Monday, January 21, 2008

SEMTEC - Techspo - Using Signage/Distributed Video in Your School

This was a vendor presentation so some bias definitely present. My thoughts are in italics.

With streaming video with AlphaVideo:
  • faster load time
  • greater control over media distribution
  • limited by avialable network bandwidth
  • allows for live broadcasts
  • requires a streaming server
  • need - video/audio source, encoder, network connection, and a streaming server

Digital cable comes to your house in MPEG format (i did not know this).

To multi stream in a building you need Windows 2003 Enterprise Server, to stream on the web you just need a standard Windows 2003 Server.

Podcasting is not streaming. Files are transferred from server to client. Users can subscribe through syndication methods (RSS). A streaming server is not necessary, only a web server is needed.


  • Digital Rights Management
  • Controls who can view content
  • Controls how they can view content
  • Easy to implement, but can be expensive

Unicast vs. Multicast

  • Refers to the connection made between client and server
  • Unicast: every client has an individual connection
  • Multicast: data stays in a single stream until splitting is absolutely necessary
  • Multicast is not possible over the internet
  • Multicast must be properly implemented on any network, or multicast "storms" can disrupt the network.
  • Implementing multicast requires the cooperation of I.T.

LAN vs Internet

  • Multicast
  • Security
  • Bandwidth/Bitrates

Belvidere - kind of like TiVo but on the PC. Connects PC to video monitor and integrates United Streaming.

"Technology does no good if you spend the money on it and no one uses it. "

Contact Mayo clinic and see if I can get a tour of their training simulations.

The reasons these guys are giving for implementing their product seem to stem around two different main ideas: 1. Ease of use and 2. Bandwidth. I can't argue with their first point but is the first point really worth the dollars when there are free services that do the same things and don't eat up bandwidth: YouTube, Ustreamtv, etc. These services allow you to get your message out there, either prerecorded or live, without eating up your own bandwidth. It seems the big issue is ease of use.

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