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Panama Canal Documents Historic Expansion

Canal ExpansionPLANO, Texas, Oct 01, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- ViewCast Solutions to Stream Video from Massive Construction Project and Enable Training, Richer Employee Communication. As the Panama Canal Authority (Autoridad del Canal de Panama, or ACP) proceeds with its $5.25 billion, seven-year canal expansion project, solutions from ViewCast Corporation will play an important role in historical documentation and public information. The ACP has chosen ViewCast's Niagara(R) 7224 video encoding system to enable Web streaming of a wide variety of live and on-demand programming related to the expansion project, and to provide training for the ACP's 9,000-plus employees. "Technology has come a long way since the building of the original canal, when we were only left with still photography and a small amount of film footage to document the event," said Edwin Reina, chief information officer for the ACP. "Thanks to the advanced streaming technology provided by ViewCast, we'll be able to deliver a wealth of content to our Web site to keep the public updated on the progress of the project, and to ensure that this monumental and historical event is recorded for posterity." (more)

The ACP is a longtime user of ViewCast products. For a number of years, the organization has used ViewCast Osprey(R)-100 video capture cards to capture webcam images of vessels traveling through the Canal's three sets of locks. Still in use, the system provides updated images to the ACP Web site every 10 seconds.

Now, the ACP has implemented the ViewCast Niagara 7224 video encoding solution to deliver educational programming on the progress of the expansion project to the Canal Web site, including streaming live video from multiple construction sites. Since the Niagara 7224 provides eight separate channels, Canal personnel will also be able to use the system for a variety of other streaming applications, such as webcast training programs for ACP employees working throughout the Isthmus of Panama. The system will also be used for webcasting presentations from the ACP CEO, and to stream a television program providing weekly information updates on the Panama Canal to the ACP Web site.

"Based on our previous experience with ViewCast streaming equipment, we knew the Niagara 7224 would provide the reliability and high performance we needed -- and the system's multi-channel configuration makes it extremely versatile for a wide range of uses," said Reina. "Right at the beginning, the system showed off its ease-of-use by enabling us to stream a CEO presentation at the last minute, quickly and easily."

"As the ACP has shown, streaming technology can go a long way towards increasing public knowledge and building enthusiasm for large-scale public works projects and facilitating general communications," said Dave Stoner, president and chief executive officer of ViewCast. "We're excited that the Niagara 7224 and our Osprey cards are playing such a key role in this historic, world-changing event."

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