Teli, Yale’s first on-demand Web channel dedicated to student programming, is scheduled to launch on Monday — all because of a misunderstanding.
Teli, which will be hosted on a server run by YaleStation.org, a student organization, will be the first Web channel of its kind to provide on-demand programming.
Originally, Teli founder Beth Deters ’04 had a dream of using the Yale-owned closed-circuit television stations to broadcast original student programming.
She met with a panel of administrators early this semester, including Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg, and Lindsey Holaday, associate director of strategic planning and public affairs, to discuss her idea.
“[Trachtenberg] wasn’t optimistic on that idea,” Deters said. “[She] said that there would be too many liability issues with student-run programming on a Yale-owned station.”
But Holaday appeared to be commenting on an entirely different issue, Deters said.
“During the meeting, she was under the impression that we were trying to create an Internet option for student-run programming,” Deters said.
Holaday’s confusion proved to be the most influential input at the entire meeting, because her comments caused Deters to consider bringing original programming to the Internet.
“It was the most sublime moment of my life,” Deters said. “I was sitting at dinner that night, and I realized that an Internet channel was meant to happen.”
Also, the red tape Trachtenberg mentioned would not be an issue with this new medium. Deters said advertising is unnecessary since the costs of Internet production are much lower than those of television production. All of the programs can be recorded and edited digitally on a computer, eliminating the costs of special editing machines and video cameras.
The Webcast will debut with a daily comedy sketch compiled from various Yale improv groups, said Gil Doron ’04, Teli’s programming director.
Doron said he anticipates Teli will air short- and feature-length films produced at Yale.
“We recruited Pedro Kos ’01 [director of last year’s “Blue Devil”], one of Yale’s premier producers, and he stirred up lots of interest among other film producers on campus,” Doron said. Teli will air different locally-produced films each week.
Alexander Clark ’04, Teli’s technology director, said producers will film their shows and upload them in digital format to Teli’s file transfer protocol. Clark will convert it into a Web-ready streaming video format. Web surfers can click on a link on Teli’s Web site corresponding to the desired program and begin watching it immediately.
“Not only will we have links to programs currently running,” Clark said, “but users will be able to access archived programs any time they want to.”
Clark also said another advantage of broadcasting on the Internet is the ability to track the popularity of all of Teli’s content.
“Through the Internet, we can monitor which programs are accessed most often and how much of each program is actually watched,” Clark said. “We can create our own type of Nielsen rating.”
Although Teli’s official debut is scheduled for Monday, Clark said previews of certain programs will be available starting this morning via Teli’s web site, www.teli.tv.
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