IPTV: A New Way to Watch Television

Internet Protocol television (IPTV) is the next step forward in delivering television programming, and OCIO found the North Residential District Transformation project to be the perfect opportunity to try this innovative new technology on campus. An early pilot of the service got high marks from the students who tried it, so we’re very excited about moving forward in the new residence halls.

The North Residential District Transformation is a groundbreaking second-year experience with facilities improvements that create a unique living environment. To encourage students to remain on campus, thus improving graduation success, the new residences incorporate innovations in technology, architecture, student and faculty interaction and One University Framework Principles.

IPTV is just one of these innovations, using Internet-based technologies to deliver television programming through a local area network (LAN). IPTV is still a relatively new and developing technology that allows users to use one service and interface to access the same content on their TVs, PCs and mobile devices.

The residential district project is on a long timeline, occurring throughout the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 academic years, so we decided to pilot the service to build troubleshooting and set up expertise before the grand opening of these innovative new residence halls. We piloted the service to 20 rooms in the Lane Residence Hall.

After the short pilot, we surveyed students to ensure the service is as good as or better than service currently delivered via cable. For example, we asked how easy the service is to use, set up and use on screen guide. We also looked at satisfaction with the quality, available features and channel line-up.

During the trial, students reported using the service 3-5 hours per week. Most used their computers to connect, though the service is flexible and can be accessed through televisions, Mobile devices, AppleTV or Roku.

  • 84% of students believe OSU should provide access to live TV on laptops and mobile devices.
  • 84% said they would recommend this IPTV service to a friend.
  • 67% said a service like the IPTV service would improve their campus life.
  • 91% said DVR on devices was an important feature.

While we do not currently have plans extend this service to all other residence halls, as the IPTV becomes more prevalent in the market, we will continue to evaluate the viability of offering it in additional settings. However, we’re always looking for ways to improve the student experience and offer new and better technology, so IPTV may be under consideration in various areas when it comes time to upgrade or change the television program services Ohio State offers residence hall tenants.

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