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Early P2P-TV systems have already attracted millions of users, and many new commercial solutions are entering this market. Little information is however available about how these systems work. In this paper we present large scale sets of experiments to compare three of the most successful P2P-TV systems, namely PPLive, SopCast and TVAnts. Our goal is to assess what level of "network awareness" has been embedded in the applications, i.e., what parameters mainly drive the peer selection and data exchange. By using a general framework that can be extended to other systems and metrics, we show that all applications largely base their choices on the peer bandwidth, i.e., they prefer high-bandwidth users, which is rather intuitive. Moreover, TVAnts and PPLive exhibits also a preference to exchange data among peers in the same autonomous system the peer belongs to. However, no evidence about preference versus peers in the same subnet or that are closer to the considered peer emerges. We believe that next-generation P2P live streaming applications definitively need to improve the level of network-awareness, so to better localize the traffic in the network and thus increase their network-friendliness as well.
Date of Conference: 23-29 May 2009