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Case Study: Norway’s largest university scales Panopto-powered lecture capture with Pearl Mini

Epiphan Pearl Mini at Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) wanted to upgrade and expand its lecture capture infrastructure to include more classrooms. The school needed a trusted video capture hardware solution to work well with its already deployed video content management system (CMS), Panopto. 

This blog looks at how NTNU found this and more in Epiphan Pearl Mini, a reliable hardware encoder featuring seamless Panopto integration.

The challenge: Scaling video capture in an established Panopto environment

NTNU is Norway’s largest university, with over 9,000 employees and 42,000 students across three campuses. In 2019, NTNU’s senior IT engineer, Magnus Lian, faced no small task: equip over 700 rooms for lecture capture.

Fortunately, Lian wasn’t starting from scratch. The school had an existing lecture capture infrastructure, with a few rooms outfitted for recording. Unfortunately, while the deployed CMS and LMS served the school well, the software-based video capture solution wasn’t efficient or reliable. 

The PC-based software required constant hardware updates to work efficiently, which meant frequent financial investments. Even still, the software would occasionally crash, costing teachers their recorded video content. It was time for an upgrade.

After testing various video capture solutions, it became apparent that dedicated hardware was the best way forward for NTNU, offering superior reliability over software-based solutions. So Lian began his search for a hardware solution that would work well with Panopto, the school’s existing CMS.

 The solution: Pearl Mini’s rock-solid performance and direct Panopto integration

NTNU has so far equipped over 100 rooms with Pearl Mini hardware encoders for lecture capture. Depending on the room, Pearl Mini captures two or three video sources: an SDI camera source and a single or dual HDMI projector source. It also captures audio from the teacher’s lav mic or a desktop microphone via XLR.

The IT team set up Pearl Mini to encode each source as a separate channel, sending individual 1080p RTMP streams to Panopto. This way, students can access HD ISO recordings of each video source and switch between them in Panopto as needed.


Lian’s team schedules lecture recordings through Panopto to begin automatically when class starts. The teachers don’t have to press any buttons; they mic up and start teaching. Pearl Mini also records locally as a backup.

The setup includes tools that help teachers monitor the recording. Set up on every lectern, a confidence monitor displays each video source separately. The MultiViewer feature allows Lian’s team to output individual sources from Pearl Mini directly to the in-room display. 

Additionally, each lecture room features a busy light that automatically turns red whenever recording is in progress, helping the institution comply with requirements set out in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The team uses the Kuando Busylight UC Omega, which connects directly to Pearl Mini’s USB port. 

The results: A flexible, easy-to-use lecture capture solution

Pearl Mini proved the perfect Panopto-integrated hardware encoder for NTNU’s lecture capture needs, introducing a host of benefits that staff and faculty appreciate.

  • Peace of mind for the IT team
    With a proven reliability record and consistent firmware updates from Epiphan, Lian knows his Pearl devices will keep serving NTNU for years with no recurring costs and no need for costly hardware updates.
  • Easy for teachers to use
  • With automatic recording made possible by Pearl Mini’s Panopto integration, all teachers must do is come into the room and start teaching. With convenient source monitoring right in front of them, teachers can be confident their students will receive the right video material.

  • Less legwork for technicians
  • Pearl’s remote login feature allows the IT team at NTNU to access all settings on any unit on the network. Remote access saves staff the effort of reviewing each device for configuration and troubleshooting.

  • EU GDPR recording compliance
  • It’s easy to connect a USB status light directly to Pearl to let the teachers and students know that streaming or recording is underway. This helps NTNU stay compliant with the EU GDPR on video recording signalling.

“The Pearls and Panopto are a perfect fit. This is an easy, scalable, and powerful solution that will give you everything you need for lecture capture on a large scale.” Magnus Lian, Senior Engineer, NTNU

The lecture capture solutions your school deserves

Pearl Mini image, integration with Panopto, Kaltura and YuJa

Pearl Mini transforms video capabilities across your campus, enabling seamless recording and live streaming for lecture capture, one-button studios, events, and new media applications such as podcast and e-gaming studios.

eBook download: live video production

*This blog is extracted from Epiphan Video.

About Epiphan Video

 Epiphan Video provides award-winning, purpose-built hardware solutions that help your business create impactful video content. 

The Epiphan Pearl range of hardware encoders is the ultimate system for maximum versatility with multi-encoding, multi-streaming, recording, custom layouts, switching, and more. It is ideal for live event production, enterprise communication or lecture capture in higher education.

AP Tech is the authorised Australian distributor of Epiphan Video products. Every Epiphan solution from AP Tech is backed by local warranty and support.

A. P. Technologies Pty Ltd, Andrew Paton January 21, 2024
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