Video/Multimedia On Demand Committee
University of Utah
The Video On Demand Committee (VOD) agreed that the planning for VOD should include the
1. The network must be able to support video streaming and multicast.
a. Standards need to be set so campus wide area and LAN networks can deliver video to
all parts of the campus.
b. The university may need to consider a separate video network.
c. Educate LAN Managers on standards and technical procedures for VOD.
2. The University needs a centrally coordinated plan, standards, equipment, an asset management
program and budget to provide organized access to multimedia assets.
3. VOD will need support for training staff and a help desk.
4. A VOD campus service will need a budget.
5. VOD needs to be tied into the overall knowledge management plan.
6 .Much digitized multimedia and video is commercially available. A coordinated action plan
for acquiring these materials and making them available for campus is needed. We also need a
procedure for rights management and negotiations.
7. Standards and coordination for production and digitization of video and multimedia are
needed. They include:
a. Encoding levels and bit rate set.
b. Certified ingestion campus centers.
c. Meta data standards.
8. Large amounts of storage are needed for VOD.
The VOD Committee met on Monday, September 27, 2004. We clarified the issues and the
changes recommended which are included above. The committee decided on the formation of
1. Video/Audio Compression and Networking Standards
2. Digital Asset Management and Commercial Products
3. A Committee on Funding, Organization, Storage and Digital Rights
Listed below are the three sub-committees and the membership of each committee
Sub-committee on Video/Audio Compression
Since 1996 when the first iterations of QuickTime delivered postage-stamp sized digital video
from a computer's hard drive to today's proliferation of digital content that is time-based (video,
audio), the need has been to maximize the quality of the viewing experience while minimizing
the impact of delivery on bandwidth, whether it is defined as hard drive speed, CD-ROM
throughput, or connection speed to the Internet. The sub-committee on Video/Audio
Compression will examine and recommend media architectures (both proprietary and standards-
based), in addition to specific codecs (compression-decompression algorithms) and their
parameter settings. The goal is to identify preferred formats for delivery over low, medium, and
high bandwidths that are attractive to a defined set of end users, targeting specific connectivity
profiles. Parameters settings will be identified and examples provided via a demonstration
HTML website that will be useful for training, support and familiarization (likely piggy-backing
on the existing site http://stream.uen.org/medsol/digvid/html/sampler_compare_archs.html).
Sub-sub-committee on Content Distribution & Networking
Unlike broadcast and cable operations, the distribution of time-based media (digital video, digital
audio, conferencing and voice over IP) through computer networks and the Internet faces Quality
of Service issues that include:
1. Lack of fixed and short signal propagation/routing.
2. Lack of dedicated bandwidth for individual channels or streams.
3. Demand exceeding current capacities.
The long-haul delivery of content from origin servers, across backbones and networks, to the last
mile that reaches consumers demands that media streams do not stutter, stall or degrade. What
needs to be eliminated are the bottlenecks for data flow and the competition for valuable,
sometimes limited bandwidth. This sub-committee will examine the requirements for
establishing parallel content delivery networks for the University of Utah that relieve normal
network/Internet traffic flows from the burden of time-based media distribution.
The committee agreed to meet and work out a process to address these issues, we also felt we
needed to move ahead rapidly.
The members of this subcommittee and sub-subcommittee are Paul Borrows, Chair, Richard
Glaser, Nancy Lombardo, Jimmy Miklavcic, Dave Packham, and David Adams.
Digital Asset Management and Commercial Products
This subcommittee will explore asset management strategies that provide the university
capability to manage user access and downloading of video files. The subcommittee will bring a
recommendation to the VOD Committee on what asset management products should be
The subcommittee will also identify third-party commercial vendors who provide quality
educational video materials and research the costs and licensing issues associated with these
materials. Examples of such vendors might include PBS Adult Learning Collections as well as
subscription services such as those offered through Discovery Communications United
Streaming. The subcommittee will recommend vendors to consider and suggestions as to how
the university can coordinate the acquisition of digital assets.
This subcommittee will be chaired by Kenning Arlitsch and will include Cory Stokes, Caroljean
Hanson, John T. Wardle and Paul Borrows.
Committee on Funding, Organization, Storage and Digital Rights
This subcommittee will bring recommendations on how VOD will be funded, organized, stored
and how digital rights will be managed. This subcommittee will also determine how VOD,
digital asset management and knowledge management relate to each other.
Steve Hess will chair the committee which will include, Gary Rasmussen, Paula Millington and
Next VOD Meeting
The VOD committee will meet again on November 5, 2004 at 10:00 am in the Credit Union
Conference at the Eccles Broadcast Center. The chairs, at that time, will report on the