IPTV and Video on Demand Systems

AVT helps Parkland School District offer next generation education to its K-12 students.

The challenge

Current  K-12 students are part of the maturing tech-savvy "Gen Z" generation that watches increasing amounts of  video, creating opportunities for school districts to introduce more  educational and entertainment technology into the classroom. It is therefore advantageous for schools to invest in high-quality video solutions that cater to this digital generation accustomed to instant access to a wide variety of media content.

Pennsylvania is a competitive educational region, home to over 500 public school districts and three of the top 20 school districts in the United States. The state of a district’s technological infrastructure can contribute significantly to the decision-making process parents go through when deciding where to live and enroll their children. To ensure that it could offer tailored, high-quality AV services to current and prospective students, Parkland School District in Allentown, PA, decided to phase out its old analog cabling and linked TV system, and sophisticate its offerings with a robust IP-based solution. 

The solution

Parkland School District decided to work with Applied Video Technology (AVT) to deploy a large-scale IP video system from Exterity.   It has been trialed initially in Kratzer Elementary, where each classroom is equipped with an AvediaPlayer Receiver set-top box so that content can be distributed across the school. The system is also used to digitize educational DVDs to create a Video on Demand library for teachers that can be shared across the school.  

Robert Uhl, Telecommunications Specialist at Parkland School District, said: “It is vital for us to ensure the learning infrastructures in our schools are best equipped so that our students, both current and future, can make the most out of these important years in the classroom. This is why transitioning to an IP video system is so important for us. With this Exterity system, we can help teachers utilize supportive resources to ensure that they offer compelling teaching methods that resonate with students. We are eleven schools strong now but are building more elementary schools to cater to Allentown’s growing young minds, so we look forward to growing this system.”

The result

The Exterity system deployed in the Parkland School District delivers high-quality educational TV and video content to its classrooms via  projectors, providing its students and  teachers  with access to a variety of channels, from local and national weather to news and specific educational channels like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, National Geographic, PBS and PBS Create. The district’s curriculums are enhanced by the ability to distribute these channels, offer greater flexibility of learning, and support large volumes of media content, all without compromising system performance.

Colin Farquhar, CEO at Exterity, commented on the deployment: “The potential for school districts to benefit from high-quality video content delivered straight to their classrooms is huge. Parkland School District has taken a great first step in not only recognizing the maturing technological needs of its students, but addressing them effectively. We are proud to play an active part in providing the means for the District to deliver more high-quality educational content as they open more school doors in Pennsylvania.”