After garnering broad interest from the Yale community last semester, Tivli is back with expanded offerings and functionality.
During its inaugural semester last spring, more than half of eligible undergraduates used Tivli, an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service that allows students to stream live television from their laptops. Tivli now offers four new channels — Fox News, HLN, YES Network and NBC Sports Network — as well as 10 hours of DVR storage, said Director of ITS Network Services David Galassi.
“I thought the program was successful,” Galassi said. “I haven’t personally heard any complaints, but we haven’t received a lot of thank-you’s either.”
Over the semester, students watched 1.9 million minutes of television through the service, and the most-viewed single events on campus included the presidential inauguration, the Super Bowl and the Oscars, according to Tivli. NBC, the CW and ESPN were the most popular channels, and “NBA Basketball,” “Family Guy” and “Friends” were the three most frequently watched shows.
Tivli now offers 37 channels, though HBO GO, which the service promised to students when it initially launched at Yale, is still not offered. Galassi said HBO GO, a program that provides HBO shows on demand, is still “intended” for the future. Similarly, Galassi said Tivli intends to expand the service beyond laptops, with plans to make it available to tablets such as the iPad first and later mobile phones.
Last January, the University started an 18-month pilot partnership with Tivli to bring IPTV to undergraduates living on campus. Next summer, Yale will decide whether the pilot was successful and whether it should continue to receive IPTV from Tivli. While the University will possibly consider multiple potential providers of IPTV after the pilot ends, Galassi said, Tivli’s IPTV technology has proven to be successful over its first semester at Yale.
YCC President Danny Avraham ’15 said Tivli has contacted the council to help promote the service to Yale students.
While students interviewed about the service praised the convenience of watching live television on the computer, they said it sometimes did not work as well as they had hoped.
“I like it for watching ESPN or sports games,” said Andrew Grass ’16, who watches Tivli about once a week. “Occasionally it is down, which is a little annoying. It would be stronger if it were more consistent.”
Lisa Zhang ’14, who watches Tivli for news “once in a while,” said she wishes the service did not freeze as frequently as it does, though she added that she is unsure whether the disrupted service resulted from her own computer or Tivli.
Tivli, a Harvard startup, first offered IPTV to Harvard in May 2011.