Broadcast & Media companies are evolving and making a rapid transition to cloud-based workflows and automating broadcast operations for program transmission, master control, news production, and live production. Today's technologies play a pivotal role in this transition allowing managers, editors, operators, and engineers to manage and rapidly reconfigure infrastructure, allowing ease of setup and configuration when time costs money.
When it comes to broadcast and post-production, KVM is the secret ingredient that brings everything to life. Black Box can provide a large variety of KVM options that give you these benefits:
KVM systems, one of the hidden foundations of a broadcast facility, have evolved from being an occasional use tool for setup and troubleshooting into one of those infrastructure items that are used every moment of the day.
KVM supports end-to-end content acquisition and playout by ensuring distribution of reliable digital image quality and fast switch-over of redundant hardware when required, and also allows users to connect to several backup playout servers.
IP-based KVM provides remote access over the WAN to post-production video libraries and also gives broadcast control room or stadium control room mobile operators flexibility and fast setup times.
Today's IT administrators face the challenge of deploying broadcast solutions that can span numerous devices over thousands of miles, and this can be a daunting task. Black Box KVM and video wall processing solutions ease the IT administrators' pain by providing comprehensive, scalable, futureproof installations via a variety of products, including Emerald high-performance KVM, multiview KVM, and KVM extenders, as well as video wall processors and enterprise KVM managers.
Read how scalable, futureproof KVM solutions helped several customers optimize workflows and increase productivity.
With a desire to use the most advanced modern technology, a major broadcasting company is currently building a new large broadcast campus. The company has already installed eight DESKVUE receivers in their control rooms, with more to come as additional buildings are completed. Operators are pleased with the improved view using a single 5K curved monitor and fast, intuitive system switching.Read Case Study
A technical service provider for a large broadcaster faced challenges with a disjointed KVM system for its radio and television broadcasts. They opted to consolidate using Black Box's Emerald KVM-over-IP system and Boxilla platform, enabling seamless, wide-reaching connectivity across all broadcast control rooms and supporting the vast live programming demands.Read Case Study
FOX Sports adapted to pandemic constraints by utilizing Black Box Emerald KVM over IP technology to enable remote control of production equipment, even for NASCAR events. This maintained seamless broadcast quality while reducing on-site personnel, ensuring efficient and safe broadcasts during challenging times. This solution has continued to enhance broadcasts even as normal operations resume.Read Case Study
The Dayton Dragons, a successful Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, upgraded their video, audio, and control systems to create an unmatched fan experience. Mandalay Creative Services, in partnership with Black Box, installed a digital KVM matrix solution using DKM products, enabling multiple productions simultaneously with maximum uptime and high video quality. The DKM system's flexibility and reliability provided major league capabilities on a minor league budget, meeting the team's high standards.Read Case Study
A Southern German TV station aimed to upgrade its broadcasting center's servers and KVM systems. Faced with the challenge of real-time control and seamless signal switching, they adopted the Black Box DKM FX platform. This solution effortlessly integrates 150-160 servers and 120-130 user consoles, ensuring uninterrupted workflows, efficient disaster recovery, and real-time collaboration across multiple users.Read Case Study
Black Box provided WWE with a flexible KVM system upgrade that enhanced workflow efficiency within their production control rooms, offering access to multiple computers from one user station, ensuring high-quality video with zero latency, and providing cost savings by sharing resources seamlessly. WWE was highly satisfied with Black Box's support throughout the process.Read Case Study
Chainsaw, a Hollywood post-production company, overcame limitations of their outdated KVM system by implementing Black Box's high-speed fiber-based KVM solution. The new system provided seamless connectivity, scalability, and flexibility for clients, along with support for 4K content. It improved efficiency, reduced noise, enhanced security, and future-proofed Chainsaw's production infrastructure.Read Case Study
A Swiss broadcaster needed a KVM matrix system for editors to access computers across their headquarters. Black Box's Emerald KVM-over-IP solution optimized workflows. Post-deployment, productivity increased, editors' convenience improved, and Boxilla ensured easy management.Read Case Study
A leading German broadcaster sought to upgrade their OB van, prioritizing weight, space, and functionality. Collaborating with Black Box, they integrated the innovative Emerald KVM platform, replacing an old analog KVM matrix. This allowed seamless control of both local and remote servers, reduced equipment clutter, and streamlined operations. The IP-based system offers flexibility for remote productions and is future-proof, ensuring a smooth transition from HD to 4K when desired.Read Case Study
A French TV station needed digital signal switching and extension for their mobile broadcast trucks. Black Box provided the DKM FX platform, supporting various devices, resolutions, and signal types with up to 500 meters of KVM-attached device support. The system ensures uninterrupted, high-quality broadcasting while on the move.Read Case Study
WeFadeToGrey, a German post-production facility specializing in color grading, sought to upgrade its infrastructure for efficient, future-proof workflows. They chose Black Box's Emerald KVM over IP platform, offering pixel-perfect HD signal extension and switching, and enabling colorists to access software tools from any workstation.Read Case Study
Gain insights and learn how your broadcast and post-production deployments can leverage the latest IT trends, best practices, and industry news.
