18 April 2006

IPTV to GrangeNet

The future of television, on your desktop computer now at UC and soon across GrangeNet.

GrangeNet (GRid And Next GEneration NETwork) is the experimental high performance computer network funded by Government to support grid and advanced communication services for research and education across Australia [http://www.grangenet.net/index.html].

The television channels that we are currently reticulating around our local UC computer network can be made available across the GrangeNet network simply by reconfiguring some of the settings on the program streams and the switches and routers through which the signals pass: with the right configuration someone at UWA in Perth could be watching one of the satellite services being received on campus here in Building 20, at no cost (GrangeNet is free of traffic charges).

GrangeNet’s bandwidth is such that the 120-150Mb/s of satellite television services will hardly have any impact on other services running on their links, which runs at speeds of up to 10Gb/s between nodes.

For legal reasons we would only provide free-to-air satellite services that originate outside Australia on GrangeNet: no local terrestrial services nor ABC Asia Pacific or network feeds will be included until the legality of providing these services can be determined.

The services would be provided on a purely experimental basis with no guarantees of reliability or availability to see what issues may arise when providing television over IP networks. Since GrangeNet’s funding ceases at the end of this year it is unlikely that services will be available after then unless AARNET takes them on.

It would cost us nothing to provide the streams except for some small amount of time doing some reconfiguration of the streams and liaising with ICT Services’ Network Management Team to ensure the traffic is available on the link to GrangeNet. Once outside the University border any configuration issues will be handled by GrangeNet staff.