University News

TVs still waiting for IPTV boxes

Contributing Writer
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some televisions in public spaces were left behind this semester after the campus converted from cable to the Internet-based IPTV system over the summer.

Among other problems caused by the switch, the televisions in satellite gyms, lounges, the Sharpe Refectory and the Third World Center are not functioning because they have not yet had the necessary converter boxes installed.

Thomas Forsberg, associate director of housing and residential life, said the problem lies in the fact that “each location is a unique issue.” The new IPTV system requires both an IPTV box and an Internet data port. While each dorm room is already equipped with a data port, many of the locations where cable televisions once stood are not.

Offices are responsible for placing the work orders to get their televisions up and running under the new IPTV system. Brown Dining Services has sent in a request to install a box for the TV in the main room of the Ratty, as have the Department of Physical Education and Campus Recreation for satellite gyms, the Third World Center for its own spaces and the Office of Residential Life for residence hall lounges.

The orders go to the Telecommunications Office, which is in charge of installing the IPTV boxes and has a list of the locations that need them, Forsberg said. ResLife will pay for all installations, he added.

Matthew Tsimikas, assistant director of athletics and physical education, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that his department has requested nine IPTV box installations for the Bigelow Gym in Keeney Quadrangle, the Bears Lair in Graduate Center and the Emery gym.

Currently, one of five TVs in the Emery gym is functioning.

ResLife has put in requests for 25 lounge TVs. The Caswell Hall lounge has received a converter box but the Keeney Quad and Pembroke Campus lounges are still without working televisions, Forsberg said.

Forsberg said the shortage of converter boxes in the beginning of the semester delayed the installations. In September, The Herald reported that many students were put on a waiting list for the boxes.

“There was a higher demand than I think we expected for students who wanted IPTV,” Forsberg said.

ResLife rented out about 300 boxes after placing three different orders, he added.

Now that student demand has been filled, boxes have become available for TVs around campus.

Forsberg said that additional delays could be a result of issues with coordination between departments and confusion about where to submit work orders. Depending on what is needed at each location, both Facilities Management and the Telecommunications Office may need to be involved.

Though Sarah Rubin ’14 never experienced Bigelow with a functioning television, she said she would “much rather watch TV” while working out. “But I’m still here,” she added.

Kelly Lougheed ’13, who also works out in Bigelow, said she “didn’t even realize the TVs weren’t working.”

Responses were similar in the Ratty, where the large monitor in the main room remains lifeless. Aaron Ruffin ’12, who used to watch ESPN’s SportsCenter or CNN, said he “ate on this side (of the Ratty) a lot more when the TV worked.”

Bojan Grozdanic ’13 said he was less concerned because when it was working he usually “couldn’t hear it anyway.”

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