Web Casts: Support Provided by IT

Information Technology Standards
IT Support for Web Casts at W&M
Version 1.0 May 2006
Owner: Susan T. Evans

Section 1. Overview

1.1 Purpose, Scope, and Objectives
This standard describes the IT support available for web casts sponsored by members of the W&M community. IT provides the network infrastructure and, whenever possible, consulting services for broadcasting video content associated with campus events.

1.2 Assumptions and Constraints
IT services in support of web casts include:

  • access to a robust IP network (for a maximum of 500 concurrent streams)
  • ISDN connectivity
  • equipment to receive and distribute video content
  • network electronics which accommodate streaming technologies
  • hosting of content

The IT consulting service for web casts does not include production work (e.g., camera and audio) associated with events. Sponsors of web cast events will need to identify and/or hire individuals to perform technical/artistic direction and camera work.

Section 2. Description

2.1 Guidelines/Procedures

Consulting Services
W&M sponsors of web cast events should contact the Technology Support Center at 1-HELP or [[support]] well in advance of the event. Determining technical requirements and support for web casts can require several weeks of planning.

Whenever possible, a professional staff member in IT will be identified to serve as the point of contact for support of web casts of campus events. This IT representative will serve as the liaison between the event sponsor and IT services such as networking, engineering and web design. Whenever possible, IT will recommend vendors for production and web hosting.

Technical Services
The supported format for live web streaming is QuickTime and the W&M network can host small to medium sized events with up to 500 concurrent streams. Network constraints (i.e., available bandwidth) require that departments anticipating more than 500 simultaneous connections identify a third party to host the stream.

For performance and quota reasons, we recommend that media for streaming be stored on our QuickTime streaming server. Hosting services include allocation of file space on the server, creation of an account, assistance in moving the file to the server, and identification of the correct URL to link the file to your website.

Section 3. Definitions

Web cast: using streaming media technology to take a single content source and distribute it to many simultaneous listeners/viewers. The word web cast is derived from "web" and "broadcast."

Streaming media: content that is consumed (read, heard, viewed) while it is being delivered.