Helix Media Library User Group 2013

On Friday 29th November I headed down to London Metropolitan Uni for the annual Helix Media Library (HML) User Group meeting.

This was my 2nd trip to the User Group meeting, last year I was new in post and we were just getting started with the YSJ Media Library, this year I was invited to present on our progress so far.

First up on the day was Rob Thomas of Streaming Ltd, with the ‘Current Version Run Through (v2.5)‘ – for those who are new to the platform.

Next up was Rob (again), with the ‘Helix Technology Update‘. This included two exciting new products – Broadcaster & Webcaster:

  • Broadcaster – this is a live streaming solution, an all in one appliance (encoder & server) which accepts virtually any source input and produces to any output type. It can be used to broadcast TV, IP cameras, and live events (graduations, lectures, sports fixtures etc.), either local, or remote via a portable unit.
  • Webcaster – this is a live streaming software solution for presentations, it synchronises media sources in one steam for delivery to all devices. You can also include opportunities for interactivity, such as polls, quizzes etc.

Some of the other feature updates included improved performance via techy stuff (something about a flux capacitor which generates 1.21 gigawatts to support demand) & improved encoding & streaming which are more in line with modern devices and bandwidth availability etc.

The first user presentation was from Nuala Davis, who talked about how they use HML at Newcastle University:

Next up were Chris & Dave, from Streaming Ltd, who talked about ‘Third Party Integrations‘ including the Onelan Omniserver (an off-air TV recording solution) & Camtasia Relay.

Then Chris delivered a ‘Helix Media Library v3 Preview‘ – which including improved Moodle integration using a standard known as Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI).

The Moodle integration includes video as a submission type in assignment settings, allowing students to submit video privately & securely to Moodle for assessment, and for academics to provide video/audio feedback privately via the gradebook.

v3 also includes support for Camtasia Relay v4, auto orientation rotation for mobile uploads, direct iOS upload within Safari browser, private media areas, and Relay recordings go directly into personal categories! v3 is expected to be released in Jan ’14.

Then it was my turn to present on how we use Helix Media Library here at YSJ, here are the slides from my presentation:

My presentation was well received, and people were impressed with the range of use here at YSJ, especially some of the student-generated content.

Finally, Rob was up again with the ‘Product Roadmap’ – developments for HML include live streaming, JW Player 6 integration (which will allow in-line playlists, related videos, overlay text, and ability to change video quality on the fly), and webcam capture in browser Features listed for research & development include multi-file upload, image library, file cropping, load balancing, and auto captioning.

If you have any questions about the YSJ Media Library you can visit the TEL website, drop us an email at TEL@yorksj.ac.uk, or use the comments section below.


Phil Vincent

Phil’s focus is to work across Faculties to support the implementation of the Academic Strategy, and in particular contribute to the effective development and implementation of technology enhanced learning.

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