Challenge: The University of Stuttgart is one of the top nine leading technical universities in Germany (TU 9), accommodating over 27,000 students and 5,200 staff members. The university required a major modernisation of all the audio visual media technology across 63 lecture halls of its facilities. Part of the task was to implement a high-class streaming solution which could stream lectures to other halls within each area of the university, and students can even play back recordings of their lectures thanks the newly established video capture service.
Solution: The latest technology to leave Crestron headquarters has been implemented at the University of Stuttgart, spanning 63 lecture rooms across the city. Thanks to the latest Internet Protocol television (IPTV) technology, lectures can be streamed to other lecture halls across the campus network to create additional seats, or students can even play back recordings of their lectures thanks the newly established video capture service.
The project is the result of a collaboration between local experts in IT and AV technology, the cloud specialist and systems integrator, CANCOM, and Stuttgart-based AV Consultant and Specialist, Wireworx. The two companies were tasked with modernising and simplifying the technology in University of Stuttgart’s 63 lecture halls and auditoriums. This included the implementation of a video management platform which could be managed from a central and simplified control system.
Wireworx set to work planning the implementation strategy, creating CAD drawings, specifying and commissioning the AV technology required for the solution. Meanwhile, CANCOM was responsible for the whole project management, determining and programming all hardware, connecting devices and ensuring the smooth running of all specified AV technology, ensuring a robust IT and cloud-based service.
Wireworx identified Crestron technology as an ideal central control system solution, Crestron’s 3-Series® 4K DigitalMedia™ Presentation System and Fusion monitoring and management software was specified to implement a layer of intelligence to the university’s current system, turning the establishment into a high-performance enterprise.
Both companies were also tasked with answering the university’s need for a modern data management network that could transfer lecture content from one room to another on the campus, or allow students to play recorded lectures direct to their smart appliance or computer from anywhere in the world.
“We were brought on to this project as the general planning company, responsible for concept, planning, project management and commissioning of all relevant technology throughout the university.” says Jürgen Kössinger, Wireworx. “Due to the quantity of reliable systems needed, we knew that the one manufacturer that we could rely on for a robust and high quality system was Crestron. We have installed Crestron’s DigitalMedia and Fusion systems for other projects in the past and have always had an extremely positive reaction, so we knew that this technology would work, and it would work exceptionally well, even on such a large scale as was required here.”
Crestron’s Fusion technology enables a remote help desk, global device management, and data collection and reporting. Working alongside video management platform Opencast2, combined with the learning platform ILIAS, students are now able to play recorded lectures directly to their smart devices. Lectures can also be streamed live to other lecture halls within each area of the university to create additional seating space for students.
Wireworx planned for Crestron control systems to work directly with the university’s existing lecture recording system which uses “Opencast Matterhorn” as a video server and the university’s own “TIKCA” capture agent to record incoming video streams. As such, all finished recordings are now accessible on ILIAS, an e-learning platform for its students.
This modernised system now allows for multicast video streams from the lecture halls directly to the capture agents, eliminating the need for video cables. This new hardware is used to stream video content across the university in two ways; firstly to the capture agents for recorded content which could be later viewed, and also to stream directly to other lecture halls. As a result, the university can now disperse lectures with a high attendance across two halls.
Not only is multi-streaming and content capturing now possible, but a central control centre for full media access has also been established. Wireworx and the University of Stuttgart created a concept to create different VLAN’s, meaning all devices belonged to their own network and would therefore be accessible across all campuses. Crestron’s DMPS control systems has been incorporated across all lecture rooms alongside its DigitalMedia senders and receivers to easily connect projectors and other devices. Using HDbT technology, electrician and other tradesman can now pull a predefined amount of cables into each lecture hall and use them to either send DM signals from one device to another, or to be used as standard LAN cables for network connection.
The university provided a VPN server to both Wireworx and CANCOM, enabling the remote support of all media technology and Crestron systems, allowing them to be monitored and adjusted remotely, saving valuable time and resources for the university.
“Crestron’s technology has proved beneficial to the both staff and students, but it has also made our lives a lot easier,” says Stefan Renz, CANCOM. “If, for example, a beamer in a lecture theatre fails, the problem can be solved independently of the location. As a result, we can solve technical problems from anywhere in the world, and immediately. This saves valuable time for both CANCOM and for the university. I have no doubt that the result of the comprehensive modernisation of the media infrastructure that has been provided by Crestron will position the University of Stuttgart as one of the most advanced in Europe”.
“As a leading research University, we demand to be exceptional not only in the fields of teaching but also in the overall environment and learning conditions for our students,” explains p.p. Beatrix Kopahnke, Architect at the University Stuttgart. “One very important feature for this project is the modernisation and sophistication of the AV media technology. The renewal had to follow the latest developments and highest-standards in technology which has certainly been achieved, especially in the establishment of a central control room which was mandatory for this project.”
This extensive and impressive project, which combined the expertise of both CANCOM and Wireworx to implement Crestron’s latest education technology, was recognised in the Crestron Integration Awards 2017 as the Best Education Project. According to the judging panel, this project was impressive, not only in its sophistication, but also in its sheer scale.
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