The Walters Art Museum Interactive Educational TV Services

The Walters Interactive TS service delivers a series of regular live video presentations from the galleries of the Walters Art Museum for K-12 students who are unable to visit the museum in person.
These live ‘field trips’ are delivered in real time over the Internet and displayed in a classroom environment on a large screen TV or projector connected to a desk top computer. There is a ‘text based’ back channel through which students (and teachers) can ask questions of the presenters, throughout the presentation, who can then respond in an appropriate manner and in real time.
The aim is to provide an experience for the students that is ‘as good as being there’
To achieve this aim, the project has adopted a new video streaming service from LiveStream that allows the Walters to create and deliver it’s own Interactive TV Channel over the Internet; ‘Walters ITV’.
Unlike similar streaming services, LiveStream have developed a small, foolproof, camera interface (the LiveStream Broadcaster) which mounts directly onto a light weight, HD camcorder and connects it to the live channel totally wirelessly.  As Livestream says ‘the LiveStream Broadcaster is an HD live broadcasting device that works seamlessly with the New LiveStream service to deliver the industry’s first affordable unlimited ad-free HD live streaming end-to-end solution’.
The channel and live broadcast is controlled from an iPhone/iPad app, which also displays questions being asked by the students (and other viewers)
This complete hand held system allows a more mobile, fluid, informal and responsive production style to be used, more akin to actually being in the galleries than static camera positions (required for more traditional videoconferencing delivery systems) could ever deliver.