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Matrox and Kaltura modernises university lecture capture

Indiana University has replaced its lecture capture systems selecting Matrox Monarch LCS appliances and the Kaltura lecture capture software and video platform in order to keep up with modern changes in education.

Founded in 1820, Indiana University is a top public institution with eight campuses state-wide, students exceeding 114,000, more than 20,000 faculty and staff members, and over 600 classes. For the last five years, the university has used hardware and PC-based software lecture capture systems to cover these classes. The systems were proprietary, difficult to operate and maintain, expensive (hence not every room was equipped for lecture capture), did not have media management, and lacked the ability to allow other video content to be integrated into their environment.

The university decided to replace the lecture capture systems and was looking to build a low-cost, end-to-end solution that had a holistic view of the needs of the different users. The administrators wanted easy-to-use, interoperable systems that required least maintenance efforts; the professors wanted to focus on teaching with minimal interaction with the systems; and the students wanted to access lectures to learn anytime, anywhere. The university’s main goal was to have lecture capture in every classroom, while having a centralised video management system that was both flexible and scalable to keep up with future needs.

First evaluating video management systems, they decided on Kaltura with its Open Capture standard support, better media management, and wide destination options.

With the Kaltura video platform in place for the past three years, the next step was to find a compatible encoder to replace the previous hardware-based lecture capture systems. Typically, the university uses appliances for capturing lectures in large and complex classes (with 70 to 300 students) as well as auditoriums. These classes require multiple-source capture, higher quality of videos, and reliability that only an appliance could provide. Indiana University tested nine different solutions before choosing the Matrox Monarch LCS H.264 encoder.

By integrating Monarch LCS’s scheduling feature into the Kaltura video platform, interaction from the professor or operator is eliminated. The Monarch LCS-Kaltura integration ties them together in constant communication.

The lectures’ in-room camera and the lecture content are captured with the Monarch LCS in dual-isolated mode. This enables, through the Kaltura multi-stream player, several dynamic viewing options such as picture-in-picture and side-by-side during the playback of the material while maintaining perfectly synced audio and video.

After the lectures are recorded (either locally to an SD card or USB attached storage), the Monarch LCS transfers the files over the network to Kaltura, at a later suitable time, eliminating the risk of network congestion.

James Scott McGookey, manager, collaboration technologies at Indiana University commented: “Matrox Monarch LCS gives us the dual-input lecture capture we need in many of our classrooms. The affordable Monarch LCS is small enough to fit in our lecterns with little fuss and records automatically so our faculty don’t have to worry about starting and stopping the process. Matrox’s Kaltura integration has been a key differentiator for Indiana University. Having lecture capture integrated with our institutional video management solution has driven adoption significantly.”