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Services Provided

We provide the following four basic services-

  • Internet Audio/Video Streaming
  • Encoding/Digitizing
  • Transfer (one media to another)
  • Production Room Facilities

We are FREE  to use if it is undergraduate or graduate related course material. Our services are also FREE  if you are promoting or recruiting for your college or educational program.  We do ask for you to provide your own media in the case of transfers from one media to another. Any other purpose will have a cost associated with it.

Digitized media, especially video requires large storage capacities for all content to be available on-demand. The huge storage requirements necessary to provide on-demand content is a challenge faced by all who take on this endeavor.

We have quality staff to support your needs. Our staff includes

  • System Administrators: to ensure servers are running properly
  • Network Administrators: to support the complex internal network structure necessary
  • Production Staff: personnel ready to assist you with your internet video and audio production needs

Our system is a distributed redundant server and storage system that can store a great deal of digital material. Data is stored permanently on a tertiary storage system (e.g., large tape silo). All material will be accessible through the web, and databases are being designed to support its use. Currently, IMS supports several streaming audio/video server capabilities (e.g., a RealNetworks Audio/Video server, Microsoft Windows Media server and a Apple Darwin server streaming structures). Over time we expect to integrate more servers into the system to provide additional storage and streaming capability. IMS researchers and programmers are working on algorithms and systems to manage digital media and to locate specific media elements. We are currently working on web-based front-end tools for the VOD (Video on Demand) System. These will include tools for on demand web playback, and a graphical user interface to the database for remote video content authoring. These tools will allow any user to add media elements to the storage system and access them later.

Encoding

Encoding is the process of converting video and/or audio into a digital file capable of being streamed [link to streaming]. There are various options when it comes to encoding. There are format or "media player" choices such as Windows Media, RealVideo and QuickTime, each of which has its relative strengths and weaknesses based on the type of video and target audience. Also considerations depending on the audience's connection speeds and the actual content of the video must be taken into account.

What can we do for you?

Many of our clients are already encoding savvy, but for those of you who are not we can provide a full encoding service.

Bring us your VHS, SVHS, MiniDV, Hi8, or audio cassette and we will encode the content to your specifications.

Note: Noisy video such as that from a poorly recorded or well worn VHS tape does not encode efficiently and are therefore is not recommended as a prime video source. Always use the highest quality source available.

Note: Please be aware of copyright restrictions. We can not digitally manipulate any video that did not originate from the client (i.e. classroom lecture recording) without proof of consent from the owner of the video.

Transfer

IMS also has the ability to transfer your video to another format. We can take any of the following source formats

VHS SVHS MiniDV Hi8 Audio Cassette Audio CD DVD

and transfer them between each other. We can also make these available for check out using our EDMS affiliate located in the Evans Annex (link to EDMS)

Production Room

IMS now has a video production lab. This lab was created so that higher quality videos could be created for streaming distribution. In some cases, a classroom is not very conducive for recording. In other cases, it is important that the desired viewable content be displayed at the highest quality available. When these needs arise, our video lab may be the answer.

Though not what one would consider a professional studio, we have acquired various professional grade components that allow us to record and produce higher quality results than that which one get in a typical classroom setting.

Be prepared, in almost all cases preparation and scripting must be accomplished so that we can properly record your content. Therefore scheduling is necessary. Contact mm@vpr.tamu.edu for use of the room.

 

Streaming Samples

Real Player

Windows Media Player

Flash

 

 

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