Re: [Videolib] Streaming??

Gary Handman (
Thu, 20 May 2004 17:44:54 -0700

My objection, Mark, is that ease of access (or sexyness of technology)
should never be an excuse for buying into a paltry (or bland) content base.


At 07:51 PM 5/20/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>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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Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley


"Movies are poems, a holy bible, the great mother of us."
--Ted Berrigan

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