Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Columbia University Journalism School Enhances Election-night Webcast with Live News Gathering Powered by Streambox

Columbia University journalism students cover the U.S. Presidential election.
Columbia University journalism students cover the U.S. Presidential election.

The Columbia University Journalism School expanded its presidential election-night coverage on Nov. 4 to include a live streaming component in addition to its radio coverage. A number of Streambox (Seattle, Wash.) ACT-L3 Software Encoder systems were deployed to student journalists on location to help facilitate the live webcast. The Streambox solution provided an easy-to-use and reliable means for students to gather live reports to supplement the Webcast, as well as content for new media and TV broadcast during the course of the academic year.

The student journalists, all of whom are graduate students, were involved in producing Columbia's election web site, designed to provide hands-on experience in all newsgathering and news production disciplines including print, radio/TV broadcast, and new media/web production. Armed with up to four laptops running the Streambox ACT-L3, students were able to capture and encode live video from field locations and transport it over low-bandwidth IP connections to the journalism school's TV control room, where it was output to a flash server and streamed to the election Web site.

"The Streambox solution helps our students gain a broader learning experience by letting them work hands-on with the kinds of systems they'll be using in the real world," said Craig Hettich, manager of broadcast technology for the Columbia University Journalism School. "By providing an affordable and easy-to-use solution for acquiring video from the field and getting it back to the studio for broadcast, Streambox is enhancing our ability to teach cutting-edge news reporting. The beauty of the system is that it enables smaller news outlets to do large-scale productions and stream them to the Web with the same ease as large news organizations."

In addition to election coverage, Columbia Journalism School will use the Streambox solution to incorporate live remote coverage into its spring "Nightly News" broadcasting course. "The ability to include live newsgathering and reporting in this course will give it a whole new dimension," said Hettich.

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