Alastair Grigg - Education
Alastair Grigg – Videopro Business Centre: Education

In the technology world, there is constant talk about the digital revolution and how digital content is increasingly taking the reins from their physical counterparts. Last month, I talked about the rise of e-books and my personal feelings associated with this, along with some of the disadvantages and advantages associated with a change from the physical book, to the digital world, however this is obviously not limited to written content.

In schools, digital content is becoming increasingly popular and Digital Video Commander (DVC) is a digital content management and distribution system designed specifically for this type of content. For those of you who haven’t heard of this system, the main benefit is that content, such as a digital video, is stored or captured in a central location and then can quickly and easily be shared throughout your school.

For example, this means that five different classes can watch Romeo and Juliet simultaneously, without the need to visit the library to borrow and return a physical DVD. Digital libraries can be easily grown by recording content from free-to-air or subscription television. DVC can even be set up to automatically scan and record content that is relevant to you.

DVC Diagram

This in itself is a powerful proposition; however digital content can also be managed in various different ways. Some of the things you might consider DVC for include:

Digital Signage:

This is also known as a school message board and is becoming increasingly popular. Separate systems are available, however the DVC system incorporates the technology to allow you to send content such as class times, upcoming events, general messages and alerts to an existing desktop/laptop computer, or through a LCD/Plasma that is attached to a DVC set top box.

General Content Management:

As we have seen, DVC can store, record, edit and distribute video files, however it can also store a wide range of other content including various audio formats, word documents, pictures, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, flash files and text files.

Each user gets their own personal folder and this can be used to save favourite files or to create and prepare lessons; for example, a teacher might put a movie, study guide and a comparison video clip into their folder at lesson preparation stage; this is then instantly accessible anywhere on the network and easy to find when it comes to presenting the lesson.

Camera Management:

DVC will allow an authorised user to access a compatible network camera throughout the school and, if supported by the camera, it can even be controlled (pan, tilt, zoom) or record footage as needed. DVC can also distribute content, meaning if a school play or live address is required, this can be broadcast throughout the school.

Play and Manage Copyright Material:

DVC allows you to play existing copyrighted material that you own. Because this content can be played over the network but is still stored in one central location (such as a resource centre) it means the content can be kept secure, minimising the chance of it being lost or stolen.

DVC also creates copyright notices at the beginning of all free to air recorded videos and will automatically create a Screenrights’ report, showing all the content that you have recorded from free to air or subscription television.

Room Control:

With the addition of a ‘Media Retriever’, DVC can control room equipment within a classroom. For example, a projector could be automatically turned off at a certain time or content can be sent to it at a specific time of day. This is fully customisable and you can send a variety of content and commands to a variety of equipment, as suitable for your school.

DVC in the Classroom

Additionally DVC is not focused solely on what it can do, but also how well it does it. Some of the key features of DVC are:

  • There are no ongoing fees for the DVC system

  • All the content you store and record is yours to keep, forever

  • All the content that is provided is yours to keep, forever

  • DVC has been built primarily with ease of use and maximum compatibility in mind

  • It uses the latest in streaming technologies (RTSP) which means that it is less bandwidth intensive and allows you to watch a video instantly from any point, without the need to drag the whole file or chapter across your network

  • It comes included with a simple and quick video editor so that you can trim videos and remove adverts. Videos can be saved at full quality and are automatically transcoded to the latest in video file formats (h264). This gives you full DVD quality video, at approximately 1/6th the normal DVD file size, leaving you with more space on your server for more content

  • It manages not only a multitude of video formats, but also word documents, pictures, spreadsheets, power points, PDF files, flash files and text files

  • Server grade infrastructure is available to ensure reliable and robust operation, however consumer grade equipment is available at a lower price

  • Security is top of mind and only users or groups who have been provided permissions can access specific features, as administered by you

  • The system constantly evolves to keep up with technology. If allowed by your school, upgrades occur automatically and are free for life

If you would like to discuss DVC further or to enquire about a demonstration, please contact the Videopro Education team on 1300 VIDEOPRO or e-mail me at a.grigg@videopro.com.au.

DVC Screen

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