KitPlus - The TV-BAY Magazine

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TECHNOLOGY THE POWER OF IP CHANGING THE BROADCAST LANDSCAPE Jamie Shepperd There is little doubt that the adoption of IP technology across the broadcast workflow can bring significant benefit to broadcasters. IP is ubiquitous, it’s based on common standards and broadcast can benefit further from the wealth of expertise and technology that exist in other industries. While we are still moving toward complete adoption — from ingest, processing and storage, to media management and distribution — there are areas where IP has been making its mark for some time, providing the industry with a powerful proof point for its wider adoption. WHY IP? IP is already being used across the broadcast industry as a standard network to transport signals around facilities, and to a small degree to viewers themselves — something set to increase in the future. Simply put, IP is everywhere and, as a result, one of the benefits is cost savings and ROI. Broadcasters already have the infrastructure in place — in fact the majority of it is already based on IP — so when making the full transition to IP it won’t require a significant capital investment. In addition, because IP is based on interoperability and open standards, the use of proprietary technology with its own standards can be negated. IP-BASED KVM Keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) technology is widely used in various industries and applications, from command and control, energy and military, to transportation, medical and banking. Essentially, KVM provides operators with the ability to switch between computers — often located great distances away — from a single workstation, using one keyboard and mouse. In the broadcast world, IP-based high performance KVM removes the limitations of traditional AV equipment and brings real time, accurate video operation to users. But how? KVM IN OB The outside broadcast (OB) can be an expensive endeavour that requires a dedicated truck, personnel and talent to be on site during live events, such as sports or news broadcasts. The OB truck is essentially a mini control room — an often pressurised environment where staff perform a number of tasks, monitoring video feeds, previewing shots, ensuring the quality of shots, guaranteeing the playback capabilities and transmitting the feed back to the studio or main truck that is controlling the broadcast. As a result, switching, reliability and ergonomics are crucial. 52 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 112 APRIL 2016 IP-based KVM products enable staff to easily switch between and manage streams, and give OB operators the ability to control the equipment that performs these tasks — the ability to efficiently control multiple sources from a single input is therefore critical in this setting and is met by a KVM solution that extends and switches video signals without loss of quality or performance. IN THE GALLERY In the studio control room KVM performs in much the same way as in an OB truck, just on a slightly larger scale. The extension technology means that machines can be located outside the room — more often than not, they are rack-mounted in a centralised location, such as a server room. Not only does this free up space and get rid of excess heat and noise from the control space, it also extends the life and performance of the machines themselves as server rooms are temperature controlled. Operators can access the machines required by using their keyboard and mouse and due to the high performance of the KVM solution, there is no loss of quality or latency when working on that content.