Ofcom taps unused TV channels to bring you live streams of animals from London Zoo
James R | On 12, Oct 2014
Anyone who says that cute animal videos on the Internet have no purpose may just have been proven wrong.
Ofcom has teamed up with London Zoo to broadcast live streams of animals to YouTube using empty TV channels.
ZSL and Google are working together to pilot the use of TV whitespaces (TVWS) – unused channels in the broadcast TV spectrum. The trial, which began last Thursday, aims to show how TVWS can be used to provide wireless connectivity over a large area and in “non-line-of-sight scenarios” – something that London Zoo hopes will help with connecting to remote conservation sites and monitoring endangered wildlife.
The pilot consists of cameras and TVW radios installed in the otter, meerkat and Galapagos tortoise enclosures within the zoo, which then stream video feeds via a base station to ZSL’s YouTube channel.
To ensure there is no interference with licensed spectrum holders, Google’s spectrum database is being used to identify available whitespace.
The project is one of seven similar trials across the UK, as Ofcom attempts to determine whether whitespace radio waves – which travel longer distances than Wi-Fi and more easily through walls – can be used to help meet the county’s growing demand for data.
The YouTube streams will be live for two months from 9th October.
Live videos of cute animal on the Internet? Brilliant. Breaking new technological ground? A bonus.