NDI, NewTek Team up to Power Hybrid Learning for Cranfield University

Two smiling women sit on couches conducting an interview with six people on a videoconference call thanks to NDI and the NewTek TriCaster,
(Image credit: Cranfield University)

Cranfield University has chosen the NewTek TriCaster (opens in new tab) video production system and NDI to deliver professional quality live online classes. 

With NDI as the single interconnected production environment and TriCaster managing and controlling the range of production equipment, together the technology formed the perfect solution to help Cranfield University deliver professional-looking live, online broadcasts for students.  

NewTek has been working to support education institutions with innovative solutions for decades, bringing to market a range of products for livestream production. “With many students preferring online learning, education institutions today have an opportunity to modernize its approach to creating and delivering classes in a hybrid manner,” stated Barbara Spicek, president and general manager, NewTek. “At NewTek, we are dedicated to creating solutions that not only help to streamline production set ups, but also help futureproof production capabilities.”   

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Online learning focused   

Based 80 kilometers north of London, England, Cranfield University educates leaders in technology and management, and is the largest UK provider of master's-level graduates in engineering. Cranfield was relying on standard live video streaming products and laptop cameras to deliver its online lessons, but due to poor video quality, it researched new solutions to update its infrastructure and live streaming capabilities. Today, Cranfield University academics are delivering professional quality live online classes thanks to both NDI and the NewTek TriCaster video production system.  

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NDI at the Foundation  

NDI is a high-performance audio/video standard that allows anyone to use real time, ultra-low latency video on existing IP video network. Designed to make IP-based production technology available to all, NDI creates a single, interconnected production environment to connect any device across campus to transmit live video over IP networks.   

“When scoping the studio-build, we ran with the vision to live-stream to the whole campus, and looked around for technology to enable this,” said Dr. Toby Thompson, studio director of Cranfield University broadcast and record. “NDI technology was the obvious contender due to its cost-effectiveness from multiple campus locations, as well as its ease of use.” 

Live Stream Production Managed by NewTek  

Cranfield started out with a TriCaster Mini and used it with NewTek TalkShow VS 4000, which is a multi-channel video calling system designed to simultaneously connect up to four remote guests in real time. Due to increased demand and success of the production studio, the University team now opted to upgrade to NewTek’s premium TriCaster 2 Elite, which provides greater functionality and capabilities.    

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“Just switching your camera 'on' is no longer sufficient: what's shown must look professional if students are to take your online efforts seriously,” added Thompson. “By embracing the NDI and TriCaster approach we've delivered technical innovations in line with Cranfield University's technology mission; we've launched a new professional standard for live-online video production; and we've built the foundation of a new revenue stream for live online education at Cranfield.”  

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.