Penn State Students Tap Sonic Foundryâ€™s Mediasite for Marathon Webcast
MADISON, WI â€“ Feb. 18, 2005 â€“â€“ Sonic Foundry Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), a leading rich media solutions company, today announced the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) has selected its Mediasiteâ„¢ rich media recorder to capture and stream this weekendâ€™s dance marathon. THON is the worldâ€™s largest student-run philanthropy involving thousands of Penn State University students and culminating in a 48-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that raises millions of dollars each year for children with cancer and their families.
The live Webcast is the result of a class assignment for telecommunication majors in Penn Stateâ€™s College of Communications in which students were asked to develop the best method for providing 48 hours of live rich media streaming of THON via the Internet. The project included researching technology, assessing the bandwidth and equipment needs, and evaluating implementation and personnel requirements, including the reliance of student volunteers to operate the multiple cameras needed to provide non-stop footage throughout the two-day event.
A professor in Penn Stateâ€™s School of Information Sciences and Technology who uses Mediasite to record lectures recommended the system for this event due to its ease-of-use â€“ an important feature that takes on new importance for the sleep-deprived students who will be operating it. The College of Communications donated the cameras and equipment that the students will use to make this once academic exercise a reality.
â€œThe live video streaming will be distributed via Internet2, the THON.org website and multicast directly to an auditorium in Hershey so families that are unable to travel can still be a part of the event,â€ said Bill Massi, one of the Penn State students who developed the project. â€œItâ€™s not often that a classroom assignment can make a real-world impact of this magnitude. This will be an exciting couple of days as we take THON to the desktops of Penn State students, parents, alumni and supporters everywhere.â€
During the past 30 years, THON has raised more than $30 million while helping thousands of children and families at the Penn State Childrenâ€™s Hospital fight pediatric cancer. This year its goal is to raise more than the $3.5 million that was donated last year. Organizers are hoping that by taking advantage of Mediasiteâ€™s real-time capture and streaming capabilities, more people will be able to view THON live online, and make a donation through www.THON.org. THON starts today, Feb. 18, at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Mediasite is a complete rich media recording and publishing system that automates the capture, management and delivery of multimedia presentations. Nearly 100 higher education institutions use Mediasite for Web-based distance education and to support in-class learning. With unmatched versatility and simplicity, Mediasite removes many of the adoption barriers to online teaching and learning by transparently recording educators in the natural classroom environment without interfering in their teaching style or content. For students learning remotely it provides an exceptional online representation of the classroom experience, complete with audio, video and synchronized instructional materials, as well as polling and Q&A.
By automating the capture, management and delivery of multimedia content, Mediasite is the fastest, easiest and most reliable Web publishing system available today, enabling users to take full advantage of the Internet as a convenient and affordable communications vehicle. As a complete system, it provides all the hardware and software needed to create, deliver and view high-quality rich media without any special preparation, costly production or complex authoring. Further, because there are no content or seat licensing fees, users can present as often as needed, to as many people as needed, without incurring additional costs.
â€œThe THON event is another example of Mediasiteâ€™s versatility that goes beyond the numerous benefits of using a highly automated real-time rich media solution in the classroom,â€ said James Dias, vice president of marketing and sales for Sonic Foundry. â€œOur customers are finding that it can be deployed campus-wide for a variety of applications that are enhanced through rich media communications, including guest lectures, human resources, alumni relations and faculty and staff development.â€
About Sonic FoundryÂ®, Inc.
Founded in 1991, Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO) is a provider of rich media communications technology for the enterprise. The company’s high-performance rich media presentation systems are trusted by Fortune 500 companies, education institutions and government agencies for a variety of critical communication needs. Sonic Foundry is based in Madison, Wis. For more information about Sonic Foundry, visit the company’s Web site at www.sonicfoundry.com.
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Penn State Dance Marathon 2005