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Video distribution at Walter Payton High School

Video distribution into a classroom at Walter Payton High School

Every projector and monitor at Walter Payton High School is networked to a bank of equipment located in the technology office adjacent to the distance learning room. The racks include VCRs, DVD and laserdisc players, and an MPEG digital video server. Each instructor has full control of the video from her classroom. She can start, stop, forward, and reverse the program from her own remote control, just as if the player was right there in the classroom. The advantage of the system, however, is that materials never get lost, equipment never gets damaged, and there's no need to employ staff or students in shuttling machines all over the school.

Cafeteria at Walter Payton High SchoolAn important feature of the distribution system is that it's two-way. Technology staff can originate a signal from almost anywhere in the school and then show it in the classrooms and public areas that they choose. So if the principal needs to make an announcement, a celebrity is in for a speech, the orchestra is performing in the recital hall, or perhaps someone is doing a particularly timely experiment in a science lab, staff can show it in the appropriate rooms.

Pictured here is a distributed signal shown in a classroom, in the library, and in the cafeteria.

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