THE CUSTOMER: The Utah Air National Guard is responsible for providing the Air Force's tactical airlift support, combat communications functions and aero medical evacuations, as well as for meeting the needs of the state of Utah in the event of natural disasters or civil disturbance.
THE NEED: The Utah Air National Guard needed a reliable system for communicating essential information and supporting real-time collaboration during emergencies between personnel in the field and those on base. They needed a system that could provide many channels, since the Guard is responsible for numerous functions and must communicate vital information to a large number of geographically dispersed Guardsmen.
In non-emergency situations, the Utah Air National Guard needed to provide its personnel with the ability to monitor satellite TV channels on their PC workstations. They were seeking a secure and uni?ed solution that could be used to present classified content, training sessions and informational presentations to personnel both on and off base.
THE CHALLENGE: In their search for a video communications system, the Utah Air National Guard faced rigorous demands and strict constraints. Security for distribution of classified content was paramount, since members of the Utah Air National Guard must be able to monitor and stay abreast of unfolding events in the world in real time, 24/7, whether they are on base or off.
A large number of channels is essential to support the needs of the many personnel using the system, as well as the wide range of applications, including transmission of video feeds from the field, news monitoring, information presentations and training sessions. Absolute reliability and high video quality were also crucial.
THE SOLUTION: The Utah Air National Guard selected an VITEC's IPTV solution that streams up to 248 H.264 channels of video to Utah Air National Guard employees' PCs, regardless of whether they are on or off the base.
To ensure that all necessary content can be transmitted in real time, even during periods of high activity, the Utah Air National Guard opted for five MGW 5100 multi-channel encoders, which together stream up to 124 H.264 video channels. Secondary stream functionality provided by the encoders enable an additional 124 channels to be streamed at lower bit-rates over bandwidth-limited channels, for a total of 248 channels. Designed as a highly reliable encoder for 24/7 applications, the MGW 5100 platforms encode and stream content from cable and satellite systems network as well as from local and remote video cameras.
For absolute system reliability, the MGW 5100 platforms are integrated and centrally managed by the Cluster Manager professional management suite. Cluster Manager provides full N+K redundancy and video matrix control, and effectively prevents single point-of-failure events.
Video content is streamed to Utah Air National Guard members' and employees' PCs, both on and off base, using the EZ TV System. On-base, content is delivered over the base's IP network, while delivery to remote PCs is via the Internet. The advanced EZ TV application suite provides user-configurable mosaics of up to 16 channels on a single screen. For specific units or groups, administrators can create function-specific channel groups for distribution to members.
The high security standards required by the Utah Air National Guard are easily met by VITEC's IPTV solution, since user groups and access privileges can be easily defined based on Microsoft Active Directory groups. Because the browser-based EZ TV System Player is automatically installed the first time each user accesses it on a given PC, system deployment costs are exceptionally low.