Thursday, May 26, 2005

High School Graduation to be Webcast

There are many examples of live video streaming and webcasts being done by large companies. A good example would be Steve Jobs keynotes at MacWorld which are watched live around the world.

There are also examples of live video streaming being done by individuals and K-12 schools that are usually watched by one or two people at a time. In our district we have a server specifically set up to provide video streams – check out a VR movie done by a member of our tech department from the inside of an earthen lodge similar to one that Sacagawea would have been raised in.

The task becomes more difficult when you want to produce a live video stream that will be watched by hundreds of people at one time. The drain on the server and bandwidth becomes an issue as each viewer has their own connection and dedicated bandwidth.

Our school district, with the help of the technology department from our local university, tackled this project the spring after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. We have three schools on our local air force base and many parents of graduating seniors were deployed overseas. The first year we maxed out a 10 MB connection and had people watching from Iraq, aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, as well as relatives from around the United States.

This Sunday, May 29, at 2:00 CST we will be broadcasting the 2005 Minot High School Graduation from the Minot State University Dome. A link on on our district web site will go live around 1:30 pm.

The video feed that is used for the webcast is also broadcast on the local Public Access Channel.

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