University College London Case Study

University College London makes the Grade with Exterity IPTV System

Founded in 1826, UCL (University College London) is London’s leading multi-disciplinary university, with 8,000 staff and 22,000 students. Over 140 nationalities are represented among UCL students with overseas students making up nearly a third of the student body. Based in the heart of London, UCL is ranked seventh in the world by the Times Higher – QS World University Rankings.


The Challenge

UCL required a means of providing TV and video to its language departments in order to enhance the learning experience for its students. Educational videos and TV from around the world streamed direct to students would form an essential resource for linguistic and cultural learning within the departments.

Because UCL is spread across multiple sites in London, and the language departments occupy five separate buildings, the university had previously been unable to install a TV system to provide this valuable resource, and had been searching for a scalable, centrally controlled TV distribution solution that would meet their requirements.

“Students benefit from watching live TV direct from foreign countries as they can see the language they are studying being used naturally, and learn about that country’s culture, adding an extra dimension to the learning experience. UCL prides itself on being one of the most innovative learning centres in the world and so it was vital to enhance the departments with the innovative technology that reflects this.”

Sibylle Nalezinski, IT & Multimedia Support Officer

The Solution

Having heard other universities mention IPTV systems from Exterity at events and conferences, UCL investigated the technology and found that IPTV was ideally suited to the project. The Exterity solution uses the existing IP network to stream crystal-clear live TV from around the world, which meant that additional cabling or rewiring was not required.  This not only saved time and money, but also meant that students were not disrupted while studying.

In addition, with an ongoing renovation project in progress across the university, and departments often moving between buildings, the flexible nature of IPTV appealed to the institution. Because the IP network was installed in every building already, as many PC end points as needed can be added to the system whenever and wherever they are required across the campus.  This means that the language departments can easily move the system between buildings.


The Result

Students learning any of the languages on offer at UCL can access the IPTV system from each of 60 PCs in the department and view a virtually unlimited global archive of recorded material without the inconvenience of having to locate and retrieve video tapes or DVDs.

The system is infinitely scalable because extra channels and on-demand videos can easily be added should requirements change. In addition, extra end-points such as TVs, projectors and PCs can be installed without additional cabling. This makes the network IPTV system a future-proof and cost-effective choice.

“It is important to remember that a university is a business as well as an educational institution, and key to becoming and remaining a successful business is attracting students with pioneering teaching techniques and unparalleled learning opportunities. By installing a network IPTV system, UCL continues to set itself apart from its competitors, making it a very attractive prospect for potential students, who will enjoy world class language facilities.”

Colin Farquhar, CEO, Exterity

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