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Philo

overview
Service Type:
Video, Voice & Collaboration
Phase:
Early Adopter
Eligible Subscribers:
Internet2 Member
Sponsors:
Yale University
Email:
netplus@internet2.edu
Contact:
Ben Fineman

It’s a streamlined service that gives students the on-campus TV experience they crave, without overloading university data networks or overburdening IT departments. Additionally, Philo integrates easily with university single sign-on services, and is an InCommon member, allowing for seamless and secure authentication for student viewers.

Philo IPTV Features:

  • Live TV on laptops, tablets, smartphones, and TV sets
  • Network DVR capabilities for every student without set-top boxes
  • The ability to pause/rewind live TV
  • Support of TV Everywhere applications like HBO GOÒ

  • Integration with university identity management systems (Philo is a member of InCommon)
  • Common area TV management with Roku devices
  • Ability to ingest and stream university-generated channels

Service coverage:

Philo is capable of providing service to virtually any university in the United States, and currently serves over two dozen universities, including Brown University, Sacramento State University, Harvard University, Marshall University, Texas A&M University, University of Alabama, University of Utah, and University of Washington

Early adopters:

Harvard University, Yale University, Texas A&M University, and University of Utah served as a Philo validation group. Additional Internet 2 members that use Philo include University of Alabama, University of Washington, Sacramento State University, Brown University, and Marshall University.

 

features

Philo provides the following benefits to universities:

Cutting-Edge Amenity

  • Philo lets on-campus residents watch and record live TV on their mobile devices, a cutting-edge amenity that helps attract students to campus.

Turnkey Solution

  • Philo provides a turnkey service that includes full-time remote monitoring and support of the IPTV system from its Network Operations Center (NOC) in Cambridge, MA.
  • Philo provides on-site hardware support when necessary.
  • Philo handles all end-user support issues that arise.
  • Students bring their own devices (BYOD) to campus, meaning less large-scale device management for administrators.
  • Philo provides common area TV access and remote management.

Single Sign-On Integration

  • Philo is an InCommon member, and easily integrates with university single sign-on identity management services to authenticate student viewers, ensuring a secure, streamlined IPTV login process.

Helps Reduce DMCA Takedown Requests

  • Philo can help lead to a decrease in the use of peer-to-peer file-sharing services for downloading copyrighted video content, as it gives students legal access to content in the ways they want to watch it.

Infrastructure Cost Savings

  • For universities with a modern local network, it is not efficient to maintain a separate coaxial network exclusively to carry TV signals. As a result, some campuses working with Philo have decided to distribute TV only through Philo’s IPTV technology. In those cases, the campuses have significantly reduced costs by eliminating their investment in building and maintaining a coaxial TV network.
  • For campuses that decide to continue maintaining their coaxial delivery system on top of their IPTV system, they find efficiencies in being able to service additional locations without needing to lay new coaxial cable.

Increased Transparency

  • The Philo system includes a dashboard that provides administrators with insight into IPTV usage at their university, including: the most or least popular channels, system performance, and usage statistics.

 

Security:

Philo incorporates multiple levels of protection (described below) to ensure only authorized viewers can view program content.

Digital Rights Management (DRM):

The first level of protection by Philo is through the application of strong Digital Rights Management (DRM) encryption. Video content is always encrypted.

Authentication/Authorization:

The next level of protection is through Philo’s integration with the university’s authentication and authorization systems. Each Philo installation works with the university’s authentication system (usually a university-managed single sign-on (SSO) service), and a university-provided authorization mechanism. Philo uses the university authentication system to verify a viewer’s identity, and uses the university authorization system to determine a viewer’s content permissions.

 

Philo takes the privacy of its user very seriously.  To view Philo’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy please follow the links below:

fees

Philo pricing is comprised of a one-time, upfront equipment fee, as well as a monthly recurring service fee, based on the total number of on-campus units (i.e. outlets capable of receiving IPTV services). Philo pricing does not include the cost of content to be licensed by the university from a programming provider.

faq

General

What is the company and what service do they offer?

Philo is a next-generation TV platform that lets college students watch and record live TV on the devices they use most: laptops, tablets, smartphones, and TV sets. We currently deliver our service through private, secure campus data networks so on-campus residents can enjoy TV wherever and whenever they want on campus.

What is the relationship between the company and Internet2?

With the help of the NET+ Service Validation Group, Philo and Internet2 have finalized a business agreement that allows universities to take advantage of Philo’s innovative IPTV services. Universities that are interested in subscribing to the NET+ Philo service will work directly with Internet2 through the contracting process.

Philo is also an InCommon member and utilizes InCommon to integrate with the university identity management systems for student login.

