Internet

Netizens want their ISP-TV

Following the trend to make the Web more like television, spinoff company ISP-TV will work with Internet access providers to deliver live video shows online.

Following the trend to make the Web more like television, Internet service provider DIGEX tomorrow will announce a spinoff, ISP-TV, which will work with other Net access companies to deliver live video shows online.

ISP-TV, which has been quietly running in beta on the DIGEX site, will distribute free live video over six other Internet service providers, using the CU-SeeMe videoconferencing software, said Doug Mohney, manager of ISP TV.

DIGEX's fall lineup includes On Computers, a talk show hosted by Gina Smith, Real Time, an interview show hosted by Tom Edwards; and Da Sports Show, featuring two sports experts.

The ISP-TV associates are Global 2000, ITV.net; Novagate Communications; TerraNet; Virtual Networks; and Virtual Networks of Indiana.

Clearly, Mohney acknowledges that the technology does not yet exist to make television executives quake in their boots. Rather, this is an investment in the future, he said.

"ISP-TV is probably a prototype for the way video will be done in the future over the Internet," he said.

The problem with video technology is that it requires so much bandwidth, Mohney said. If only one ISP were offering a live feed, its network would get jammed pretty quickly. But by having several ISPs offering the feed at once, he said, each one avoids getting clogged.

"If we work together, we can distribute video in a cost-effective manner for both us and other ISPs," Mohney said. "We want to work with other people so they don't choke their pipes and we don't choke our pipes."