The 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Virginia in 2011 causing devastating damage for miles around forced a number of key buildings in the Louisa County area to be condemned and demolished including Louisa County High School. Within four years a brand new building was designed and constructed, providing pupils not only with additional space but also with the latest technology, including IPTV, digital signage and live streaming, courtesy of a new MediaStar IPTV system from Cabletime. Televisions in classrooms, monitors in hallways and large projection screens close to the catering areas are delivering live and stored video content which is managed across the school’s IP network via the MediaStar Media Manager software program. Authorized front office personnel can update the system in minutes on the school’s LAN, and it has enabled pupils to create their own commercials including a ‘no texting and driving’ ad which was displayed through the school. Mark Outten, Director of Technology for Louisa County Public Schools was given a clean slate when it came to the design of the new facility, which gave him an opportunity to extend his brief beyond delivering TV in all the classrooms. He said: “Usually we would have to run expensive COAX cable to all the rooms in order to deliver TV, but because of the IP network we could install not just IPTV, but also digital signage and streaming, all within budget and all three could be managed with Cabletime’s Media Manager and Media Portal – they are the icing on the cake. Another bonus is that we don’t have costly cabling if a new monitor needs to be located on the network.” Louisa County High School acts as a hub in the area and hosts many community events. If the gymnasium or theatre reach capacity, the school is able to stream those events live to designated overflow areas using the MediaStar system. This has also had an unexpected benefit in sales of food and beverages. “We have a large projection screen and monitors around the cafeteria, which is located close to the gym and theatre,” explained Mark Outten. “Food and drink are not allowed in either of these areas, but visitors and guests can grab something from a concession stand and watch the performance live without missing a moment, and this has boosted sales.” In addition to Louisa County High School, monitors have been installed at the neighbouring middle school and the plan is to expand MediaStar, which runs off a central server, into that facility and possibly roll it out into the nearby elementary school as well. The LDAP capability within the new version of Media Manager will allow both additional schools, and individual departments, to control their own specific messages with a high level of network security. Damian Baily, Coordinator of Technical Services at Louisa County High School, said: “MediaStar has saved us so much time, and because it was easy to install and simple to use, it has required minimal training and very little maintenance since. It just keeps running smoothly. What we were looking for was a way to distribute TV to classrooms, but what we have gotten with MediaStar is so much more than that.” “The students, staff and entire community around Louisa County High School were devastated by the earthquake, and it is testament to the hard work of the county that they have built a new and fantastic facility to support education moving forward,” said Ed Carabetta, VP/General Manager of Cabletime USA. “We are proud that our MediaStar system is being utilized to its full extent by the school, and that it is not only delivering content for many different purposes, but that it is also helping to raise more funds within the school through concession sales. That is a real bonus!”
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