Inuk Networks , a supplier of triple-play services to consumers, service providers and network operators, today announced the launch of Freewire TV, which aims to bring digital TV to the 'digitally disenfranchised'.
Freewire TV uses multicast to deliver broadcast-quality television over closed internet protocol (IP) networks. Aiming to provide all consumers in the UK with added choice in who supplies them with multi-channel television, Freewire TV will deliver a solution for the 'digitally disenfranchised' - the some six million households unable to receive digital television by other means.
Freewire TV currently offers a range of UK and international free-to-air digital television channels. The service is initially only available to the 500,000 students in university halls of residence who are able to access the Freewire TV service via the existing high-speed JANET network , which connects all higher and further education establishments in the UK.
So far, the University of Leeds and the University of Liverpool have signed up to supply their students living in halls of residence with broadcast-quality digital television over the Freewire platform.
"We are currently working with local loop unbundlers and service providers to ensure that the Freewire TV service has the widest reach possible. Providing ISPs and telecoms companies with a digital TV solution that can be packaged up with services including voice and broadband access is proving very compelling to the industry," said Marcus Liassides, CEO of Inuk Networks.
Content fed in only once
The new service can be delivered over any multicast-enabled IP network. Using highly bandwidth efficient, multicast technology, which allows a large number of channels to be carried without significant network loading, programming content is fed into the network only once.
To minimise bandwidth consumption whilst maximising picture quality, the content is encoded into MPEG 4 H.264 for secure delivery over closed-loop IP networks.
"By delivering the service over closed-loop IP networks we can offer the guarantee that at no point will content be available on the public internet, so delivering peace of mind to media owners and assuring them that their content is delivered in true broadcast resolution," continued Liassides.
Inuk Network's Freewire delivery platform, over which the Freewire TV service runs, is also capable of managing the delivery of hundreds of channels of video content, as well as VoIP solutions and broadband internet access. The company said today that it plans to add premium channels and content as well as a residential offering early next year. Anna Lagerkvist