Blog notes from JANET IPTV conference 20081106

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JANET IPTV conference 2008/11/06, http://www.ja.net/services/events/2008/iptv/programme.html

First up, Lancaster University Tube, Student produce TV - http://www.lutube.tv. Seems like really impressive stuff: They've brought together a large group of students, and really shown great ambition to get this off the ground. One of the issues they have mentioned is the relation between them (as a student group) and the more official institutions at Lancs.

Bruce Roger, http://www.celticmusicradio.net, from his presentation:

At Cambridge, we have done similar things with live webcasting from two BA Festivals (2005 & 2006), see http://www.sciencelive.org.

Next up Live IPTV Production, Gary Parker, Network and Securtity Team, Loughborough Univ. Gary says the live stuff was easy to do, but to get the students back to edit the trailer, was very hard. That's also our experience from Science Live: You get an enthusiastic team together, which works really hard for the live production, but tends to disperse thereafter. In my view 'live production' actually provides a good excuse to focus a project and delivering outputs on time. Similarly with http://www.bluesci.org (student run science magazine) the fact that a new copy needs to come out each term is crucial in terms of deadlines not slipping. It's not like an essay, where you can re-negotiate the deadline, but more like an exam: It won't wait for you, irrespective of whether you're ready or not.

Some of the av kit they used:

  • Mac Pros, Canopus ADVC100 for graphics, VTs and replays. No tape, all NLE!
  • Canopus ADVC300
  • Tandberg EN5930
  • Quicktime Streaming Server
  • Vara Software's Wirecast
  • 5 Sony Z1HD cameras
  • tripods, steadicam mount and wireless transmitter
  • 2 vision mixers
  • 16 channel sound desk
  • 9 video monitors
  • home-made autocue (15" monitors, bit of perspex, with camera behind it. Worked very well)

Gary says that there was high collaboration between IT services, LSUTV, Estates, Media servieces, etc etc. It's absolutely essential to get this done. There were 1500 viewers across the whole event.

Peter Wilson, HDDC, spoke next on super-high definition. http://www.hddc.co.uk . This was the most technical talk of the day, but it had lots of really good information in it. BBC iplayer stats:

  • 158 mill transactions since dec 2007
  • avg 140000 per day
  • BBC studying server backbones for 150Gig.

Peter said something like "At the moment, need to be IT literate to get iplayer onto a TV (i.e. you need to get your laptop next to the TV, and plug it all in). However, once you have set-top box to make this easy, download rates will rocket."

The BBC Dirac codec was discussed at some length, and this shows that the formats issue is far from over, see Multiformat_Media_Delivery. Ogg is now catching up, and it seems that Dirac is on the horizon!