NDI Drives Cranfield’s University Hybrid Learning 

Based in the South East of England, Cranfield University has invested in NDI connectivity technology as part of a new production infrastructure designed to deliver professional-looking online broadcasts for students. 


Located 80km north of London, Cranfield University is a leading post-graduate university specialising in science, engineering, design, technology and management. Like many other academic facilities, Cranfield’s use of online teaching has increased markedly in recent years, leading to the conclusion that the existing live video streaming environment was no longer fit for purpose. 

After careful evaluation of the available solutions that could provide the necessary uplift in video streaming quality, the team decided to invest in NDI and NewTek’s TriCaster video production system to provide the core of the new infrastructure. 


The solution now being used by Cranfield academics revolves around NDI as the single technology for the interconnected production environment, allowing anyone to share real-time, ultra-low latency video over the school’s exisiting IP video network and TriCaster managing and controlling the full array of production equipment.  
“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,” says 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.” 

Initially, the Cranfield team used a TriCaster Mini 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. But to increased demand and the highly enthusiastic reaction to the new production environment, the university team has now upgraded to NewTek’s premium TriCaster 2 Elite, which provides extra functionality and capabilities. 


The completed installation has been positively received by students and staff, including Dr. Thompson. This increase in video quality and online learning experience is even opening up new opportunities for Cranfield to market their remote education courses. 

“Just switching your camera ‘on’ is no longer sufficient: what’s shown must look professional if students are to take your online efforts seriously,” he says. “By embracing NDI  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.” 

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