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VBrick Systems Streams Live Titanic Footage with TI's High-Performance DSP

Networked Video Appliances Bring New Images of the Titanic to Light

Jun 7, 2004

HOUSTON and WOODS HOLE, MA (June 8, 2004) – Demonstrating the full potential of streaming video technology, students and researchers around the world can now follow Dr. Robert Ballard´s return expedition to the Titanic with VBrick Systems´ technology, June 4-9, 2004. Using the power of the Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) high-performance TMS320C6203 digital signal processor, VBrick Systems enables live and on-demand MPEG-4 video footage to be compressed and streamed to the Internet in real-time on www.explorethesea.com.

"Through our involvement with The Immersion Project it is possible to bring new educational experiences to settings, such as camps and Boys and Girls Clubs," said Rich Mavrogeanes, founder and chief technology officer, VBrick Systems. "It is a testimony to how innovations in technology are enriching educational opportunities for students around the world."

The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912, and sank 2-1/2 hours later, taking 1,523 passengers and crew with her to the bottom. On this voyage, Ballard will be examining how the wreck has withstood both natural changes and human exploration since he first discovered and mapped it in 1985.

The EtherneTV Media Distribution System is the world´s first complete system for the delivery of live and stored television over IP networks to both desktops and TVs. Based on ISO MPEG industry standards and comprised of integrated VBrick video components controlled by an intuitive user interface, EtherneTV makes it easy to manage and distribute live or recorded video to and from any classroom, boardroom or office.

EtherneTV includes the award-winning VBXcast MPEG-4 appliance based on TI´s TMS320C6203 digital signal processor, which delivers the cost-effective performance VBrick needs to achieve the real-time, MPEG-4 compression that is critical for streaming applications. By using TI´s programmable DSPs and Code ComposerStudio™ Integrated Development Environment, new digital media codecs can be added to the system as they evolve without having to change the existing hardware, thus enabling VBrick Systems to upgrade its product without having to start from scratch. This is in stark contrast to using custom-designed voice and video chips which are not upgradeable but rather have hard-wired functionality embedded in silicon, requiring a new chipset to implement new technology requirements.

The Immersion Project is offering an array of entertaining and educational activities about the Titanic expedition. These include:

  • Live, 20-minute broadcasts using expedition and historic footage that will go to schools, museums, aquariums, zoos and other exhibit-based institutions.
  • A series of 12 activities and an introductory DVD closely tied to the expedition, designed to help children have fun while attaining new knowledge about math, geography and building scientific concepts.
  • After the expedition, the activities and footage will be specially adapted to a self-directed, fun and educational DVD that children can use in after-school programs, camps or classrooms to encourage a long-term interest in science.
  • A long-term, gated Web site about the expedition and local groups will be encouraged to develop their own Web sites to link to the national one. Here children will have the chance to continue talking with researchers, following the results of their work long after the expedition is over.