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Universities benefit from video over the Internet

April 14, 2015

Competition to get subject matter experts to be interviewed by television networks such as CNBC and CNN is growing as higher ed institutions are eager to build their reputations by showcasing their distinguished faculty to national audiences.  New technologies that transport broadcast-quality video and audio streams using the public Internet are becoming cost-effective options as many colleges and universities contemplate building or updating their on-campus TV studios.

The need for these on-campus studios to create high-definition video feeds on par with the networks’ standards was emphasized in a presentation I gave at the Campus Technology Forum 2015 in Long Beach, California this month.  I noted that the networks today demand the same quality of video feeds from remote studios as they get from their own in-house studios. The reality is if your studio is still the old 4:3, standard definition set-up, it’s less likely they will want to interview your experts.

Understanding TV studio access costs

Not long ago, a TV studio on a campus had just two basic choices to send its programming out to the world. The most common connection was a leased dedicated fiber connection from the local phone company which often costs between $15,000 to $25,000 annually. Campuses located in more isolated areas relied on satellite uplink dishes which often required investments of well over $100,000. While fiber that carries HD video are still available in most urban areas, they remain a very cost-prohibitive option for most universities and colleges. An alternative to fiber transmission is video transmission over the internet.

The Internet as a reliable alternative

The internet is generally ubiquitous, so finding a way to harness it’s power will help you save money and enable you to be more ‘cost-competitive’ for the networks. Numerous companies offer video over the internet.  When choosing an internet-based video delivery service, it’s important to prioritize latency, image quality, audio quality and high-definition streaming capabilities. Once you’ve considered each of these elements, choosing the right HD video internet service will be easy.  For most networks, an IP video stream of equal quality to terrestrial lines offers a flexibility in scheduling and significant cost-savings. An hour of IP-delivered HD video could save a network nearly 85% of a similar feed delivered by satellite and considerable savings when compared to dedicated fiber networks.  This is very important today because network producers will often weigh the cost of producing live on-air talent interviews, as much as they weigh the specific expertise of their guests.

Providing an HD video feed worthy of the brand will always be important for universities and colleges that want to maintain a studio’s attractiveness to producers. Thanks to IP technology, independently operated studios everywhere can compete for attention on a level playing field. You can learn more about the VideoLink HD video over the internet service (EnhancedIP) here.

Jonathan Robbins is the Director of ReadyCam Sales for VideoLink, where he specializes in the higher education and think tank markets. With a background including journalism, media relations and technology, he helps clients better play the game of getting their experts on network TV news programs.

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