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UK school authority selects Video Furnace for borough-wide video distribution system

State-of-the-art project to enable 19 learning institutions to create, share and access high-quality video resources

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. and LONDON, England – Dec. 3rd, 2008 – A major educational authority in South Yorkshire, England, has begun using one of the U.K.’s most technologically advanced IP video distribution systems. The 17 Doncaster Secondary Schools and two City Learning Centres are installing an IP video distribution system developed by Video Furnace (www.videofurnace.com), a leading US-based provider of enterprise-class IP video solutions.

The authority was seeking a video distribution solution to enhance the learning opportunities for students within the borough. The intention would be to integrate the technology with the learning portal or Virtual Learning Environment. The VLE is a central repository of digital learning materials that can be accessed by administrators, teachers, students and parents. The Council project team chose Video Furnace because they found it met their three most important requirements:
  • Support for multiple operating systems. Doncaster required a system that would seamlessly work on a variety of computer platforms regardless of operating system.
  • No client software installation. With a single centralised video infrastructure serving 19 learning institutions and independent IT networks, the council needed to avoid maintaining software across thousands of different computers.
  • Tight VLE integration. Complementary technologies which have the capability to integrate with the learning platform needed to simply become additional resources accessible through this portal.

In addition to enabling Doncaster schools to record and share video of everything from laboratory experiments to guest speaker presentations, the new Video Furnace system also streams 20 live television stations to the schools. The Video Furnace solution enables any of the Doncaster schools or City Learning Centres to record programs that aired within the previous 48 hours, or schedule recordings up to two weeks in advance.

While the project is still in its early stages, the project team reports that schools are very excited about the new Video Furnace IP video distribution system, and that teachers are already coming up with new ideas about how they can use the technology. The system’s live TV streaming capability is already in place and full integration of video on demand into the VLE platform will be completed over the next year.

The installation was supported by a grant through Objective 1 from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund. The ERDF invests in education and infrastructure improvements, among other initiatives, in regions in need of revitalisation. The Video Furnace system is one element of a major investment by Doncaster Council to upgrade its network infrastructure and technology capabilities.

The Council purchased the system with the support of Techex Limited (www.techex.co.uk), Europe’s largest distributor of video transmission technology, which distributes the Video Furnace IP video distribution system throughout Europe. “We’ve been supplying IPTV systems throughout Europe for more than 10 years, and this is the most powerful education system we’ve ever installed,” said Chris Bailey, managing director, Techex.

About the Video Furnace IP Video Distribution System
The Video Furnace IP video distribution system enables organisations in every industry to improve communication, enhance collaboration and distribute content in a compelling yet secure manner over their existing high-speed IP networks. Whatever the use, from video on demand to digital signage, wherever there are networked TVs, plasma screens, set-top boxes, desktops or laptops, organisations can deliver live and recorded video, including high definition/H.264.

The Video Furnace IP video distribution system supports all operating systems, functions without non-secure players or plug-ins, requires no end-user training and can scale to support thousands or millions of simultaneous viewers. It’s the only solution that provides complete control over every aspect of managing and distributing any live and recorded video. Content is encoded in real-time. Output streams are fully MPEG 1/2/4 compliant at bit rates from 300 Kbps to 12 Mbps. All streams are FIPS-197 compliant and AES encrypted at 256 bits.
About Video Furnace
Video Furnace is a leading provider of end-to-end, enterprise-class IP video solutions. With more than 3 million users daily worldwide, the six-year-old company quickly has established its IP video system as the video distribution technology of choice in commercial, education and government settings. Privately held, the Chicago-area company distributes its products through value-added resellers, system integrators and distributors. More information is available at www.videofurnace.com.

About Techex

Techex is an industry leading distributor of video transmission technology. Having specialised in graphics and video for some 37 years Techex occupies a unique position in the digital media market representing cutting-edge technology companies such as Video Furnace, Exterity, Haivision, T-VIPS, Viewcast and Winnov, among others. With sister operations that also specialise in, project management and consultancy, few if any other companies can offer both suppliers and clients the broad range of products and services that Techex has done successfully for the last 37 years. Techex is Video Furnace's master European partner. http://www.techex.co.uk