Florida International University (FIU) has installed Matrox’s Monarch HD encoder in the Pit, an open forum that hosts more than 500 events yearly.

Monarch HD streams FIU’s events to Facebook Live

The installation of Matrox’s Monarch AVC/H.264 encoders has enabled remote students to participate in on-campus activities

Serving a diverse student body of nearly 54,000 students, Florida International University (FIU) is spread across two main campuses and other locations in Miami.

Centrally located at the heart of the Graham Centre in the Modesto A. Maidique Campus (MMC) is the Pit, an open forum where students groups meet, announcements are made, and events such as homecoming reveals and pep rallies are held. Known on campus as the “home away from home”, the Pit hosts more than 500 events yearly.

Recent renovations to the MMC, which includes modernising the Pit, saw the installation of a new array of speakers, a 3×3 video wall, as well as LED lighting that were integrated into the venue. While the remodelling created a “lively and engaging” atmosphere, FIU wanted to provide a similar experience to students who missed out on the events due to the university’s large campus.

For this project, FIU tasked Audio Reinforcement Technologies (A.R.T.), a lighting, video and control systems contractor, to provide a solution that would allow remote students to view events happening on campus.

Paul Bell, vice-president at A.R.T., determined that streaming would be an effective approach, and required an encoder that can be integrated into FIU’s existing Crestron infrastructure. In addition, the encoder has to support the delivery of RTMP (real-time messaging protocol) streams into FIU’s existing content delivery network (CDN), Wowza Cloud.

Bell explained: “As a certified Crestron integrator, I was already interested in Monarch HD due to its Crestron control module. Wowza then recommended Monarch encoders as compatible hardware.”
The Pit is equipped with an HD camera that captures an overall shot of the audiences and performers. The camera feeds are transmitted to a Crestron DM matrix switcher, which is connected to Matrox’s Monarch appliance via HDMI.

The RTMP streams are then transmitted via the Monarch HD to Wowza Cloud, where it connects, transcodes and delivers webcasts to Facebook Live and a designated page on the school’s website where viewers can watch.

Following a successful deployment of Monarch HD, FIU has further purchased several Matrox’s Monarch HDX dual-channel AVC/H.264 encoder appliances, which are being installed in various classrooms across the campus.

According to Matrox, FIU and A.R.T. plan to further expand by building a “giant matrix” for the entire campus, thereby equipping the events team the ability to stream presentations, lectures and events to overflow rooms and classrooms across campus while expanding audience reach.

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