Do I have to be a direct Internet2 member to sign up for the Internet2 NET+ cloud service?

No. Universities that are not Internet2 members or universities that are represented by affiliate members will be able to participate in the NET+ Philo service.

Who can use this service offering?

The NET+ Philo Service is available to universities across the United States and allows authorized students, faculty, and common areas to watch live content on a number of devices connected to the university’s IP network.

Do you provide support to help generate awareness about IPTV on campus?

Philo is committed to making its IPTV solution highly successful on each campus. In addition to quality support and maintenance, the Philo team will work with the university to develop and execute outreach efforts that keep users aware of product features and programming.

Philo works with on-campus points of contact to craft a custom strategy that fits the needs and values of each campus. Example tactics that are used to engage the student audience include email, social media, digital signage, posters, and postcards.

How much does Philo cost?

See FEES tab.

Technical

Will Philo be able to integrate with our university’s identity management system?

Philo integrates with a university’s identity management system to enforce access policy. When a user starts the Philo sign-on process, they are redirected to a sign-on page, configured at each site to use one or more authentication methods.

If a university does not have an identity management system, or does not want to integrate Philo into their system, Philo offers a password-based authentication system that can be used independent of the university’s system.

To date, Philo has been integrated with a variety of identity management systems, including:

  • Central Authentication System (CAS)
  • Shibboleth + SAML + InCommon
  • Active Directory
  • School-specific Systems (custom)

What are the minimum and optimum network bandwidth requirements for your service?

If students can currently watch online video like Netflix or Hulu on your campus, it’s very likely that your network can support Philo. At a more technical level, the network requirement for Philo is the ability to stream unicast video that ranges from 2Mbps to 0.5Mbps per stream. For the wireless network, Philo recommends at least 802.11n or 802.11ac. However, 802.11g can be used in locations with low viewer numbers.

How does Philo affect a university’s internal network?

Philo supports adaptive bitrate playback, where the client chooses the optimal bitrate supported by currently available network bandwidth to ensure the campus network remains clear.

Adaptive bitrate streaming supports the following bitrates for most campuses:

  • 720p (High Definition) @ 2Mbps
  • 480p (DVD quality) @ 1Mbps
  • 360p (standard online video quality) @ 0.5Mbps

What devices is Philo available on?

Philo viewers can enjoy content on a variety of client devices, including desktop and laptop browsers, tablets, smartphones, and TV sets via Roku or Apple TV devices.

Philo programs can currently be viewed on the following devices-with additional options planned for the future:

Desktop & Laptop Computers

  • For Microsoft Windows (7 and higher), the following browser versions are supported:
    • Internet Explorer version 9+ (with Microsoft Silverlight)
    • Google Chrome (latest version)
    • Mozilla Firefox (latest version with Microsoft Silverlight)
  • For Mac OS X (10.6.8 and higher), the following browser versions are supported:
    • Apple Safari (latest version with Microsoft Silverlight)
    • Google Chrome (latest version)
    • Mozilla Firefox (latest version with Microsoft Silverlight)
Tablets and Smartphones
  • Viewers can watch Philo programs using the Philo app on the Apple iPad or iPhone running iOS version 6 or later, and Android phones and tablets running Android 4.0 or later.
OTT Set-Top Boxes
  • Over-the-top (OTT) set-top boxes, which receive media content over IP and output to a traditional TV set, are often used for a large-screen experience for content delivered via IP. Philo currently supports:
    • Roku devices version 2+ running firmware 4.7+ (includes Roku Streaming Stick)
    • Apple TV via AirPlay from a supported iOS device or Mac computers

How does Philo distribute digital programming content?

Philo accepts virtually any video source, including cable TV, satellite dish receivers, over-the-air signals, and local video feeds. For each input source, an Encoding Server converts the input program stream to a standard Philo format. The program stream typically includes video, audio, and closed caption text.
participate

To subscribe to Philo:

  1. Review the service offering and fees in the tabs above.

    If you have any questions, please contact us at: netplus@internet2.edu

  2. Fill out the Application

    The application is located is here. You will be required to fill out basic information and identify contact roles so we can get the agreement to you for signature.

    • Information about your organization:
      • Legal Name
      • Internet2 membership status
      • DUNS number
      • A chance to upload your tax exempt certificate ahead of time
    • Lead Contact
    • Accounts Payable Contact
    • Application Submitter
  3. Review the Participation Agreement and Service Schedule

    The participation agreement is located is here, and the service schedule is here. Both will be sent to the identified "Application Submitter" after the application is received. This contact will fill out the required fields and forward it to the official signatory for final signature.

NOTE: Internet2 requires electronic signatures for legal contracts, unless state law mandates otherwise.