Re: [Videolib] Streaming??

media2 (
Thu, 20 May 2004 19:51:47 -0400

We put up our first video on demand server in December 1999 which pre
dates unitedstreaming and AIMS multimedia products. We license most of
our titles through the iDVS interactive Digital Video System
for IP transmission rights within our service area (70,000 students).
Rights run $300 to $500 a title. In 1999 we opted NOT to have a
streaming system but a download (aka store and forward)
service.Streaming - even at the lower encoding rates of the streaming
subscriptions, can choke out a typical school LAN very quickly and we (a
county multi-media center) did not want to incur the wrath of the school
IT people. Besides, we could never see the point of insisting that a
middle school or high school teacher with four sections to teach should
have to log in and repeat the streaming process four times a day . . .
adding more traffic to the local LAN. Even when unitedstrem and AIMS
products became available we elected to stay with the iDVS system.
Unitedstreming system later added a download feature to get around some
of the issues associated with a straight streaming system.
Downloads are started after 6:00 PM when school LANs are dark. It
allows us to deliver full motion, full screen (29.95 fps) 1.25 mBps
video to our teachers. Downloads can be done during the day with the
"download now" option, it just takes longer to deliver the file and DOES
NOT disrupt the school network because of the packet handling built into
the iDVS system. We have done several saturation tests to prove this out.

I'm a little surprized at Gary's input <snip>

> . . .I cannot, for the very life of me, understand why anyone who has
> any concern at all for the moving image would opt for the 240 by 360
> herky jerky visual travesty that most VOD delivers (bandwidth be
> damned!) . . . .

The strides in video delivery over IP have been exponential in the last
five years. Perhaps the streaming video from ESPN at 176X132 or even
CNN at 240X180 displayed in a postage stamp size window is jerky, but
the quality of systems designed for educational video delivery over IP
is far from jerky anymore. And BTW, bandwidth as little to do with the
output quality. If the video was encoded for 176 X 132, you can bring
it in on an OC-16 line and it will still be a jerky little picture with
no lip sync.

Aside from picture quality, content selection becomes a larger issue in
the decision to move into a non-physical delivery option. Selection?
Remember selection criteria? Buying a subscription service is buying a
"box lot." It is a collection that tries to be all things to all grade
levels, well, at least k-12. The debate of clips aside, access to 2,000
take-it-or-leave-it titles trying to cover 12 grade levels and 380+ unit
topics is a collection that is spread pretty thin.

The advantage of a system that lets you pick your own titles is that you
can taylor it to subject areas and grade levels most likely to get the
greatest benefit out of the delivery system. Delivering a 40 minute
dramatization of a short story may not be an appropriate use, but a 15
minute production on plate tectonics aimed at 6th grade might be -
especially if you can freeze the images, draw on them, add labels and a
new sound track . . .

Mark Richie
Director, Burlington County EMTC

Jed Horovitz wrote:

>I have been in the streaming arena for almost seven years and yet this kind
>of takes me by surprise. We stream previews and music videos. Streaming,
>in my view, is visual information delivery. I would be very hesitant to
>watch a full film this way.
>If this is (is going to be) really a business, I need to let my sails out a
>bit. What do you all think? I understand the economics can create a
>win-win for schools and distributors but is streaming only for educational
>films or is it catching on for 'art' films? How do teachers use it in
>classes? Is it just for self study?
>Memberships, Subscriptions, Limited licenses, pay per view are all possible.
>What sort of business model appeals to schools, public libraries, etc?
>Internet Video Archive has tons of technical capacity (expert people,
>bandwidth, servers) but a very low overhead so I am sure we can provide
>value if there really is a business. Are there rights holders who would
>want to provide this kind of access on a % basis? (We have no money for
>advances.) Would you recruit Indy producers or go after distributors? What
>are your institutions plans?
>-----Original Message-----
>[]On Behalf Of Mark W. Kopp
>Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 8:27 AM
>Subject: RE: [Videolib] United Streaming??
>I would whole-heartedly recommend the AIMS Multimedia
> over the United Streaming Package, hands down. We
>started with AIMS and our teachers are VERY excited with the delivery
>and format (bandwidth sensitivities recognized). A number of our
>teachers (we serve approximately 5,100 teachers and 65,000 students),
>have experience with United Streaming, and the feedback in comparison to
>AIMS has been nearly 100% in favor of AIMS over United Streaming.
>Feel free to contact me if you'd like further discussion of features,
>Mark W. Kopp
>Circulation Coordinator
>Instructional Materials Services
>Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8
>-----Original Message-----
>[] On Behalf Of Joel S.
>Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 3:02 PM
>Subject: [Videolib] United Streaming??
>Hello VidLib
>I am wondering if any of you have used the United Streaming service
>and/or have purchased a blanket license for your school in order to
>use this educational-based video on demand/download service??
>I am curious to hear any feedback.
>For those not familiar with the service you can learn more here:
>Kind regards,
>Joel S. Bachar, Founder
>Microcinema International/Blackchair DVD Collection
>531 Utah Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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