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Broadcast Enno Littmann, managing director of
IHSE discusses the importance of to
many different ﬁelds of operation within
the broadcast studio workﬂow and details
some of the most effective and relevant
applications of the technology.
remotely-located servers and user workstations They
permit centralised, secure processing and storage with
instant switching between sources and near-zero latency of
signals. Equally as important, the user workstation is divorced from
the server: with a KVM switch, all users can have access to
all source devices – subject to administrator-assigned rights
and access permission. This means that the user can
access post-production servers, scheduling computers and
other sources at their own terminal and can instantly switch
How does a KVM switch compare with a video router?
You can think of a KVM switch as a parallel device to the
main broadcast video router.
I The KVM Matrix Switch dynamically connects individuals
to computing processes through a matrix, in much
the same way that a video router connects services to
content in the broadcast transmission chain. It facilitates
centralised content storage and application processing
whilst allowing ‘local’ access by users. The user, sitting at
their workstation (which is just a video screen, keyboard
and mouse) can access and operate a remote computer,
associated with a central fi le storage system. They are
unaware of the switch and continue to work as though the
computer was located right by their desk.
What is the background of IHSE?
A KVM Matrix Switch can be easily integrated into the
broadcast environment and controlled with the same
broadcast system control software as the rest of the studio.
So it can be seamlessly integrated into the workfl ow.
How successful has exhibiting at IBC been in the past?
BC 2014 marks the fifth successive year that IHSE has
exhibited at the exhibition. Each year since 2009 we
have moved to a more prominent position, increased
the size of the stand and generated greater levels of interest
amongst visitors. Many of whom have not previously been
aware of the relevance of KVM technology in the broadcast
industry. IHSE is approaching its 30th year of operation. From our
base near Lake Constance in Germany, we have grown to
become a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced
KVM extenders and switches that are used throughout the
world. They have been used extensively across a range
of industries, from utility control rooms to government and
military command centres, commercial enterprises and
air traffi c control towers; to name a few. It is only more
recently that the techniques and technology in broadcast
have become aligned with our products.
Why KVM in broadcast?
In recent years, the broadcast industry has experienced a
major shift toward fi le-based video strategies for content
storage, post production and playout. This has resulted in
an inevitable need to serve, manage and distribute fi les at
all stages of the broadcast workfl ow.
At the same time, server storage capability and the power
of video processing equipment have grown radically.
In any broadcast environment, whether playout or
production, the emphasis has always been on centralised
content management and security; which is counter to
the computer-industry norm of localised processing and
storage. KVM Matrix Switches provide the central switching
capability that enables dynamic communication between
In which types of broadcast environment are KVM
KVM switches are used throughout the broadcast workfl ow.
In broadcast TV and radio studios workstations can be
confi gured according to presenters’ and producers’
needs and can be instantly changed when the broadcast
programme changes. So studios can be multi-purpose
and not designated to specifi c tasks. There are several
options to control the KVM Matrix Switch which gives
fl exibility in integration: it can be integrated into a broadcast
control software package, controlled over a network
using the Draco tera tool, managed through its own
OSD or integrated with a third party controller through
a serial interface. All these types of control mechanism
are regularly used, depending upon the installation
requirements and whichever is the most appropriate.
In post production edit suites and cinema CGI studios
assets can be held securely under normal version control
procedures. While USB HID access is always available,
content cannot be copied from the computer onto USB
fl ash sticks if no USB 2.0 port is provided at the user
workstation – of course this can be added if the capability
is required. Licences for editing tools and other systems
can be shared amongst users rather than provided to each
one; saving cost and increasing fl exibility.
62 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 92 AUGUST 2014