Ivy League School Goes IPTV

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Starting next year, students at BrownUniversity in Providence, R.I., will experience campus life without conventional broadcast and cable TV, when the campus shuts down its cable plant. Instead, the students will rely solely on Internet-protocol television to get their network fixes.

According to the campus newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald, the campus cable infrastructure was built in 1980 and is now in such a state of decay that officials have decided to mothball it rather than spend the “astronomical” amount it would cost to bring it up to state-of-the-art.

The students are not strangers to IPTV: the campus introduced TV streaming via the Internet in 2005. Because that system actually has more channels than the aging cable system, usage is already high, according to the paper, and all residential buildings are connected to the platform.

However, because students do still have television in their rooms, the campus’s residential life council will try to work out a way to help students acquire hardware — by rental, buy-back schemes or advanced deposits — that they can use to link their streamed content to their dorm TV sets.