Coventry University, located in the heart of Coventry City Centre, was granted university status in 1992 (a modern university). Since then, it has grown to achieve global recognition for many of its undertakings. At the 2011 Times Higher Education Awards, the university was honoured as the ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ and received the ‘Outstanding Support for Students’ award. This year, its very strong National Student Survey results made it the highest rated modern university in the Midlands and the second highest rated in the UK.
Coventry’s School of Art and Design is home to the Media Department, which offers a range of undergraduate and post-graduate courses in media, media productions, photography, and journalism to approximately 180 students. The department has great links with employers including BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio, Coventry Telegraph, and Touch FM commercial radio.
Coventry wanted to allow its journalism students the exciting experience of working in a live news environment as part of their three-year undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The university is well equipped with two radio studios and one TV broadcast studio. The aim was to bring in live news channels, such as BBC News and Sky News, and radio broadcasts to create live interactivity between both the news and radio studios. In addition, live video footage shot in the university’s own broadcast studios needed to be integrated into the broadcast workflow. The university also wanted the live video and audio streams to be viewable on multiple end platforms around the campus, including desktops, MACs, and iOS devices. Through set top boxes, the streams were also to be played out onto large screens.
Garland Partners provided Coventry with a complete solution that enables their journalism students to gain valuable experience working in a live news environment using professional broadcast equipment. Deploying Teracue DVB gateways, multiple news channels off Freeview (DVB-S) are brought straight into the news press rooms. These DVB-to-IP gateways also provide the means to bring in radio broadcasts and outputting over IP infrastructure. In addition to being extremely reliable, these gateways are housed in fanless chassis with no moving parts making them very quiet.
The live video content shot by the Coventry students in their broadcast studio provide an input to the Teracue ENC-200 compact low-cost hardware encoder to convert to high-quality H264-encoded video and output over IP. Typical bitrates used are 2Mbps for streaming around the campus. The budding journalists are able to switch between the various live feeds and simulate a live news production facility. Seven live streams are available from which they can choose.
To be able to stream to Apple iOS devices, such as iPad and iPhone, the Teracue MC-TRANS device is being used to transcode to the correct bitrates and allow HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) at around
700Kbps. Other parameters can be set, such as resolution, bitrate, bitrate type (CBR/VBR), or GOP structure (Group of Pictures).
To view the live content on large screens, Garland Partners provided Coventry with three Amino 130 IP Set Top Boxes (STBs), which allow channel selection to be made through the Amino infrared remote control unit.
Playback on MACs is available through the same embedded HLS player used to support delivery to the iOS devices. Live streaming to different players is possible since everything is based on open standards.
“Garland Partners really had the ability to understand the needs and ambitions of the University,” said Greg Milligan, Media Co-ordinator at Coventry University. “They adapted their solution to realise the requirements of the project and they delivered in an amazing turnaround.”
The course recently received professional accreditation from the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC), a partnership of 90 per cent of UK broadcasting employers. The BJTC regulates and
sets the benchmark for journalism courses.
Working with Garland Partners and Teracue has ensured that Coventry remains ahead of the game with its cutting-edge facilities.
BENEFITS OF THE INSTALLATION
• Students can distribute, share and interact with digital media across the campus.
• Enables flexible, adaptive mobile learning through connectivity 24/7 which increases accessibility for students.
• With the ability to transform lecture rooms into live news room environments, students are able to think differently
• Live news and radio channels are fed into the news and radio studios allowing interactivity between the sites
The DMM-140-S2 blades were used to provide a low-cost, high-density DVB gateway solution. TV or radio channels—whether free-to-air or encrypted—are delivered in original-source quality as unicast or multicast streams.
The ENC-200 is a compact, low-cost H.264 SD video encoding and LIVE streaming blade. This real-time encoder is designed for live streaming applications such as live TV or video transmission, video trunking, IPTV encoding, remote monitoring feeds, and video collaboration. It is also used as the ingest for LIVE and VOD video publishing systems.
The transcoder MC-TRANS-1RU is designed for IPTV-live streaming applications. The transcoder converts multicast or unicast streams from MPEG-2 to H.264 or from H.264 to MPEG-2. Thereby the user can set parameters such as resolution, bitrate, bitrate type (CBR/VBR). or GOP structure (Group Of Pictures). Support is also available for up or down scaling from HD to SD formats. Aminet130/140 IP Set Top Boxes MPEG2/MPEG4 high-definition set top box.
About Coventry University
Coventry University is a modern, forward-looking university whose roots can be traced back to 1843 to the Coventry College of Design. With a proud tradition as a provider of high-quality education and a focus on multidisciplinary applied research, today the University has established an academic presence regionally, nationally and across the world.
Through its links with leading-edge businesses and organizations in a variety of industries, Coventry University’s 24,000+ students enjoy access to placement opportunities, which ensure that their employability prospects are enhanced by the time they graduate. The city centre campus itself is continually developing and evolving, and a recent £100 million-plus investment in a new student centre and Engineering and Computing building is playing a key role in modernising the entire learning experience. For more information, visit Coventry University at www.coventry.ac.uk/media
About Garland Partners Limited
Garland Partners Limited (GPL) is an established UK company working with leading suppliers of digital video streaming and IPTV solutions to deliver professional end-to-end systems for many applications including internet TV, mobile TV, IPTV, and broadcast services. The company focuses on meeting customers’ system requirements, providing a full package of technical and commercial support with the best available products. Customers range in size and application, and GPL’s strength is its flexibility in matching the right technology to client needs. For more information, visit GPL at www.gpl-uk.co.uk
About Teracue AG
Teracue AG – Broadcast & IPTV Systems was established in 1991 and manufactures video processing solutions for IPTV, video-networking and streaming. Teracue provides encoder, decoder, stream-viewing/recording, as well as DVB-TV gateway and IPTV headend products: used mainly in broadcast and contribution networks, inside playout facilities, for healthcare and medical applications, for corporate and digital business TV, in universities and schools for education and training, inside fire/police centres, control rooms, aerospace companies, military and federal organisations for archiving, monitoring and debriefing. Teracue IPTV products enable professional system integrators to build robust, comprehensive end-to-end IP video systems. More information is available at www.teracue.com.
Rainer Link, Marketing Manager
Tel: +49 (0)8134 555 150