Students at the Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) in Fork Union, Virginia can access TV channels on screens in their bedrooms, receive alerts through tickers and receive instant messaging thanks to a MediaStar IPTV system from Cabletime.
The Academy educates boys in grades 7-12 and postgraduate students and provides a structured, military-style environment to prepare its young men for success in the classroom and in life. In 2012 it opened a new 90,000 sq ft barracks which houses 500 students in 250 rooms, all of which have access to TV. At the design stage, FUMA faced the challenge of delivering live video and content over coax cabling in such a large building, and difficulty in controlling individual programming functions.
FUMA collaborated with Cabletime, and was able to overcome the obstacles by specifying a sophisticated IPTV streaming solution that could be distributed across the built-in IP network. This allows the students to easily select any of the 20 channels received in their dormitories and also enables the Academy’s administrators to adjust programming on an individual student by student basis.
“We needed to install the most robust and adaptable IPTV solution to suit FUMA’s needs,” commented Ed Carabetta, Vice President at Cabletime. “So, we provided MediaStar Evolution 778 blade encoders which have the capacity to stream a wide range of TV channels, and 780 decoders in each of the 250 student rooms.”
FUMA is using MediaStar Media Manager to control the programming of the channels, to deliver information and instant messaging to keep students up to date, and also to creatively schedule programming by specific groups, eg. squads, floors, wings, battalions.
“The system has the programmability to restrict TV viewing for students to set times during the week and at the weekend,” said Major Scott Krogh from FUMA. “However, we have the option to extend these viewing times, in order to reward students for outstanding performance. Restriction of the service can be applied if we need to discipline a student too.”