Inhabited television takes traditional broadcast television and combines it with multiuser virtual reality to give new possibilities for interaction and participation in and around shows or channels. Out of This World was an experimental inhabited TV show, staged in Manchester in September of 1998, using the MASSIVE-2 system. During this event, we captured comprehensive records of network traffic and additional logs of user activity (in particular, movement and speaking). In this paper, we present the results of our analyses of network and user activity in these shows. We contrast our results with those obtained from previous analyses of teleconferencing-style scenarios. We find that the inhabited television scenario results in much higher levels of user activity and significant bursts of coordinated activity. We show how these characteristics must be taken into account when designing a system and infrastructure for applications of this kind. In particular, it is clear that any notion of strict turn-taking (and associated assumptions about resource sharing) is completely unfounded in this domain. We also show that the concept of “levels of participation” is a powerful tool for understanding and managing the bandwidth requirements of an inhabited television event.

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