North Carolina (NC) State University has transformed its live course production capabilities with a networked video infrastructure, based on the SMPTE ST 2110 standard for connectivity, around its campuses in Raleigh, N.C. Technology from Imagine Communications is at the heart of NC State DELTA (Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications) providing a quantum leap in capacity and operational efficiency.
DELTA already had dedicated fiber runs linking their centralized operations center located in Ricks Hall Annex with six other buildings on the main campus and two additional buildings located up to 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles) away on their Centennial Campus. Fiber links were being used simply as single-mode, point-to-point connections, providing the capacity for just four video signals per classroom transmitted back to the operations center. In addition to replacing systems that were beyond end of life, it was important to DELTA to provide much greater capacity if it was to meet its commitment to the wider university community for high-quality educational media supporting distance learning in an efficient, effective and service-oriented environment. For the year 2018-2019, this included more than 130 live courses and greater than 7,000 hours of classroom recordings, to support almost 50,000 students enrolled in online and distance learning courses.
The new system uses just 16 fibers to provide extensive networked capability, leaving 20 strands from the original installation free for future expansion. By taking a networked IP approach, the new system gave the DELTA team the capability of 32 x 32 HD signals from each remote building. This is achieved thanks to bidirectional 100 gigabit ethernet capacity across the fiber network.