The 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Virginia in 2011 causing devastating damage for miles around, forced a number of key buildings in the Louisa County area to be condemned and demolished including the High School. Within four years a brand new building was designed and constructed, providing pupils not only with additional space, but also with the latest technology. The original design specified TV in all the classrooms but with the older and typically more expensive COAX cable throughout.
The Tech Decision
There was a clean slate when it came to the design of the new High School, which allowed the technology department to extend the brief beyond delivering TV in all the classrooms. Where normally CO-AX cable would have been the answer, the installation of an IP network meant that not only IPTV, but digital signage and streaming could be implemented.
Louisa County High School opted for a new MediaStar IPTV system from Cabletime. This provided not just IPTV to all the classrooms, but also digital signage, instant messaging and streaming to monitors in hallways and large projection screens close to the catering areas.
Both live TV and stored content are being managed via the MediaStar Media Manager software program. Authorized front office personnel can update the system in minutes on the school’s LAN.
The Media Manager software and the Media Portal, which provides access to media assets held in the MediaStar system through a simple web application and made available through smartphone or tablet devices, were also provided within the budget giving the school complete control over its live and stored video content.
There have been many benefits, from the flexibility to display commercials created by students to support a “no texting and driving campaign”, through to streaming live performances from the school’s gymnasium and theatre directly into the refreshment area.
Louisa County High School acts as a hub in the area and hosts many community events live to designated overflow areas using the MediaStar system. This means that guests can order and enjoy food and drink without missing a moment of the action, and it has had an unexpected benefit in increased sales of food and beverages.
In addition, monitors have been installed at the neighbouring middle school and the plan is to extend MediaStar, which runs off a central server, into that facility and possibly roll it out into the nearby elementary school as well. The LDAP capability within the new version of Media Manager will allow both additional schools, and individual departments, to control their own specific messages with a high level of network security.
“MediaStar has saved us so much time, and because it was easy to install and simple to use, it has required minimal training and very little maintenance since,” says Damian Baily, Coordinator of Technical Services at Louisa County High School. “It just keeps running smoothly. What we were looking for was a way to distribute TV to classrooms, but what we have gotten with MediaStar is so much more than that.”