Technical Information

Supreme Court Webcasts are streamed over the Internet using an automated recording system. Nine voice-activated cameras are used to capture the proceedings, and switch between speakers as appropriate. Seven of the cameras are focused on the seven justices, one camera is focused on the attorney podium, and one camera provides an overview image of the courtroom. Although the system does not require staff intervention when used in automatic mode, it can be switched to manual mode and fully controlled by Supreme Court staff in the courtroom.

The proceedings are captured and compressed via a Sony PCS- 1 video conferencing CODEC. This compressed audio and video is sent to a service provide over ISDN lines (digital phone lines) at a transmission rate of 512Kbps. The service provider converts the ISDN signal into a variable speed bit stream for use on the Internet. By sending a variable speed bit stream individuals can view the proceedings with either a high speed connection (cable or DSL modem) or low speed connection (dial-up modem) to the Internet.

A Windows Media Player is embedded into a Web page and begins streaming the audio and video automatically. Users do not need to download or install software in order to view the Webcast. An alternate link to the Webcast is also made available in the event that users are behind a firewall that does not permit Windows Media Player to be embedded for security reasons.

The Judiciary purchased video equipment and installation services from Jefferson Audio Video Systems Inc. (JAVS), a state-contracted vendor. For more information regarding this project, send an email to:

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