WASHINGTON D.C. – April 20, 2004 – Gallaudet University, (www.gallaudet.edu), the nation’s premier higher-learning institution for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, has deployed an advanced video communications system from VBrick Systems (www.VBrick.com) for multicast streaming video that includes both closed captioning and American Sign Language.
Gallaudet paired a VBrick 4200 MPEG-2 encoder with a VBrick 5200 MPEG decoder to stream lectures, meetings, university functions and produced campus programming from anywhere on the campus to every desktop on Gallaudet’s campus data network. Gallaudet’s implementation follows a one-year equipment loan from VBrick and Internet 2, during which the university discovered multiple uses for VBrick intelligent network video appliances, and verified a favorable response to the technology by both students and faculty.
“The VBricks solve the problem of ‘visual fatigue’ that had long hampered our distance learning efforts,” said Jim Dellon, Director of Television Programming for Gallaudet University. “Because of poor picture quality with earlier streaming technologies, and the absence of support for closed captioning, viewers could not comfortably read sign language or view supplemental text transcripts. The eye strain was just too much. In addition to providing a clear picture at full-screen resolutions, VBrick technology allows us to move video to and from virtually anywhere using our existing network infrastructure.”
Gallaudet found it was imperative to provide students, staff and faculty with a high-quality streaming video system to replace their limited campus cable TV network for information-sharing, education and training purposes. The VBrick solution addressed the university’s needs for a plug-and-play system to run affordably on the existing campus data network, as well as minimize visual fatigue to an audience that relies heavily on visual details within the streamed images.
How It Works
The portability of the VBrick encoder allows the solution to travel anywhere on campus within reach of a network connection. When Gallaudet wants to broadcast a class, meeting, or event on campus, they simply deliver a VBrick encoder along with a video camera or video source such as VCR or DVD player, and then plug the encoder into any connection on the existing campus data network. The video feed is then compressed into MPEG-2 format streaming video and sent across the network to any number of desktops on the campus. Students and faculty then access that video through a designate