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Allegany College of Maryland Creates Virtual Classrooms with HaiVision’s hai1000 MPEG-4 AVC H.264 Multi-stream Codecs

Jan 17, 2007 12:01 PM

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Allegany College of Maryland has selected and deployed the hai1000 MPEG-4 AVC H.264 multi-stream codec system to unite educators and students across its three campuses. The hai1000 is manufactured by HaiVision Systems of Montreal. HaiVision’s products are used in telepresence suites and boardroom videoconference systems worldwide, as well as in educational facilities for distance education. The hai1000 is the world’s premier system for multi-stream low latency audio visual connectivity as required within telepresence suites and virtual classroom environments. Using MPEG-4 AVC (also known as H.264), the hai1000 saves 60 percent of the bandwidth typically required for DVD-quality transmission using MPEG-2 technology.

Continuing its tradition of providing the best collaborative environments for remote education, Allegany College of Maryland selected the hai1000 because it provides DVD-quality audiovideo connections between multiple sites with the lowest latency available. Using the HaiVision technology, an educator on one campus can effectively hold a single class session spanning the three campuses within a 60-mile radius. This eliminates the need for costly travel by students and educators alike—and gives back those hours to spend on academics.

“Having access to such high-quality audio and video simply enables a better learning experience compared with traditional video conferencing systems,” says John Moore, associate dean of computer services for Allegany College of Maryland.

“The biggest win for our educators is continuous presence, having each remote site displayed precisely on separate displays to enable true multi-site collaboration,” adds Ken White, Allegany College of Maryland’s director of media services. “Students can now attend classes without traveling 40-50 miles.”

Allegany College of Maryland will use the system for English literature and vocabulary, as well as advanced math, nursing, and criminal justice. They are planning five to six multi-site sessions per day throughout the school year. The campuses are connected via wireless transmission provided by Stratex Networks (installed by TWR Corp. of Cumberland, MD), providing very low inter-site latencies and very high-quality bandwidth.

Room design and codec integration for the project was provided by York Telecom, a leading visual collaboration and communications integrator.

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