The Louisiana School for the Deaf (LSD) occupies 116 acres south of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The LSD campus encompasses 22 major buildings, including high school, middle school, elementary school, dormitories, physical education and stadium and auditorium complexes.
Technical Services Group (TSG) was selected to provide an HD-IPTV distribution and communications system. The project centers around the unique needs of the hearing impaired to communicate using sign language for two-way interactive communications. When the facility was first constructed in 1982, a black-and-white analog system was installed that used conventional RF distribution, analog CCTV cameras and a broadcast router to facilitate crossconnection of composite video paths between classrooms, administrative and operation locations with limited origination capabilities.
The vision of leveraging both IP and HD technology across the facilities’ gigabit fiber-optic network began to take shape as LSD dealt with obsolescence of the analog system. The HD-IPTV system consists of 10 HD channels for 500 locations whereby content distribution, VOD and two-way communications was initially conceived.
The system delivers high-quality video to the 200 HD displays anywhere on campus and facilitates two-way communication, paging and emergency notification. Staff can now establish two-way video links between deployment locations on campus at 30fps across the network. Upon initiation of an emergency page or group call, remote enunciators, including strobes and audible alerts, are triggered in advance of the display’s power-up and selection of the associated IP content stream. Once established, two-way video is bridged between the source and the destination. Group communications are facilitated as a one-to-many or one-to-all for departmental and emergency communications.
Many difficulties were encountered and overcome in the course of the deployment primarily related to the bleeding edge of encoder and decoder standards. While H.264 standards exist, uniform compatibility between devices presented many challenges. Reliable HD content coding with component HDMI and component video routing of locally generated content also provided unique challenges. The communications and control layer across the entire enterprise required custom software to facilitate origination and control for content channels, cameras, local interfaces to displays and remote annunciation equipment. Teachers required both desktop operation as well as remote control-capabilities to facilitate framing and operation from fixed-camera positions.
HD content channels are available via multicast, while the point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communications are bridged via H.264. The platform provides an HD video stream with scalability, quality and future capabilities never achieved before on a campuswide, enterprise level.
New studio technology – nonbroadcast
Submitted by Technical Services Group (TSG)
Big Networks: Jackson Smith Thomas, CEO
Crestron: Steve Gimbert, system designer
Louisiana School for the Deaf: Jack Buckner, MIS dir.; Malcolm Meyers, dir. of media
Technical Services Group: Arthur “Bo” Hoover, CEO
Technology at work
Allwell: HD101 decoder set-top box
Axis: 1031m IP cameras
Cisco: Routers and switches
Crestron: e-Control IP-based control system, QMRC IP-based enterprise control processor, RoomView monitoring and control software
LG: HD plasma displays
Network Electronics: Component HD router
TSG: Custom middle ware and control software
Visionary Solutions: AVN441HD encoder