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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.