Triple-play specialist Inuk Networks has launched an internet protocol television (IPTV) service using multicasting technology to deliver broadcast-quality TV over a closed IP network. Currently available to 500,000 students in university halls of residence connected to the high speed JANET network, Freewire TV is ultimately aimed at the estimated 6m homes that Inuk says are unable to receive high quality digital TV by other means.
Freewire currently offers a range of UK and international free-to-air digital television channels. Students at Leeds and Liverpool universities are the first to receive Freewire.
"True IPTV services such as Freewire TV replicate exactly the same broadcast quality experience that customers are used to receiving on TV," said Marcus Liassides, CEO of Inuk Networks. "Our ability to guarantee this aspect of the service is something that is clearly important to both broadcasters and viewers.
"Inuk is currently working with local loop unbundlers and service providers to ensure that the Freewire TV service has the widest reach possible. Providing ISPs and telcos with a digital TV solution that can be packaged up with services including voice and broadband access is proving very compelling to the industry."
The new service can be delivered over any multicast-enabled IP network. Multicasting allows a large number of channels to be carried without significant network loading. Content is encoded into MPEG 4 H.264 for secure delivery over closed-loop IP networks.
Inuk says its Freewire platform can be customised and delivered as a wholesale solution, "offering broadband providers and network operators the ultimate flexibility in how they provision their TV, voice and converged entertainment service offerings".
Lovelace Consulting | 08.11.2006