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NMC-2008-Alberico-FINAL.ppt - nmc - nmc | the new media

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  • 1. Developing a Statewide Video Streaming Service for Virginia Higher Education 2008 NMC Summer Conference Princeton University Ralph Alberico [email_address] James Madison University

2. About VIVA

  • The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA)
  • 15 Public Colleges and Universities
  • 24 Public 2-Year Colleges (VCCS)
  • 32 Private Non-Profit Colleges
  • The Library of Virginia
  • ~ 400,000 students, faculty and staff
  • Annual budget > $6M USD
  • More information:

3. VIVA Provides

  • Over 150 databases --indexing scientific and technical literature, providing access to instructional resources, and supporting nearly every discipline taught at Virginia colleges and universities
  • Access to over 20 journal collections including over 7,000 journals and millions of articles available via the Web to VIVA students and faculty
  • Expedited interlibrary loan
  • Software, systems and databases to improve access to and management of library collections
  • Training and documentation on use of e-resources, integration of resources with curricula, and resource sharing

4. About This Session

  • Why streaming?
  • Best Practices -- Now what?
  • Lets federate!
  • Promoting learning& discovery.
  • Each part will last 10 minutes followed by 5 minutes for questions and discussion.There will be 2 live demos: 1.) a locally hosted streaming service and2. ) the centrally hosted service.Extra time will be reserved for discussion at the end.

5. PART 1

  • Why streaming?

6. Opportunities

  • Educational video on demand
  • Multiple viewers at one time
  • Level the playing field across institutions
  • Deliver video to classrooms & public spaces
  • Enhance learning via out-of-class experiences
  • Put videos into broader contexts

7. Challenges

  • New and rapidly changing technology
  • Competing technical standards
  • Uneven infrastructure across campuses
  • General unfamiliarity with policy issues
  • Working across organizations & cultures

8. Streaming Video Scenarios

  • Multimedia licensing as a strategic objective
  • VIVA licenses content, vendor hosts
  • VIVA licenses content and hosts centrally
  • VIVA members host content on a peer-to-peer basis
  • Each VIVA school hosts content locally
  • VIVA contracts with 3 rdparty to host content
  • Combination of the above

9. Licensing Considerations - PBS

  • Breadth of coverage, quality of content
  • One-time fee vs. ongoing subscription
  • Term license vs. perpetual license
  • Access via IP domain vs. authentication
  • Downloading vs. stream only
  • Subsidiary rights and stability of content

10. The PBS Collection

  • Content supports learning across schools
  • 498 titles, over 500 hours of video
  • Delivered as MPEG-4 DVDs ~2 mbps
  • Broad subject coverage & high production values, low volatility
  • License in perpetuity, one fee, host your own
  • Downloading prohibited
  • User id and password required for authentication and authorization

11. Streaming Video Strategic Goals

  • VIVA Task Force on Multimedia Collections
  • Develop expertise with rich media within the consortium
  • Establish a forum for resource sharing and information exchange
  • Recommend technical specs and technical support structures
  • Recommend approaches to cataloging, resource discovery and preservation
  • Develop models for user support

12. Planning Issues

  • Wide variation in infrastructure and technical expertise among members
  • Bandwidth!!!
  • Server/service management issues
  • Encoding
  • Access control
  • Resource discovery
  • Integration with learning & teaching
  • User support

13. Strategy Elements

  • Emphasize VIVA principles of sharing, equitable access and cost effectiveness
  • University of Virginia provides central hosting under Shibboleth; other schools can opt to host their own content and/or use central host
  • Define and follow best practices
  • Encode files to a standard and share them
  • Divide the labor, avoid duplication of effort
  • Pursue common denominator solutions (e.g. same encoding and cataloging for local and central hosting)

14. PART 2

  • Best Practices -- Now what?

15. Moving forward

  • Survey all VIVA members
  • Analyze responses from 54 campuses
  • Adopt parallel strategy of short term support for local hosting and long term support for central hosting
  • Develop quality assurance process
  • Use Shibboleth as authentication mechanism for centrally hosted content
  • Shibboleth decision drives encoding choices

16. Streaming Video Hosting Experience in VIVA The 64% question:Does your school host online video collections? 17. Server & Player Selection Issues

  • Shibboleth solution requires Darwin Streaming Server (open source equivalent of QuickTime)
  • QuickTime is default player for the project
  • Server and player decisions at each school can be made independently from central service
  • Standalone player offers screen size and random access advantages
  • Plug-in keeps everything in the browser and can be configured to play segments from within longer streams

18. Most Popular Media Players 19. Preferred Encoding Format 20. Preferred Media Servers Shibboleth platform is Darwin 21. Encoding Decision Process

  • Encoding samples developed for each of the major media players
  • Samples prepared with different compression tools, bit rates, resolutions, frame rates etc
  • Samples served from different institutions and tested for quality on different bandwidth networks
  • Decision to go with QuickTime compatible scheme and MPEG-4 with H.264 codec at 300 and 800 kbps
  • Encoding of files outsourced to TapHere!
  • Encoded filesdistributed on hard drives

22. Encoding Workflow

  • Technical specifications developed and refined within VIVA
  • Various approaches to encoding processes tested within VIVA
  • 1 hour of streaming = 10+ hours of encoding
  • Decision made to outsource encoding
  • RFP developed for outsourcing
  • Key criteria:technical specifications, stream quality, turnaround time on encoding jobs, adherence to QA process, embedded metadata, intellectual property protection, cost
  • Contract awarded to:TapHere Technologies!

23. Bandwidth

  • 6 research universities have 1-10 gigabit per second pipes to edge of campus
  • 50+ campuses have pipes from 45to 500 megabits per second capacity
  • A few schools have capacity of 10 megabits per second or less
  • Almost all schools have adequate bandwidth to academic buildings on their campuses

24. Bandwidth Issues

  • Bandwidth has been the single most critical issue
  • Incoming pipe capacity is critical for content hosted off campus
  • Packet shaping and other net traffic control measures can be a problem; caching can help
  • Network load is critical; time of day matters
  • On-campus infrastructure is generally adequate for local hosting
  • Schools with greatest need for central hosting are least able to handle incoming streams
  • 45 mbps = entry level for central hosting participation
  • Need to take care on distribution of 800 kbps streams

25. Lets try it out.

  • James Madison University Library Catalog
  • Keyword Search: VIVA streaming video collection
  • For current JMU students, faculty and staff

26. PART 3

  • Lets federate!

27. Authentication and Authorization

  • Shibboleth for authorization to VIVA hosted service based on user attributes
  • Local authentication solutions for files hosted on individual campuses (LDAP scripts, EZ Proxy, etc)
  • Authentication often happens in front of release of stream and not at local streaming servers (requires strategies to hide stream URLs)
  • Moving toward authentication at server level for local hosting

28. Shibboleth Definition

  • The Hebrew word used by Jephthah as a test-word by which to distinguish the fleeing