TelVue Corporation, a provider of IP broadcast solutions, is helping students at Mitchell Technical Institute keep up with technological advances in next-generation television, with the donation of an IPTV broadcast server to MTI’s telecommunications lab.
“IPTV is a global phenomenon. This state-of-the-art equipment gives us the skill sets that will prepare students for the Telecommunications Industry,” says Michael Benjamin, Telecommunications Instructor at MTI. “We have been teaching ‘triple play’ services here for years, but we never had the ability to deliver IPTV in the lab environment. This TelVue server allows the students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to hands-on lab activities.”
The TelVue partnership comes as Mitchell Technical Institute kicks off a campaign to upgrade its labs with high-end digital equipment. MTI is a two-year college with a strong telecommunications program. But one of the challenges of staying current with the changes in the industry is the ability to keep up with rapid technological progress. “We have some students working with equipment the telcos don’t even have yet,” says Julie Brookbank, Director of Marketing and Public Information at MTI. “When they are applying for jobs, they can say 'I’ve worked with a TelVue IP server, I’ve done video streaming,' and it makes them a very appealing job candidate. Every time we integrate this type of technology, it raises the skill level of our graduates.”
MTI provides not only a pipeline of workers trained in the telecommunications industry, but also a place for companies to re-train their employees in emerging technologies, like IP broadcasting.
The TelVue B100-IPTV Hypercaster is being integrated into a digital lab that went online in early 2012. The Hypercaster is an all-in-one video system that stores, manages, schedules, and generates a professional-quality digital channel out of a single box.
Benjamin says MTI is grateful for the contribution. “We are fortunate that a company like TelVue shares our vision of getting real-world equipment into the hands of the future IPTV providers. This donation has given us the edge to maintain our dynamic Lab. Students will learn how to add this server to a network, identify content and load that content onto the server to be distributed out to subscribers. They will focus on encoding, scheduling, multi-casting, video-on-demand, content edits, playlists, programming guides, maintenance and trouble-shooting skills, just to mention a few of the opportunities they will have.” Preliminary training began in March, and over the summer Benjamin plans to develop more exercises to further train the students in IPTV technology.
Brookbank says this program fits into MTI’s mission: “The integration of IPTV technology into our lab is consistent with MTI’s goals of improving the technical program, making it more industry-ready, and bringing us in line with the 21st century.”