Thursday, April 13, 2006

HDTV trial on academic network

Often I am grateful that I have seen all the developments in online and new media pass by since the seventies. But sometimes I just can be a little bit jealous on the young generation. This happened when I received a press release this week announcing that the Dutch academic network SURFnet will offer HDTV to 7.000 students in Eindhoven, Groningen and Nijmegen.

Some fifty student apartment buildings will be equipped with network infrastructure ready for HDTV. These HDTV test environments will demonstrate that the local networks do not have any limitations for the most advanced internet services. The students will be able to see public broadcasts in high resolution, but also educational broadcasts.

Every student in the assigned apartment buildings will get access to the network at a speed of 20 Mbps. The networks in the student apartment building will be ready for multicast technology, using the bandwidth optimally. In all the three cities, special HDTV demonstration areas will be set up completely equipped with settopboxes and screens for students to watch broadcasts together.

The HDTV trial links to the First Mover TV project, which intended to close the HDTV chain and bring HD content to the consumer. First Mover TV is a project of the NOB, the Telematics Institute and SURFnet.

The infrastructure should be ready before the beginning of June. So from that time they have internet at a speed of 20 times ADSL and HDTV. And what the press release does not say, that beginning of June the Soccer World Championship start in Germany. Can you imagine students watching the soccer games in HDTV (drinking a lot of beer), while I am looking at a 1988 television set (drinking plain water, of course).


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