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Georgia Tech Overhauls Global Learning Center

PESA Cheetah 288XE

HUNTSVILLE, ALA. —Georgia Tech Online (formerly Distance Learning) is using a new PESA Cheetah 288XE digital video router at its Global Learning Center in Atlanta as part of its migration to HD production for its online professional education coursework. The new router was installed in late December, and the Center is currently migrating to the new system.

The Center is the university’s main hub for online education. When the building opened about 10 years ago, a PESA Tiger 144x144 router was installed to handle AV sources for recording to DVD. Eventually, a second router was installed to handle computer-based rich media capture.

According to Steve Allen, senior AV/IT support professional, working with two routers was a “logistical nightmare” because each router works from a separate, incompatible scheduling device. The Cheetah 288XE will eliminate the need for two routers and simplify scheduling.

Reliable routing is essential to distance learning. Instead of dedicated codec stations for each room, the Center maintains a “codec farm;” all audio, video and high-resolution computer-based content are routed to a bank of capture stations that serve the entire facility, adding redundancy.

The Center is using Cattrax Web, PESA’s Web browser-based control software, to monitor and control its new Cheetah router. Allen said the user interface makes it easy to route resources on the fly and cites the flexibility in naming sources (beyond the eight character limit of earlier routers) as helpful. He also uses the system’s password protected user profiles to restrict some users from accessing certain I/Os.

Other room upgrades include cameras, switchers, matrix switchers and fiber connectivity, as well as PESA Vidblox extenders and QuadBlox units used to transport AV and rich media content back to the router.