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New York Schools Choose Ensemble for Media Sharing and Delivery

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Colleges and universities are looking for ways to maximize growing collections of digital media, while also containing costs. Collaboration across campuses is one way to achieve both goals.

Schools in New York state will have the opportunity to manage, share, and serve video with the adoption of the Ensemble Video Platform. In separate deals, the State University of New York (SUNY) and the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium (NY6) have purchased Ensemble to provide core video streaming infrastructure to member schools.

At SUNY, the system's Information Technology Exchange Center (ITEC) will offer Ensemble to 64 member campuses. According to Andy Covell, Ensemble's CEO, ITEC is "trying to get out front on this kind of resource sharing." By providing the video platform as a centralized service available to all campuses, rather than each campus adopting its own system, Covell says, "You can keep the costs down and make it readily available to more campuses, and share content."

While Ensemble will be hosted centrally Covell said there is "decentralized administration, so each institution can do whatever they want with the software." For ingest, "Some campuses might use Camtasia Relay or a Polycom. You're not tying folks to a specific way of creating content, nor publishing."

The NY6 schools will take advantage of a private cloud implementation managed by Ensemble. Member colleges like Colgate and Skidmore will then have a local Wowza Media Server on campus. "We feed them the content in their school's cache, and they stream it from there to their users" on their local servers, Covell said. This way, "They don't tie up the internet connection with students viewing video on campus," and "They don't have to pay CDN prices for on-campus streaming."

Ensemble will provide the platform for the consortium's MediaShare Project which partners the six libraries to share digital media collections across campuses. Users will be able to create video playlists or single videos and embed them in learning management systems, blogs, and other content management systems.

"It will provide a framework for a wide range of multi-campus activities in the coming years,” said Amy Doonan Cronin, executive directory of the NY6.

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