|Like many Canadian universities, the University of Manitoba has multiple campuses, separated in some cases by several kilometres, which can make life difficult for time-strapped students and professors trying to rush across town from a class at one campus to a class at another campus.|
The university’s Bannatyne campus, located in downtown Winnipeg, simplified life for its health sciences students by setting up a videoconferencing link between the Bannatyne campus and the St. Boniface General Hospital, located approximately seven kilometres away.
Using Sony cameras and switchers, students in one campus are able to watch and participate in live classes at the other campus.
“Because we’re a medical facility we wanted equipment that gave us excellent resolution,” said Gabrielle Bartsch, assistant director for the Bannatyne Information Technology Group at the university. “We tested various products and the Sony cameras performed the best. The pricing was also reasonable, making Sony an easy choice for us.”
The university’s videoconferencing solution includes a Sony PCS-G70N 4Mbps videoconferencing system with a communication terminal, data solution box and camera and two Sony Anycast switchers, which the school uses for live events and studio recordings in addition to video streaming. Three BRC-300 pan/tilt/zoom cameras in each classroom serve up high quality images to the students.
The Anycast systems are ideal, because they can easily be moved to any location where the university needs to broadcast, Bartsch said.
In addition to inter-campus videoconference links, the university sends a one-way video feed to Manitoba Telehealth, allowing medical professionals across the province to view and learn from educational presentations at the school.
“The videoconferencing technology really helps us extend our reach,” Bartsch said. “We’re able to keep medical professionals across Manitoba up-to-date.”
The university has been using its Sony videoconferencing equipment for approximately three years and the school’s been very pleased with the performance. Sony and Sony partner Advance Pro have both provided excellent support, Bartsch said.
“They always bring in their latest equipment to let us test it,” she noted. “And if something isn’t working, they always get a replacement unit out to us until ours is fixed.”
While the university has been using Sony IP videoconferencing equipment for about three years, it’s been a Sony customer for much longer – more than 20 years. The university relies on Sony broadcast cameras and projectors in addition to its Sony videoconferencing equipment.
The school’s media production department uses a range of Sony cameras to produce special events and conferences for the university’s staff. The department’s equipment includes a Sony XDCAM PDW-F355, a DSR-400K camcorder, a DXC-D50H video camera and a DXC-990 video camera.
“When you’ve had a supplier for more than 20 years, it’s a sign of a great relationship,” Bartsch says. “This longstanding partnership is a testament to Sony’s exceptional service and support and its comprehensive solutions addressing our diverse needs.”