At IBC 2018, stand 8.C61. Calrec will showcase its Connect Application.
As broadcasters, our world is changing with a paradigm shift to interconnectivity of equipment through SMPTE 2110 and AES67. The biggest single challenge we now face is being able to set up and establish these network connections between devices.
Calrec Connect identifies media streams and devices on a network regardless of their registration/discovery protocol, whether it’s NMOS, mDNS, AES70, SAP or more specific Rest APIs to present to an operator all devices on a network.
The app displays this complex information in a visual, familiar and user-friendly way that allows them to be easily inter-connected and eliminates the requirement for detailed networking knowledge. It provides elegant access to in-depth configuration, but it extracts the necessary information in a simplistic way to provide fast workflows for day-to-day management by production staff.
“Out of the box, when you buy one of our new native AoIP products – our new radio system Type R being a prime example – it has a Connect server running on its processing core,” said Pete Walker, Product Manager at Calrec. “Any PC or tablet that can connect to the AoIP network can access the Connect server via a web-browser. The factory default configuration means users can straight away see streams in and out of the mixer and its I/O boxes, and can simply connect them as needed, whilst user account management protects against unauthorised access.”
Redundancy is provided by allowing multiple servers to sit on a network, all synchronising their data. Each server can be accessed by multiple users, each with varying privilege levels. Devices can be given friendly labels and can be grouped by type or physical location. Access by each user can be limited on a stream by stream, device by device and group by group basis.
Users can search by stream, device or group name and can maintain their own favourites list. Stream connections across the network are visualised, and can quickly and easily be changed, saved and recalled en-masse. Devices can be locked, and information about devices is maintained even when they are offline, so users can make and change connections that will be applied when they come back online.
In addition to making, breaking and changing stream connections, Connect allows for configuration of streams across devices and provides network diagnostics such as bandwidth utilisation and dropped packets, along with warnings. Connect can even be used to create GPIO-style logic connections between devices and provides control for things like mic pre-amp gain and power.
Walker continued, “In 2004, Calrec’s Hydra system launched a networking solution with intelligent control systems that transparently managed complex routing networks. Hydra2 introduced greater management capabilities and Connect does the same for the IP landscape. It provides a simple-yet-powerful tool for managing IP-based connectivity, providing familiar broadcast workflows across a wide range of devices, agnostic of manufacturer and specific protocol support.”