2021 Opencast Summit Online at TU Graz

A record number of 180 people registered not only indicated an increased interest in Opencast, the open source video management system. It was a strong message too that an online meeting allows people to participate who usually can’t or wouldn’t. So that’s some good news amidst this pandemic and so is the feedback from this year’s community meeting: Opencast was the ideal tool to meet the various requirements institutions faced during the last 12 months, flexible, reliable… and scalable: Almost all institutions reported being able to quickly multiply the number of recordings, videos, and live streamings without problems or (licence) costs - except for their extended IT infrastructure of course.

At the same time, people were happy with the network the Opencast community provided during the first months of the pandemic in particular so that meeting new challenges became something of a shared challenge. As a result, the summit saw a record number of talks presenting new features, sharing technical expertise, and discussing ways to move forward.

Finally, the summit confirmed media services at HEI were, are being, and will be confronted with fundamentally new requirements: Provide coherent video management across a variety of systems (Opencast, Zoom, Teams etc.), enable DIY recording, make live streaming interactively “live”, and deal with the heterogenous requirements the large number of new customers brings to the table after a year of intense usage of academic video.

The 2021 Opencast summit was held using BigBlueButton, an open source webconferencing  service – integrated with Opencast during the pandemic for managing recordings. Summit videos can be found at https://ocs21.tugraz.at/programme/. As for 2022, we are looking forward to meeting in person again – with options to participate online, of course.