Case Study: Major broadcaster adopts multiuser matrix system for upgraded studio

Broadcasting studio personnel, from engineers to editors, are on the search for extension and switching solutions that work for multiple users. Issues to avoid are delayed switching times, no simultaneous access for multiple users, and limited USB device support. Broadcast engineers need to reliably extend and switch high-quality video and audio. They also want to use the most up-to-date infrastructure to hand and have a scalable, future-proof system.

A major network studio in Chicago came to us with a wish list for its broadcast studio upgrade. The chief hardware engineer was looking for a video extension and KVM matrix switch that would work over the existing Ethernet network in the studio. The system needed to enable forty producers, directors, studio technicians, and operators to gain access to more than sixty computers, servers, video sources, and camera feeds from any desk location.

The Chicago studio produces live broadcasts. Transmission glitches were unacceptable. The system needed to enable forty producers, studio technicians, and operators to gain access to more than sixty computers, servers, video sources, and camera feeds from any desk location. Flexibility and scalability were vital.Broadcasting

The system that had been deployed prior to our involvement cased daily problems and numerous help desk tickets. The problems included delayed switching time, lack of simultaneous access for multiple users, limited device support for USB HIDs, uneven video and audio quality, and poor system reliability and durability. We needed to address all these issues at once.

The Agility KVM over IP fit the bill. This system of single-head and dual-head transmitters and receivers extend DVI, USB, and audio over the local area network (LAN). Since the Agility transmits signals over the Ethernet with very low latency, it is easy to integrate into existing Ethernet infrastructure. The Agility switching and extension solution includes a management interface, iPATH™, for easy migration and maintenance.

For the application in Chicago, demo equipment was set up and configured at our technology lab and shipped to the chief hardware engineer at the broadcast studio. He was able to install the equipment with minimal online and phone support help from our engineering specialists. Agility transmitters were installed at each server, computer, video source, and camera feed; receivers were connected to each user station. The iPATH controller, which is the system’s single point of management and control, was installed in the server rooms and deployed over the existing network.

This HD video matrix switching and extension system is incredibly flexible and scalable, so the engineer is able to continue to expand his broadcast configuration, adding equipment and users as required. Technical support is available 24/7, and continual system development and firmware updates (with no added costs) are ongoing to meet the client needs as well.

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