Webcasting is important at Ryerson University.
Every day at noon, journalism students put together a webcast that covers current affairs on campus and around the city. The university’s athletic club, the Ryerson Rams, webcasts all of their sports games, such as hockey and basketball, from the Mattamy Athletic Centre (the former Maple Leaf Gardens). The games draw online viewers on and off campus.
As webcasting needs expanded, the university chose Matrox Monarch HD to provide a simpler, more efficient setup.
Systems designer Many Ayromlou, a member of the FCAD Operations Technology Support (OTS) group, (which is responsible for setting up equipment and providing technical support to the entire faculty) needed to find a way for students to easily record and webcast news segments live and to switch between segments without interruption.
The technical team was also tasked to help the newly introduced sports webcasting program live stream Ryerson Rams events from the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The computer–based system then in place did not provide the desired ease-of-use and stability.
Someone had to configure the settings on the computer just before going live and the technical team had to constantly train new students to do this. Issues, such as forgetting the password would cause panic, creating a stressful situation for everyone involved.
If the problem required reconfiguration, the technical team had to initiate a tedious remote desktop session to find out which settings needed adjustment.
To complicate matters further, the live stream would sometimes fail if several programs were running on the computer.
“In a webcasting environment you can’t afford to have encoder issues or dead time,” Ayromlou says.