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Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission webcasts hearing regarding Duke Energy

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) met yesterday to discuss the construction of a new mega power plant in Edwardsport, IN. Duke Energy took the stand to discuss the its role in the construction and defend its inability to stay under the initial budget forecast of 1.6 billion dollars in a construction effort that is now forecast to necessitate more than 2.8 billion dollars to finish. The reason why this topic is important in the technology realm is the meeting being webcast to interested parties across the state of Indiana and the nation.

Using a company by the name of IHETS, a technology firm based in Indianapolis that specializes in technology hosting and consulting, the IURC was able to reach more individuals than their 60 seat committee room could handle. Two cameras and a Windows Media Encoder later, IHETS distributed the live feed through their Windows Media Distribution Network to an estimated 200 internet viewers, pushing a fair quality 400 kilobit per second (kbps) stream at 320x240 video size. When asked about the reasoning behind these particular video specifications, the technician on-site stated that with a single bit rate stream, IHETS attempts to cater to the gamut of consumers, especially when dealing with state matters. "When broadband connections like a 768k DSL connection are being used by a fair number of viewers, anything above 500kbps could overtax the user's allotted bandwidth to the point of stream failure, which is not acceptable when the information is this important."

IHETS uses a computer with specialty inputs called a Tricaster by NewTek to connect their users to the content. The Tricaster is able to stream in windows media or flash video, both of which IHETS can distribute from their data center in downtown Indianapolis. The Tricaster can also save compressed and uncompressed versions of the video from post-production editing and archival presentations. The archive from yesterday's commission hearings is available now via the IURC website for further viewing.