Internet Television (IPTV) is emerging as a new delivery method for offering access to digital TV and interactive services which potentially merge the “lean back” broadcast experience with more bidirectional “lean forward” interactivity. Within these environments, there is a significant growth in the volume and variety of content being offered which increases the difficulty and burden for the end-user in locating relevant content and finding something to watch. In this article we detail the design, implementation, and evaluation of a production IPTV service which operates on our University campus network. Our approach makes use of social networks as a mechanism for providing social awareness to individual users of an IPTV system. The goal is to facilitate an intuitive and simple media selection mechanism when considering vast amounts of live TV channels and on-demand content. Ultimately, we seek to explore whether social awareness can or does influence user behavior.
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