first launched in February 1999, allows users to select and
view video from an archive over the network. This technology
greatly enhances the availability of multimedia information
for lecture and leisure, and adds substantial value to the
quality of higher education.
sessions of lectures, conferences, forums, seminars, demonstrations
and course materials etc. can be recorded, encoded and stored
on the media server, allowing simultaneous real-time access
to the same piece of information at users' own pace.
service Upgraded from Time to Time
time when CityVoD was first launched, most of our workstations
were Pentium PCs, which were not fast enough to decode video
streaming. The CityVoD service could therefore be available
in some specific locations only, such as Lecture Theatres
and Room Neptune inside the Computing Services Centre. With
the advancement of technology, the CityVoD is "upgraded"
from time to time, and it is now available not only in all
workstations within campus, but also workstations at users'
home via Citylink Plus or broadband service provided by Internet
Service Providers (ISPs).
video encoding method we used was MPEG-1 (the encoding method
used on VCD), which was the most efficient and provided the
highest quality at that time. The emergence of newer encoding
methods soon rendered MPEG-1 a less desirable one. After a
prudent review, we chose RealMedia G2 as new standard encoding
method in early 2001. Later on we continued to upgrade the
encoding from RealMedia G2 to RealMedia 8.0 and from version
8.0 to 9.0 in order to provide the highest video quality to
RealMedia is still one of best encoding methods in the market,
as Microsoft Windows Media Video (WMV) becomes more and more
popular, we have to prepare our servers for future needs.
as the demand for multimedia information is soaring on the
Internet, request for opening CityVoD to public access has
increased to a great extent. Last year, the Computing Services
Centre (CSC) has partially opened CityVoD to public access.
But after that, the loading on our servers was greatly increased.
Furthermore, due to some reasons such as copyright issue,
some users may not want their information to be viewed by
the public, or even not to be accessed by all staff and students
of the University.
To meet these challenges, the CSC is glad to introduce our
new video servers. The new video servers not only give us
a stable environment for high performance, but also provide
authentication on videos. Videos that are not presumed to
be accessed by the public can be put into a secure folder,
and authentication will then be needed before access to the
videos is permitted. The servers can also handle all common
video streaming methods in the market, such as RealMedia,
QuickTime, WMV, MPEG and etc. In short, the new video servers
give a high-performance, stable, secure, and flexible environment
to all staff and students to enjoy the CityVoD service.
moment, both the new and the old video servers are running
in parallel. Web pages those have hard links to our old servers
are still working. Users are reminded to update the hard links
of their web pages to our new video servers, so that problems
will not be arisen when the old servers are retired. Users
are also reminded to submit CSC work requests for putting
their videos to the secure folder if they do not want their
videos to be accessed by public.
kindly please contact Wilson Wong of the CSC Hard Copy Service.