. Technologically, I don't see a challenge in porting to game consoles either.

    But making a business deal with game console mfr is an immense undertaking and requires great deal making prowess, commonly not available.

    I don't believe only having port for Win/Mac/Linux will take GN far enough. They need to be lot more creative to stand out in this overcrowded marketplace.

    In the end, content providers will go to the grid player that has the most reach and provides the best user experience.