Texas A&M Transports HD Video Over IP with Streambox

KAMU, a public broadcasting station operated by Texas A&M University, has chosen the Streambox SBT3-9300 video transport solution to serve as primary production backhaul for covering live events throughout the campus. KAMU, a PBS affiliate and the official broadcast arm of the university, relies on the Streambox system as a method of transmitting high-quality HD-SDI video from many different locations throughout the state.

“When we migrated to an all-digital, HD broadcasting operation, we realized that our large, multi-campus IP network would be an ideal video transport mechanism for point-to-point coverage of events – but we needed an HD encoding tool that would deliver the necessary quality,” says Wayne Pecena, director of engineering, KAMU. “Streambox is known as the industry standard for broadcast-grade video transmission over IP, so it was an easy choice. With other vendors, you have to purchase different devices for encoding, decoding, and IP gateway, but the Streambox SBT3-9300 can act as an encoder or decoder depending on our needs – which means the system is much more flexible and versatile.”

KAMU has deployed four SBT3-9300 units to create a point-to-point transmission link for capturing live video from remote venues, such as campus sports arenas, and transporting it to the studio for broadcast. Based on the Streambox ACT-L3 compression codec, the SBT3-9300 includes both encoding and decoding capabilities in a 1RU appliance to capture and encode full-motion and full-frame 1080i/720p HD content in addition to SD. At KAMU, the SBT3-9300 is part of a portable HD production system that can be deployed anywhere on campus in which breaking news or live events are taking place. In the studio, two SBT3-9300s decode the HD stream for broadcast and provide downconversion to SD as necessary.

In addition to sports events, KAMU uses the technology to capture HD video for many types of school activities. For instance, the technology was first used to cover a visit by President Barack Obama to the campus in 2010, and the systems captured video from around multiple sites during the university’s annual “Aggie Muster” gathering of students and alumni from around the world. Since the Texas A&M IP network encompasses many different campuses and university locations throughout the state, the Streambox gear can be easily deployed for event coverage from any of those locations. One example of this was the launching of a new research vessel at the Texas A&M Galveston campus, which is focused on maritime degree programs and research.

“As KAMU has shown, the SBT3-9300 provides a flexible and cost-effective path to full HD transmissions for many types of broadcasting organizations,” says Bob Hildeman, chairman and CEO of Streambox. “By offering built-in HD capabilities for the price of an SD system, the SBT3-9300 is designed to meet the exacting performance and quality demands of any organization that requires professional-level capabilities for transporting high-quality video over IP.”

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