Streaming video educates students at Norfolk, VA high school

The Norfolk Public School District in Norfolk, VA, has installed a streaming video solution at Norview High School, equipping the school's new $31 million building with standard-setting streaming video of its educational video media.

The system, designed to be easily operated and maintained by school instructors and staff, has been enhancing the learning experience of the school's 1850 students since it went online in September 2004. The core of the system is a centralized video media center that enables video content to be encoded and streamed directly to each classroom. Programs, such as the Norview High School TV Production Studio, as well as standard cable TV programming can be digitally streamed across the facility's internal network. Teachers can play VHS videos or DVDs by using software on laptop PC's to access content from the media center and have it stream directly to their classroom for display using an LCD projection system.

Specifications of the voice, video and data technology package, which includes six Optibase MGW2000e and 36 Optibase MPEG-1 encoding modules, were designed by C. William Day of the educational technology planning firm KBD Planning Group. The solution was integrated by Midwest Concepts and also encompasses a 3Com multicast-enabled gigabit network; 3com NBX IP telephony system; Class Connection paging/bells system; and a 100+ camera Arm Electronics digital-storage video surveillance system.

Key components include six Optibase MGW2000e MPEG-1 chassis to encode and stream video and broadcast content from 16 centralized VCR/DVD combination units; 10 cable TV channels; one TV studio broadcast channel; and three classroom broadcast channels. VOD content is played back from two SAFARI Technologies VOD servers and SAFARI device commander software is used on laptops to remotely control the centralized VCR and DVD players and control the Optibase streams. LCD projectors provide large-screen viewing in each classroom, and large plasma monitors are used for large-screen viewing of streaming video in the school's media center.

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