Today I attended a workshop in Columbia on the state’s new IP video retrieval system. Our district has been using the system for over a year now, so I was held up as an example multiple times during the workshop. That was a bit uncomfortable, but it also meant that I didn’t get as much out of the workshop as some of the participants.
Most of the audience were “librarians”, not “media specialists”, who were approaching retirement. The idea of video on demand seemed to be beyond them, and they were vocal about it. Computers were just something with which they were not comfortable, so putting television on computers was the last thing they wanted. At the very least, it needed to be very, very easy.
Which brings us to the demonstration portion of the workshop. As part of this system each district receives a video encoder for doing live broadcasts acorss the district’s network. The vendor demonstrated that the encoder could even be carried on field trips. Since the encoder had a hard drive, it could capture the video camera output, then be uploaded to the video server on a laptop via FTP.
This is where I had to pose a question…
“OK, you want us to carry a camcorder, this large video encoder with a hard drive, AND a laptop to record a field trip, right? Why don’t we just use the camcorder and encode everything when we get back?”
The presentation stalled at that point.