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Overview

Cost estimates for TTU Distance/VTC classrooms

Historically, distance/VTC classrooms have included costly, esoteric equipment, such as hardware VTC codec appliances and multiple built-in cameras, microphones and screens, which significantly increase the rooms' cost and complexity (from both end-user and support perspectives). After years of experience in both implementing and supporting these configurations, ITS no longer recommends the use of hardware-based, h.323 VTC solutions in classrooms. Instead, we recommend adding just a few inexpensive hardware components to an existing, standards-based multimedia classroom to enable PC software-based VTC, either through Zoom--the campus-provided free-to-end-users VTC software–or any other similar, approved software package.

Additionally, distance learning scenarios often use the room cameras to capture whiteboard instruction, which tends to have poor visibility for remote students, so ITS recommends using a pen-enabled display with virtual whiteboard software, such as Microsoft's OneNote, instead. This will present the same clear, legible text to local students via the classroom display(s) and to remote students through the VTC software's screen-sharing capability, while providing the added advantage of easy capture, storage and distribution for both cohorts.

Additional* Equipment and Costs (these prices all vary by model and availability)

1 or more Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras with USB extender

$1,500.00-$3,000.00 each

High-Quality Microphones for Teaching Station and Audience

$100.00-$2,000.00 each

Optional Equipment

Pen-enabled monitor for virtual whiteboard

$1,500.00-$3,000.00

USB Audio DSP$2,000.00-$4,000.00
Room Microphones$300.00-$1,000.00 each
Installation and Room Control Programming$1,000.00-$4,000.00

Additional* Cost Estimate: $2,000.00-$15,000.00+

*beyond standard multimedia classroom costs

Pros:

Flexible and (relatively) inexpensive

Simple to use (i.e., no complicated additions to room control system required)

Cons:

Not as deeply integrated into the room control systems compared with traditional, costlier hardware solutions

Ideal Applications:

Rooms that will be used for distance education on a regular basis. For rooms that only need occasional distance capabilities, your departmental ITS representative can recommend a number of tailored, low-cost, non-permanent solutions.

Examples at TTU

Johnson Hall 103

Bruner Hall 405

To determine whether this option is a good fit for your room and resources, contact your departmental ITS representative

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