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U Ottawa Delivers Library Reserve Video Assets by IP

Canada's University of Ottawa has begun using a new system to deliver reserve materials from its media library to its classrooms. The institution has an IP-based set-up that consists of technology from Haivision Network Video. The goals of the project at U Ottawa are many: to avoid client reservation problems, reduce VHS/DVD use, replace legacy systems, address copyright issues, encourage transition to digital media, and reduce future costs.

A pilot during the 2010-2011 academic year tested the set-up in five rooms simultaneously to gauge network reliability. The campus, which has about 40,000 full- and part-time students, expects to have the system deployed and delivered bilingually in all classrooms by 2012. It will be delivered in both English and French. A year later, the university hopes to offer video-on-demand as a regular service and to have video assets linked to the library catalog.

"We evaluated numerous video delivery solutions before choosing to work with Haivision," said Mark Gareau, director of the university's Multimedia Distribution Service, which is part of the Teaching and Learning Support Service "In addition to being cost-effective, the company's products proved to be the most robust and reliable. Haivision itself has provided excellent support and communication, both of which have been valuable in establishing a strong working relationship throughout this project."

The Haivision system uses multiple products, including a Furnace VF portal server and a Makito H.264 encoder. When a user requests video access, the portal server sends InStream, a video player that exists only as long as the video is being viewed. It requires no special installation and runs on multiple operating systems. Via InStream, the user requests content, which is delivered by a secure channel to limit access only to authorized people.

Currently, the university also uses VBrick Systems technology to deliver video; but U Ottawa reported it will replace VBrick with the Haivision gear in time.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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