Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU) Harnesses AV over IP to Transform Teaching Experience
With 40,000 students, the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU) is Norway’s largest university and its premier institution for educating engineers. As an institution, it practices what it preaches. It not only teaches technology but also uses it dynamically and creatively in its teaching environment. It saw the opening of a new building as a great opportunity to rethink the teaching experience. The University wanted to enhance the student’s learning experience and improve the flexibility of teaching by creating a fully interconnected AV suite of lecture rooms and teaching laboratories. The vision was to enable collaboration not only between the teaching spaces on each campus but also between campuses. This involved sharing high-quality content in real time.
3D Virtual Tour of the NTNU Facility
The NTNU main campus is in Kalvskinnet, Trondheim, and it has additional campuses at Gjøvik and Ålesund which are 40 and 30 miles away respectively. NTNU has ambitious expansion plans and opened Akrinn, a new building for technology education at Kalvskinnet in January. Further new buildings are planned at all three campuses. Creating the initial tender for the AV system was shared between multiple departments in the University, and the IT department was involved in assessing bidders. The project was ultimately given to the University’s IT department to manage.
Norwegian System Integrator ATEA was given the opportunity to bid for the project. Christian Brondbo led the successful bid team and describes how they saw the challenge. “The University requirement was for the distribution of uncompressed 4K need for pixel-for-pixel accuracy with very low latency between all twelve lecture rooms in the Akrinn building as well as other teaching spaces such as workshops and laboratories. NTNU already used Skype for Business to interconnect its campuses, so the solution we provided needed to be compatible with that.
We saw immediately that an IP based solution was the right approach yet the network backbone at the site was just 1Gbps.We would need 10Gbps to support uncompressed 4K so there was no question that a dedicated network would be required.”
By specifying ZeeVee ZyPer hardware, ATEA was able to build the network using standard Ethernet components, the foundation of the Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE) platform. NTNU’s IT department is very used to working with and managing these technologies, Brondbo commented, “We already have a relationship with the University IT department, and understood the technology and the approach that they are comfortable with.”
Using 240 ZeeVee ZyPer 4K encoders and decoders, ATEA has created Europe’s largest AV over IP network. Each of the lecture rooms and classrooms in the Akrinn building is connected to a state of the art video distribution system that transmits uncompressed 4K and UHD content over an Ethernet network with zero latency. The 12 lecture theatres on the site are equipped with cameras and screens, allowing content to be shared between them instantly and at will. The workshops and teaching laboratories on the site are similarly interconnected.