Discovery Education announced that content from Planet Earth, the high-definition television series The Discovery Channel co-produced with the British Broadcasting Co., will be featured on Discovery’s unitedstreaming Plus and Science Connection video-on-demand services. The critically acclaimed, 11-part series, which took five years to produce and includes footage from more than 200 countries, will be available to schools by subscription. Educators using unitedstreaming Plus and Science Connection will be able to access Planet Earth videos on such topics as Borneo’s rain forests, the Himalayas, deserts, and the ocean depths. Subscribers also will receive related resources for teachers, including guides, writing prompts, and posters. The introduction of unitedstreaming Plus, building on Discovery’s existing unitedstreaming services, will enable users to access thousands of newly added full-length videos, thousands of additional audio resources, some 20,000 photographs, and more than 27,000 reference articles, Discovery said. In addition, the company announced it plans to provide its unitedstreaming service to all K-12 schools in 18 of the 20 Texas Regional Education Service Centers through the 2011-12 school year.

Library Video Company introduced SAFARI Montage Live!, a web-based videoconferencing-on-demand tool that connects users at their desktops or laptops via the internet. The company also unveiled a statewide digital media management solution called the EdCast Network, as well as a new product called Selective Video Streaming (SVS), software that serves as a single user interface for streamed digital content. The product integrates live video from pre-selected cable TV channels, live video from digital cameras (such as daily school news broadcasts or other live events), and pre-selected internet URLs with video appropriate for the classroom. “What makes SAFARI Montage SVS so valuable to schools is the control. It allows district administrators to manage which video streams are accessible to students, ensuring that only appropriate content reaches the classroom and that bandwidth consumption is managed,” said Tim Beekman, president of SAFARI Video Networks, a division of Library Video Company. “In many cases, SVS eliminates the need for set-top boxes in the classrooms, making this option incredibly cost-effective.”

New Dimension Media debuted new features to its CCC! Video On Demand product, including an emergency-planning tool that can be accessed remotely to notify parents and students of school closures; access to outside syndicated content that can be accessed via an RSS feed; and Classroom Live, a tool that allows homebound students, or other students who cannot be present in the classroom, to continue their education.

VBrick Systems promoted its theme of “knowledge through video.” The company described its solutions and their capabilities using four key words: “Live,” meaning schools can use VBrick solutions to stream live video of any subject; “Store,” meaning videos can be archived and called up at any time through an IP network; “Portal,” in that VBrick provides a portal server through which users can access live video feeds or on-demand audio and video assets; and “Display,” allowing teachers to show video resources quickly and easily.