Government Uses Video Streaming to Increase Transparency, ViewCast Official Says

Multiple platforms make information available to constituents
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An increased focus on transparency by government entities is spurring the implementation of devices that streams video over multiple platforms as a way to make information available to constituents, says an official with a company that produces video streaming hardware and software.

“The big thing is transparency. I think that government agencies are interested in being transparent, and also being able to reach out to different types of people,” Mike Galli, vice president of marketing for ViewCast Corp., a Texas-based developer of solutions that help companies deliver video to broadband and mobile networks.

In addition, during the past five years the delivery of video in support of increased transparency has not only been progressing across the federal government, but also across state and local governments, said Galli, who credits President Barack Obama for the increased emphasis on openness. “President Obama has been forthright about ensuring the [executive] agencies are transparent.”

ViewCast has been providing government agencies, legislatures and organizations with video streaming solutions, says Galli, who adds those solutions include the Niagara streaming systems, Osprey video capture cards and video management systems. Among the company’s customers are the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Treasury, the Dutch Parliament and the International Monetary Fund, which use ViewCast products to record and stream live government proceedings over the Internet to PCs, iPads and mobile devices.

“Being able to reach out to different types of people” is important to government and organizations, said Galli, who added, “Older folks tend to be more PC oriented, while younger folks are interested in getting content on their mobile devices.”

To meet those needs ViewCast offers the Niagara 2200, which can stream MPEG2 or H.264 video in multiple, simultaneous resolutions and bit rates to set top boxes, mobile devices and computers. The Niagara 2200 “has the ability to stream out in a wide variety of protocols, it can stream inside of their network and at the same time it can also stream to the protocols out to the Internet and reach out to PCs, tablets and smartphones,” Galli said.

In addition to the Niagara 2200, ViewCast’s latest video streaming products are the Niagara9100-4D and a Linux driver for the Ospray 845e Video Capture Card.

The Niagara 9100-4D is a new digital unit designed to deliver up to four simultaneous streams, ViewCast says. The Niagara 9100-4D is suited for over-the-top service providers or those adding OTT capabilities to their existing service offerings. By adding the Niagara 9100-4D, ViewCast has enhanced its product line by pushing the limits of channel density and cost efficiency for the highest quality streaming media systems in the industry, said John Hammock, ViewCast’s president and CEO.

ViewCast—through its partnership with KernelLabs—also has developed a Linux driver for the Osprey 845e, the newest high-density capture card. When the Linux driver becomes available, Linux-based systems integrators and original equipment manufacturers in a broad range of markets including government agencies, service providers and corporations, will be able to capture up to four independent video sources, ViewCast says.

The Linux driver extends Viewcast's support for the open source community, as Linux drivers for the Osprey 260e, 460e and 820e products which are available.