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12 TVBEurope The Workflow

Controlling the workflow with IP-based KVM

By John Halksworth, senior product manager, Adder Technology

AS TECHNOLOGYevolves there is a continued drive for more — more efficiency, more functionality, more flexibility — and all at a lower cost. This is particularly true as technology and its users move towards enhanced connectivity for devices, systems and machines. Traditionally the

is characterised by efficiency, reliability, cost-effectiveness and the ubiquitous nature of IP itself. In the broadcast environment, IP is being used in a number of applications, however it is not yet being employed as the standard transport layer throughout.

KVM transforms a single screen into a portal for several computers — none of which need to be in the same physical location as the screen and input device. IP-based KVM allows operators

to move computers into another room, and enables them to operate these machines via a keyboard,

“IP-based KVM technology makes use of high spec, off-the-shelf devices that can be easily obtained and are inexpensive”

broadcast control room has been dominated by proprietary, bespoke technology solutions, but that is changing as the industry adopts a more integrated approach. This increased connectivity is made possible through the use of a standard IP network, which

KVM in the control room One of the biggest trends in he gallery at the moment is consolidation. The main area where IP-as-

standard is making its mark is KVM (keyboard, video and mouse). Essentially, IP-based

monitor and mouse. Operators can log into any machine and perform a functions from anywhere.

Staff efficiency Not only does the control room environment become more flexible, but more space is made available,

less heat and noise produced, and less air conditioning needed. Fewer staff members can perform the same amount of work. Through the use of extension technology, USB and video signals can be delivered to the user. Multiple machines can thus be controlled by one person or several people in different locations. In addition, two operators can

view the same content on different screens. While one user can work on the content and have control, the other can view it in real time.

Scalability From an IP-based KVM perspective, scalability is relatively simple. All that is needed is the addition of end points to the system. This can be done by normal IT staff as no specialist expertise is required. This differs

greatly from bespoke technology where the cost of increasing the system by just one end point is significant and requires the addition of equipment installed by engineers. From a KVM point of view,

failures can occur at the workstation, on the computer or on an individual node of the system. But if one of these areas falls over, there is little to no effect on the other areas and individual components can be replaced quickly and easily. As control rooms move

towards larger, more centralised environments, the need for efficiency and reliability in these mission critical hubs has never been more important.

John Halksworth, Adder Technology February 2014

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