Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a solutions provider for media creatives and content owners, announced its collaboration with California’s Del Norte Unified School District (DNUSD) in the implementation of a remotely controlled, local area network that streams sports, academic events, and other activities. Fourteen BirdDog PTZ NDI cameras are spread throughout the rural district’s campuses, with staff directing the streaming output from one central operations center. Broadfield Distributing served as official distributor of the BirdDog cameras.
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Like a lot of innovation over the past year and a half, the initial driver was COVID-19 restrictions. “We’re a small, rural community with a huge, diehard community of superfans and a lot of senior citizens who’ve lived here their entire lives and follow the school events,” explained Michael Hawkins, director of communications at DNUSD. “We’d been thinking of creating a live streaming system like this for a long time. Last summer, the State of California limited the number of guests who could attend graduation ceremonies and large events. The graduation date became our deadline to get this done. Not seeing your grandchild graduate, participate in a school concert, or watch your graduating high school senior play in a final game was a huge blow to the quality of life for our community members. We wanted to get this set up for everyone in time for graduation and beyond.”
The cameras were selected based on BirdDog cameras’ fully featured NDI capabilities, which utilize high-definition, uncompressed video quality, compatible with any broadcasting software that integrates with NDI. Using the NDI specification, users can work on any network and in the cloud with the highest quality video at the lowest latency.
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“This is a fantastic showcase of the power of NDI and BirdDog PTZ cameras,” said Eamon Drew, co-founder & CMO of BirdDog. “We’re humbled that our gear played a part in enabling these important human connections through the pandemic.”
In 2018 DNUSD underwent an extensive, four-million-dollar upgrade to its network infrastructure, so capacity was never a concern. Range, durability, and video quality were foremost in the minds of Hawkins' team. “NDI was the initial draw to the BirdDog cameras because we're very rural,” said Ryan Bahten, director of information network services at DNUSD. “We have 4,500 students in the largest geographic school district in the state. In terms of durability, there are no other PTZ cameras built as solid as these. With all the wind and rain we get in the Pacific Northwest, that was important to us. And the video quality is full NDI, which is unlike most PTZ models. We have the network to handle it, so we want to make our coverage as good as possible.”
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“This is the first school we’re aware of doing long-distance streaming from a centralized location over NDI like this,” said Dave Van Hoy, president of Advanced Systems Group. “It shows the true power and flexibility possible with NDI. We’re excited to contribute to a project as innovative as what the communications team at Del Norte Unified School District accomplished. I expect their pioneering work will become more commonplace as others discover the potential of NDI.”