Veoh Networks in San Diego has raised initial funding to launch a peer-to-peer television content delivery network it says will redefine television by allowing anyone to broadcast television quality video using broadband.

The company was founded by Dmitry Shapiro, a specialist in peer-to-peer networking and computer security, and was originally known as TvDrive Network.

The current management team includes executives and advisers from Coco-Cola, Columbia Pictures, eBay, Gateway and Musicmatch.

“Today, thousands of video producers are creating innovative, entertaining, informative and provocative television content that is never slotted for broadcast over traditional television networks,” said Dmitry Shapiro, the founder and chief executive. “Veoh provides an open system that allows producers to distribute their content directly to consumers, bypassing the traditional hurdles of getting ‘picked up’ by a major television network.”

The company proclaims that it is “building the next phase of the internet, the self-published video web,” and idealistically says it will be able to “stop wars, expose genocide, enlighten, entertain, education, bring together, inspire, connect, and help find love of all kinds”.

Veoh says it will use a proprietary, secure peer-to-peer network that helps prevent piracy and provides publishers with unprecedented control over their content.

Unlike unmanaged P2P networks using software such as BitTorrent to share mainly illicit copyright video, Veoh will have a community of publishers and content will be approved by editors. The system will also integrate with Google Video and RSS, providing content producers with easy publishing to multiple video systems.

Veoh will allow producers to charge for content, and will take a percentage of any revenues, although it will also be possible to make content available without any charge.

The company is one of a number that are aiming to use peer-to-peer distribution over the public internet and establish a business model around this. It says an early release of the software and service will be available later this month.