I want to share a brief, unpaid post of kudos for the Codian IPVCR. Our college purchased the 5 port version of the Codian IPVCR this past Spring (for about 30K) after intensive testing, and I have to say I am personally SO impressed and pleased with this technology.

Codian IPVCR

We purchased this for 2 main reasons: to permit seamless digital archival of iTV/videoconference classes for our college, and to permit instructors to teach synchronously to students attending class from home over a broadband Internet connection. Those students use IM technology to send questions they have for the instructor back to the college, since they are just viewing the class “live” from home, but not using a webcam or microphone themselves to interact. In the past, when we had a 3 hour graduate class to archive and share online, it would take about 5 hours to get that video on the web for others to see. (3 hours to import the VHS video into a computer, then some time to export/compress a web-streaming version, then some time to move the file to a streaming server, create a rtsp pointer textfile, then create a new webpage and embed that file, and then share that link with students who needed to see it. WAY too much time.)

Now our iTV videoconference sessions are IMMEDIATELY available after class for any of the students to watch them, without ANY post-production steps required what-so-ever. This is a technology as transformative as the Xerox document center. When I went to work for our college 5 years ago, they still leased an analog copier that did not use digital technology for duplication. So it could not make PDFs. Staff who wanted PDFs were still relying on an excruciatingly slow HP scanner with a document feeder (50 pages at a time, but VERRRRYYYYY slow) to make them. I learned about Xerox’s digital document center, and we switched our lease contract– and were then able to place 100 page documents on the copier and IMMEDIATELY convert them to PDF. Whoa! Revolutionary for those of us in the business of supporting faculty and staff with things like PDF document conversion. The HP Digital Sender is another device that quickly creates multipage PDFs that I looked at, but we did not need really need it since our organization had invested in the Xerox digital document center lease.

The Codian IPVCR represents a revolution of comparable scale, in my opinion. We carefully studied and tried other competing solutions, including Accordent’s Presenter Pro, SonicFoundry’s MediaSite Live, and Starbak’s streaming solution— but in my opinion NONE of them compare to the Codian for ease of use and flexibility, as well as cost. Others may have more bells and whistles, but for our purposes we weren’t buying based on bells and whistles, we need a solution that is reliable, easy to use, and requires ZERO post-production tweaks.

This weekend (yesterday in fact) we had a professor teaching all day and did not have a student assistant available to be on-site in case of problems. I was able to use XMeeting to videoconference in from home using my Mac laptop and iSight camera (I raved about how cool Xmeeting is a few weeks ago) and chatted with the professor, and recorded both his morning and afternoon instructional sessions remotely via the Codian’s web interface from home without a hitch. SO COOL! And SO POWERFUL! Just like technology should be. 🙂

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