Each Harvard undergraduate now has a personal cable box.
Well, sort of.
Tivli, a startup founded in 2009 by Harvard graduates Nicholas B. Krasney '09 and Ho A. Tuan '09, earlier this month launched Tivli Beta, a real time television service that streams 36 channels over the Harvard network through its website, Harvard.Tivli.com. Tivli's lineup includes all the major networks and many popular cable channels, such as CNN, Fox News, History, and NFL Network.
For now, Tivli Beta is in an evaluation period (hence the Beta tag), and is available for free without a subscription. (Tivli and its advertising partners are covering the costs.)
"We believe that Tivli has a duty to give back to Harvard because we were born here, and a lot of us went to school here. So Tivli is subsidizing our product at Harvard at the moment because, well, we love Harvard," Tivli President Christopher A. Thorpe, A.B. '97 M.S.'08 said.
According to Thorpe, the length of the free Beta period has not yet been determined. "It all depends on engagement," he said. "If Harvard students watch a lot of programming, and our advertisers are happy and we can make the dollars and cents work out, then Tivli may be able to keep giving back to the Harvard community by sponsoring the rest of the cost."
Tivli is not entirely new to the IP television market. Last year, it partnered with Harvard Student Agencies to build HSA.TV, a similar service which served as a model for Tivli’s current product.
Despite its ties to Harvard (it's based in the I-Lab), Tivli is eager to expand its reach. It has already launched a limited version of its product at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and, according to Krasney and Thorpe, the company plans it to launch the full Tivli service at four major universities in the coming weeks.
Students can check Tivli Beta out for themselves at Harvard.Tivli.Com.