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6-Campus Consortium Shares Video Streaming Infrastructure

A consortium of six liberal arts colleges and universities in upstate New York will deploy a video-streaming platform in the cloud in an effort to share resources and cut costs.

The New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium, which consists of Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, Union College, has adopted the Ensemble Video platform.

The platform will also be used by the New York Six MediaShare Project, a partnership of library directors and chief information officers at the six colleges that aims to share media in traditional and digital formats among all the campuses.

"The Ensemble Video infrastructure is an important step for the consortium in advancing our library and IT collaborations," said Amy Doonan Cronin, executive director of the New York Six, in a prepared statement. "Not only will it enhance our MediaShare project, it will provide a framework for a wide range of multi-campus activities in the coming years."

The platform, which will be accessible to all six colleges through the cloud, will be used for video management and publishing needs. Wowza Media Cache servers will be installed at all campuses.

Features of Ensemble Video include:

  • Video publishing tools for course lectures, guest speakers, and campus events, with support for comments and ratings and publishing to YouTube;
  • Streaming of video content;
  • Sharing of video collections in the cloud;
  • Role-based user login;
  • System activity, content activity, content views, storage, and user reports; and
  • Compatibility with many multimedia file formats, including MPEG-4, Flash, Windows Media, QuickTime, Real, and MP3.

In addition, Ensemble allows users to embed videos and playlists in learning management systems, content management systems, portals, blogs, and HTML pages. It also allows teachers to upload and download videos from the Web and provides a video dropbox, and watch directory. Ensemble includes Blackboard Building Block and plugins for WordPress, Drupal, and Moodle.

The New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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