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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)












Author Topic: Cisco Digital Media System Helps German University to Deliver an Audience with t  (Read 1518 times)

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Amker

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By Jason Deign, News@Cisco

Cisco® has helped the University of Münster overcome security, space and time constraints to deliver a dignitary's speech to a widely-dispersed campus audience.

The University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster or WWU) was able to install a Cisco Digital Media System (DMS) for digital signage in less than three weeks to broadcast an honorary degree acceptance speech by the Dalai Lama to viewers across campus.

Cisco DMS is a comprehensive solution for the creation, management and access of digital media for digital signage and desktop video. For digital signage, it offers a way to manage and publish this digital media across networked, on-premise displays.

Its use helped WWU overcome two challenges: the need for tight security and the limited space of the speaker venue, which restricted its ability to accommodate the vast audience of individuals interested in attending.

WWU's campus is made up of approximately 350 buildings in locations spread throughout the city, which meant that even providing overflow capacity in nearby rooms would not solve the dilemma of allowing an extensive audience to hear and see the speech.

"The challenge was for the IT department to set up a secure, reliable solution in a relatively short amount of time," says Guido Wessendorf, project manager for the initiative.

"However, due to its simplicity, we were able to successfully deploy the Cisco Digital Media System in what we were afraid was an unrealistic timeframe."

Cisco digital signage products include digital media encoders that digitize the live video stream and then deliver it to a server for distribution to a number of small form-factor, IP-based Digital Media Players (DMPs).

Cisco DMPs control the playback of content to the digital signage displays and run on a hardened version of Linux for added robustness and security. For the Dalai Lama event, Cisco used redundant Scientific Atlanta D9032 MPEG-2 video encoders and five DMPs.

Four of the DMPs were connected to video projectors located in lecture rooms in different university buildings and the fifth fed into a video wall in WWU's main conference hall.

With DMS, WWU achieved something it never had done before: showing a live broadcast across the entire university campus.

Wessendorf says: "The Cisco Digital Media Players were very robust, providing an exceptional high-quality image. With the Web interface, it was extremely simple to configure with just a few clicks of the mouse."

Frédéric Groussolles, Cisco Digital Media solutions marketing manager for Europe, says: "It was challenging because of the high visibility of the event, with German VIPs and politicians in attendance, and the very short notice available in which to make it possible.

"This event also immediately preceded a meeting between the Dalai Lama and the Chancellor, Angela Merkel. As a long-standing technology adviser to WWU, we were glad to take on the task of helping ensure that the video delivery for the event would be successful."

The University turned to Cisco for help after having used Cisco LAN switching and routing technology for some time, and has been considering the use of DMS for applications such as lecture broadcasts and desktop video Webcasts.

It joins a growing number of organizations that are using DMS for video distribution.

Within one year of launching the solution onto the market, Cisco had signed up its 200th customer in the form of Accent Jobs For People, a rapidly-growing Belgian company, which uses DMS to communicate with employees, job hunters and customers in 70 European offices.

The newest version of Cisco DMS, 4.1, gives customers the flexibility to create customized digital signage screen layouts and provide flexible options for playback.

For desktop video, Cisco DMS 4.1 includes slide synchronization for live broadcasts and video-on-demand (VoD) sessions and the ability to manage audience questions during live events.

Cisco is seeing growing momentum in digital media across the globe in all vertical industries, including financial services, retail, healthcare, sports and entertainment, government and education.

Cisco has recently announced other new customers using DMS for a variety of applications. The Norwegian lottery Norsk Tipping, for example, is using the Cisco digital signage to deliver timely and targeted marketing to stimulate sales in approximately 4000 retail stores.

In education, Bapatla Engineering College in India is using Cisco Desktop Video to virtualize and extend the classroom environment to create anywhere, anytime learning experiences for its students.

While not the first education sector organization to use DMS, WWU certainly counts as one of the most venerable to date.

The University is one of the oldest in Germany, with roots that can be traced back to the Jesuiten-Kolleg Münster, founded in 1588. It is also the third-largest center of higher education in the country, with more than 40,000 students, 1000-plus staff and in excess of 130 fields of study.

The Dalai Lama visited the University nine years ago and was invited back this year after being named doctor honoris causa.
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