With six FTA and three pay TV stations, the Maxdome video-on-demand portal and the Studio71 multichannel network, the ProSiebenSat.1 Group is one of Europe's largest independent media companies. The Group's entire technical infrastructure is provided by one of its subsidiaries, ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion. Based in Unterföhring near Munich, these production specialists boast over 20 years of experience in their field. Employing just 30 engineers when ProSieben commenced operations in 1989, this figure has now grown to over 400. And the range of activities has increased enormously as well – broadcasting just nine hours of TV daily in 1989, the team's portfolio now includes video productions for IP-based formats.
ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion refreshes its technical infrastructure at regular intervals to it state of the art. This includes the infrastructure of its control rooms. Recent enhancements have centered on HD compatibility and the introduction of tapeless processes. In connection with these changes, the analog KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) systems in control rooms 7, 8 and 9 have been replaced by new, IP-based devices.
Modern KVM technology allows computers and workplaces to be housed at separate locations. This brings far greater flexibility and efficiency to the editing and production processes. Although the computers and servers are located in secure and air-conditioned facilities, they can be controlled directly from the studios and control rooms.
"When choosing the new equipment for our control rooms, we looked at the various digital KVM systems available on the market," as Nico Sommer, Senior Systems Engineer for Production Systems at ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion explains. "We eventually opted for one that gave us the necessary flexibility and can be operated using standard infrastructure components – this was the Agility system from Black Box." What's more, due to the latest technology refresh, there were just a few remaining devices capable of supplying exclusively analog video signals.