The Medical University, a forward thinking graduate and professional school, many years ago saw the usefulness and eventual requirement to capture audio and video of lectures, lab procedures, and other educational demonstrations. As the college has grown, the media resources team recognized the quantity of requests for recorded sessions were soon going to outpace the team’s ability to keep up. After an internal discovery process, the decision was to either hire more people, or come up with a solution that would allow the existing team members to manage the ever increasing requirements. The University turned to Level 3 Audio Visual (L3AV) to assist in developing a vision for a centrally located and managed recording and ingest ecosystem that would connect the various lecture halls, classrooms, and labs across the campus via dedicated fiber optics.
The system must be able to simultaneously ingest the broadcast quality combined HD video and audio feeds from the various education spaces around the campus – 18 locations to start – all connected with fiber optics. The system must allow for scheduling of the planned and requested recordings as far into the future as the university had scheduling requests for. The system must be able to insert metadata with the media thus creating an indexable and searchable library of content that contains standard taxonomies used for content grouping and organization. The system must allow for fast access to recorded content by multiple post production editors with the ability to quickly push final product through transcoding profiles to the university’s online content hosting platform. Most importantly, it needed to be relatively easy to use and able to be managed with the existing team.
L3AV quickly began planning for what was to become a 4 year evolution of the university’s vision for their central recording suite of capabilities. Through a detailed design discovery process, we realized that the university had several critical requirements of the system that did not exist with the currently available recording hardware and software solutions. L3AV turned to longtime partner Sony Electronics, the leader in broadcast and production technologies to assist with creating a solution that would fit the various needs and wants of the University.
The system is comprised of many components working together to make a single coherent system. The signals start in the various lecture halls and labs around the campus. The connected rooms are feeding an HD-SDI video and embedded audio signal via through dedicated fiber optics to a centralized location on campus allowing for the content and audio being presented to also be ingested. Each feed is connected directly to hybrid router that can handle both COAX and FIBER HDSDI signals. The router outputs are connected to a Sony Media Backbone Production System (MBPS) along with a large multi-viewer to power the control room monitoring system. Additionally, there are fiber outputs connected all the way back to the lecture halls to allow for overflow and simulcast capabilities across campus. A single event in a lab can be live broadcasted to any lecture hall on campus at the push of a button.
The Sony Media Backbone Production System (MBPS) handles the scheduling of recordings, content management, editing, transcoding, storage, archival and delivery to the university’s online video platform as required. Utilizing multiple workstations to interface with the MBPS platform, the operator(s) can schedule upcoming ingests, crash record a one off event, and closely monitor the workflow of a single job at any point in the post production process. With an HD mulitviewer monitoring solution, the central control room allows a single operator a comprehensive overview of what is coming in from any room that is connected to the system.