SiaStream Beta Released

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Movie Streaming Meets Blockchain

Sia, one of the first distributed blockchain based mass storage providers, has just announced their SiaStream service.  This service allows users to store their videos on the Sia storage network, and then stream them using Plex server, Kodi and other platforms.

While there are other services that offer similar services, none of them allow for anonymous encrypted storage on the blockchain with blazing speeds of 1Gpbs or more.  Even more impressive is the cost.  On average Sia costs $1 per TB a month for storage.  This makes keeping your moving collection the cloud super inexpensive, while not sacrificing quality, speed or accessibility.

Inside the Product

The SiaStream dashboard gives you access to instant data on your collections and usage and because the files are storage in chunks no single blockchain node every has a full copy of your data.  Did I mention that all storage is redundant 3 times over?  This means not only are you get blazing fast storage, but you're getting highly available storage as well.  AWS simply cannot come close to this.

Sia Stream Dashboard

Benefits vs Local Storage

Instead of running your own file server, and then using plex with it, there's some distinct benefits to using Sia Stream, here are just some.

  • Never worry about having to upgrade your storage capacity ever again (just think how 4K is going to kill what little space you have left)
  • Never have to worry about storage server failures losing your movies.  Sia network has all data stored 3 times over.
  • Never have to worry about streaming bottleneck of your home connection any more.
  • Access the library while you travel without breaking a sweat.
  • ANONYMOUS usage
  • Can share library with others without giving access to your media server

Now to be fair, SiaStream is still in beta, and while I think SiaStream perfectly captures the benefits of the blockhain to make something super useful to the masses (for once), there are some drawbacks.

  • Wallet still requires Sia Coin for transactions.  There are a few things in the works to allow for basic credit card recurring activity to fund the wallet but that's not "out" yet.  So for the novice, or your non-techie friends, this can be a cumbersome platform to use without some basics into how cryptocurrencies and wallets work.  

  • Sia is owned and operated by Nebulous who's doing fantastic work on Sia and SiaStream, but they're a small team, and unlike most corporations you might sign up for service with, there's no real 1-800-help-me-i-am-stuck help happening here.  The beta release realistically is for people who want to put a little bit of sweat into getting something cool setup and working.  They have a sia discord channel where you can get some help from community members, but even Discord is relatively unheard of for many people.  As SiaStream becomes more public and leaves beta we anticipate more helpful content being put online to offer support but for now expect to tinker a bit.

  • It's still in beta.  Don't forget this.  And as new software is released in nearly fire-hose fashion, it'll mean a lot of updates in the near future to stay on top of.  But being a part of a product early on can be rewarding.  LightSpeed has been involved as much as possible with Sia as we see it's long-term potential in the storage market, and welcome it, but, of course we're in a place where the service is new and being refined.  Please keep this in mind.

As Sia continues to grow rapidly and become one of the best real-world examples of blockchain technologies (outside of financial) we hope to see more services like this come to the mainstream user in a user-friendly fashion that people have become used too.  For now I am excites to use and help refine SiaStream and other Sia products.  Please leave us a comment if you have or are working with anything similar?  Have you done anything cool with Sia or it's competitors?