DELTA already had dedicated fiber runs linking their centralized operations center located in Ricks Hall Annex with six other buildings on the main campus and two additional buildings located up to 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles) away on their Centennial Campus. Fiber links were being used simply as single-mode, point-to-point connections, providing the capacity for just four video signals per classroom transmitted back to the operations center.
In addition to replacing systems that were beyond end of life, it was important to DELTA to provide much greater capacity if it was to meet its commitment to the wider university community for high-quality educational media supporting distance learning in an efficient, effective and service-oriented environment. For the year 2018-2019, this included more than 130 live courses and greater than 7,000 hours of classroom recordings, to support almost 50,000 students enrolled in online and distance learning courses.
The new system uses just 16 fibers to provide extensive networked capability, leaving 20 strands from the original installation free for future expansion. By taking a networked IP approach, the new system gave the DELTA team the capability of 32 x 32 HD signals from each remote building. This is achieved thanks to bidirectional 100 gigabit ethernet capacity across the fiber network.
Users can control and manage the entire network from a single point of contact, using Imagine Communications’ Magellan SDN Orchestrator, a field-proven software control layer. Each production area can design its own monitor wall, using Imagine’s EPIC MV multiviewers under the control of a Crestron GUI. EPIC MV is a highly scalable solution for probing IP streams and monitoring mixed signal types on a single canvas, while offering mission-critical system visibility across compressed and uncompressed IP workflows, and is an integral part of the monitoring solution at NC State. The Cisco Nexus 9336 router supports up to 7 terabytes a second to ensure there are no data bottlenecks.
Critical to the success of the system at NC State is the Imagine Selenio Network Processor (SNP), providing the gateway functionality between legacy SDI equipment and the IP world, as well as signal processing and networked video synchronization. This is a powerful and flexible FPGA-powered, software-defined device. Each 1RU SNP has 32 channels of HD processing, giving system architects the combination of complete flexibility and remarkable power in a very small footprint. The SNPs at NC State connect to the Cisco Nexus infrastructure via 10-kilometer transceivers capable of simultaneous 100 Gigabit by 100 Gigabit traffic within just two single-mode fiber strands.