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Networking and third party control limitation is the imagination of the network designer. Whilst manufacturers may be protective of their proprietary network transportation protocols which can pass ever increasing quantities and quality of video and audio data with negligible latency, many are responding to user demands by incorporating cross- platform control protocols, allowing their systems to be controlled in depth by other manufacturers’ equipment. This allows for example, a high quality dedicated audio processor to be controlled by the user of a video switcher, via an interface that is familiar to them. At NAB this year Calrec showed this, demonstrating Hydra2’s potential to work with third party clients through several different protocols. The SW-P-08 protocol was put into practice incorporating a variety of third-party router panels, including Evertz, Nvision, Snell, and LSB’s Virtual Studio Manager (VSM), to demonstrate remote control over input source to output destination cross-point routing, and control over mixing console DSP I/O routing. The EMBER protocol was be demonstrated via VSM, enabling memory loads, loading and removing alias files, viewing and editing Hydra2 I/O box and ports labels, SMPTE 2020 metadata insertion, and selective muting of SDI outputs. SW-P-08 The most prolific of these protocols is SW-P-08, or the “General Remote” protocol. It was first developed by Pro-Bel in 1988 (by a team of engineers including Roger Henderson, now 50 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE Managing Director of Calrec), and it has since had a wide uptake by router and controller designers to allow their equipment to control, or to be controlled by other manufacturers’ equipment. Input sources and output destinations that are to be controlled in this way are assigned unique SW-P-08 ID’s within the router which are mapped and labelled accordingly in the controller. SW-P-08 controllers can route any source to any destination across the Hydra2 network that they have been given access to. As well as physical Hydra2 input and output ports, the H2O GUI and SW-P-08 controllers can also route to and from Hydra Patchbays, giving access to console DSP outputs as sources, and the ability to change sources feeding control surface faders. Imagine that the Calrec Hydra2 routers allow for 1-to-n cross- point matrix routing of sources to destinations, without using up DSP or control surface space. Using SW-P-08, control over cross-point routing can be carried out either from a console, a standalone PC running the Calrec H2O network administrator GUI, or via third party controllers supporting the SW-P-08 protocol. Although there is a very wide uptake in SW-P-08, it is still not an official standard and there may be variations in different manufacturers’ interpretations. EMBER L-S-B’s Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) supports both S W-P-08 and EMBER. The EMBER protocol is a sophisticated data exchange mechanism that has potential for controlling many functions across varied equipment types. A relative newcomer, EMBER with exciting potential for interfacing a wide range of equipment types and their control parameters, with 3rd party GUI’s and hardware panels. Using EMBER, the third party controller can change the active user memory on any control surface on Calrec’s Hydra2 network, load pre-defined I/O sets for use by each console, insert SMPTE2020 metadata into SDI output streams, mute audio channels within SDI output streams and edit I/O port labelling CSCP The Calrec Serial Control Protocol, CSCP allows for remote control over mixing console operational functions by third party systems such as video switchers and production automation systems. Several broadcast equipment manufacturers provide serial control protocols that are compatible with CSCP. Currently on air and actively controlling Calrec audio mixers for live on-air applications are Ross Switchers, Sony’s ELC, Snell’s Kahuna, Mosart and Grass Valley’s Ignite. CSCP allows third party controllers access to 192 paths on each control surface, giving them the ability to display the path type’s assigned to faders, control and display path information, control of and status display for path Cut / On, control of and status display for path Pre-Fader Listen, and others. Control, integration and commonality. Using these protocols, broadcasters can achieve far more with much less hardware, and design flexibility into their audio systems for years to come. The playing field has definitely shifted and technology is now meeting the demands placed on network infrastructures. Infrastructure designers should be giving greater consideration to their networks as a whole, and how the flexibility of those networks can allow greater efficiencies for operational workflows.