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The Digital Transfer Project: How University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Preserves its Analog Past with Mediasite

Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform used to create dynamic, searchable database for historical video

Madison, Wisconsin(20 Oct 2014)

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is embarking on a multiyear project to transform thousands of hours of historic video footage into searchable digital files with the help of Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform by Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the trusted leader for video creation and management solutions.

The construction of Centennial Hall, the university’s first major building to be digitally controlled, led to the initiative to digitize all classrooms. Part of this digital migration was to begin phasing out analog VHS players and replace them with digital solutions, particularly with on-line digital playback. More than 5,000 tapes containing historic footage of early La Crosse history of the early 1900’s, visits from U.S. presidents, recently Pres. Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, footage from the 1986 Kennedy Symposium  featuring cabinet members of the  administration,  PBS documentaries produced on campus, and historic and vintage football films from the 1950s are being transferred to digital video files.

The footage is being encoded, processed, and meta-tagged, and then eventually imported into Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform so that it can be easily watched and managed with the click of a button. With Mediasite everything is indexed, making entire video libraries searchable and saving immeasurable time. The process is expected to take up to 10 years.

“Videotapes have a shelf life of only 30 to 40 years. Each day the videotapes sit there the magnetic particles are flaking off the polyester base.  Many of the videotapes from our shelves haven’t been played in 10, 20 or 30 years,” said Jim Jorstad, director of academic technologies. “The tapes are essential for research. Adding search capability via Mediasite creates a dynamic database for all our video, and that information can be priceless.” 

Tomorrow, Jorstad will discuss this new project in a live webinar, “Key Strategies to Migrate Analog Video to Digital On Your Campus,” at 11 a.m. CT. He will share some of the guiding principles and best practices already in place for transferring video files on campus and will share what he’s learned so far, from practical and technical considerations when choosing a video platform to the interpretation of copyright law. Register for free at Crosse-Webinar.

About University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

UW-La Crosse routes are traced back to 1909 when it was called the La Crosse Normal School. It has evolved to one of the premier universities in Wisconsin.  Currently the enrollment is over 10,000 students, from 38 states and 31 countries. U.S. News and World Report has recently identified UW-L #3 in the Top Best Midwest Regional Universities and was also named to Kiplinger’s top 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges. It has a 87% retention rate for returning freshman and has a rich athletic history with over 60 National Championships. The campus received the 2008 Mediasite Corporate Return on Investment Award.                      

About Sonic Foundry, Inc.

Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO) is the trusted leader for video capture, management and webcasting solutions in education, business and government. The patented Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform transforms communications, training, education and events for 2,800 customers in 58 countries. The company empowers organizations to reach everyone through the power of video; accelerating knowledge-sharing, preserving valuable content, building stronger teams and getting results.