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San Juan College Selects VBrick Systems for Video-on-Demand and Internet Streaming

San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico is deploying VBrick systems for on-demand classroom video and streaming presentations across campus.

San Juan College Selects VBrick Systems for Video-on-Demand and Internet Streaming

Jun 5, 2006 1:03 PM

VBrick Systems, an industry leader in affordable video over IP network solutions, announced that San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico is deploying VBrick for on-demand classroom video and streaming presentations across campus. San Juan College is using powerful VBrick capabilities to provide authorized students with video-on-demand access on any networked computer while centralizing digital video management across the college campus, which encompasses nearly one million square feet and 11 buildings.

The VBrick EtherneTV Media Distribution System enables organizations to record, store, manage, and distribute DVD-quality digital video via any IP network. EtherneTV’s intuitive, browser-based interface enables authorized users to search the college’s central digital video library and immediately access stored programming. The digital video library is available at the college’s networked classrooms, 40 media labs, and other campus buildings. Each networked classroom features a computer connected to a television monitor that enables professors to show video content quickly and easily.

San Juan College previously provided students with course content CDs. This approach required the college’s technology department to create and distribute new CDs to address syllabus changes, a process that was costly and time-consuming for teachers and staff.

“Technology is integral to connecting students, faculty, and staff across the San Juan College campus while also supporting the structured classroom teaching and independent student learning that is vital to fulfilling our educational mission,” said Shah S. Ardalan, vice president for technology services, San Juan College. “VBrick EtherneTV flexibility and ease- of-use removes digital video technology hurdles, placing the focus on teaching and education.”

Migrating to Digital Video: Triple-Play Convergence
After converging voice and data traffic on its gigabit fiber optic network in early 2005, San Juan College focused on migrating video to the new network, thereby streamlining operations, and eventually eliminating the separate analog network that provides cable television throughout campus. Using reliability, ease-of-use, scalability, and cost as primary selection criteria, San Juan College selected EtherneTV as the cornerstone of its digital video initiative in late summer 2005. San Juan College, working with solutions provider Integrity Networking Systems, Inc., implemented EtherneTV quickly and began providing classroom digital video in September 2005.

“Centralized management and ease-of-use are essential requirements as we continue to expand the depth and breadth of our technology infrastructure to support six percent annual student growth,” said Ardalan. “VBrick is providing immediate value and EtherneTV will pay for itself in a very short time.” EtherneTV centralizes and simplifies digital video management and maintenance. The EtherneTV system includes the EtherneTV-NXG Video on Demand Server, EtherneTV Portal Server, an EtherneTV-STB (Set Top Box), and VBrick encoder appliances. VBrick’s dual MPEG-2 and 4 encoder appliances provide the college with the flexibility to record and distribute MPEG-2 DVD-quality video or lower-bandwidth MPEG-4 video for Internet streaming. “Colleges and universities including San Juan College continue to transform their course offerings to provide students with the tools to thrive in today’s dynamic workplace,” said Pat Cassella, senior director of marketing – education, VBrick Systems, Inc. “Similarly, EtherneTV enables higher education institutions to expand the classroom experience and deliver additional visual teaching capabilities by supporting distance learning, video on demand, and Internet streaming.”

Expanding Digital Video Capabilities
San Juan College is currently using EtherneTV for multiple courses and has streamed college president Dr. Carol J. Spencer’s fall and spring convocations to networked computers throughout campus. The Technology Services Department is planning a full digital video rollout in summer 2006 – providing time for professors, faculty, and staff to use the technology prior to the fall 2006 semester. “When Technology Services streamed the convocation ceremony across campus, we were able to get an idea of how useful this tool could be to our students,” said Dr. Carol J. Spencer, president, San Juan College. “For us that is the bottom line – will it add another resource to help our students both in the classroom and in online courses. Faculty will also benefit from digital video, giving them another tool to teach.” The college continues to digitize its existing videotape library, making digital video accessible to faculty and students easily and immediately, while virtually eliminating time-consuming VHS tape library cataloging, tracking, and management requirements. The college will eventually transmit all video via its fiber optic network, eliminating the redundant coax network requirement. In addition to using classroom digital video, San Juan College officials also envision EtherneTV supporting its distance learning initiatives. Digital video is also streamlining staff training. The college has created videos to train the 50 student lab assistants that support the Information Technology (IT) department each semester. The on-demand videos replace DVD training video creation and distribution requirements, saving the IT department money while also providing improved student access to the material.

Building on Technology Excellence
San Juan College’s top-10 “digital sophistication” ranking – based on a 2005 survey by the Center for Digital Education and the American Association of Community Colleges – reflects the college’s commitment to leveraging technology to provide high-quality education. To maintain top technology expertise on campus, the college has outsourced its technology management and leadership to SunGard Higher Education since 1999. Technology continues to play a central role supporting the college’s approximately 9,000 students, 300 faculty, and more than 500 staff. Specifically, the San Juan College 2006-2011 Strategic Plan cites technology as one of the college’s primary initiatives. Technology will support San Juan College’s approach to principles of a Learning College and increased service to the college’s surrounding Four Corners community.

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