Broadcast and Post-Production Transition To VirtualizationDownload White Paper
Just prior to the pandemic, the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles moved forward with replacement of an aging KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) system supporting game-day production systems at their home stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, and TV studios and a control room at NovaCare Complex, home to the Eagles' training facilities.
The challenge for Philadelphia Eagles Senior Broadcast and Media Engineer David Sullivan was to find and implement a new KVM solution that would allow for virtual machine access and flexible remote desktop access while ensuring continued performance and ease of use for engineers, creatives, and others working across all Eagles facilities and production systems.
"More and more of the systems supporting our business and engineering tasks are becoming virtualized," explains Sullivan. "Virtualization is great from an engineering standpoint; you get high redundancy, resiliency, and failover. But on the user side, you give up tactile control. Obviously, in production, that's not great. Software receivers will only get you so far because you still need to run the software receiver on a computer. The problem we ran into as we grew more into virtualization was that we had a gap between user access and ease of use. We didn't want the engineer to be the only person who could get to those systems, and we didn't want to give up the user experience where the remote system acts just like a regular physical server. That was a tough ask."
In YEAR 2019, when Sullivan began evaluating possible solutions, few vendors offered products capable of supporting virtualization. So, Sullivan faced the additional challenge of finding a proven solution that would deploy easily and perform reliably and as advertised in enabling access to virtual machines.
Sullivan evaluated and then deployed Black Box Emerald SE and PE KVM-over-IP systems, along with the company's Boxilla KVM manager, to support signal transport for everything in the Philadelphia Eagles' television production world.
"We were keeping an eye on the market for a new KVM system that could meet our requirements, and Black Box has been a well-known name in the tech industry for a long time," says Sullivan. "And we knew that a PBS Emerald KVM install in Virginia had gone well.
Sullivan started out with the Emerald SE, putting 20 transmitters and 20 receivers on the Eagles network to make sure traffic and performance matched up with his expectations.
"Of the products out there, Emerald checked all the boxes," says Sullivan. "It's standards-based, so there's no proprietary network switching. There's no proprietary central processing. The network traffic is actually friendlier than a lot of the others. It's TCP unicast by default, which is awesome. It's easy to traverse on our giant enterprise network. And in addition to all of those things, the price is attractive. I didn't even quote out another product. I got the Black Box quote, and we were like, 'Let's do it.'"
The Eagles so far have established approximately 100 Emerald endpoints, spread across two TV studios and one control room in the team's practice facility at the NovaCare Complex and also at Lincoln Financial Field to accommodate the scoreboard control room and all of the associated devices there. The Emerald KVM network supports every graphics processor for the scoreboard and for the television studios, which feed social networks, local television partners, and daily press conferences. The KVM system also supports user desktops — including Sullivan's — across the production team. Staff need only a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and Ethernet connection to log in and get to work. As Sullivan puts it, "It's our connection to everything."
While Sullivan started out with the Emerald SE units, he switched to the Emerald PE model to take advantage of its power over Ethernet feature, which significantly reduces cabling and number of devices (and potential points of failure), in turn making for a faster, cleaner install.
"The Emerald PE was a very easy product to deploy, and there were no complex switch configurations required on our network side," adds Sullivan. "Uptime has been great too. We haven't had a single Emerald unit dead on arrival, and we haven't had any failures in the year that we had them deployed."
Sullivan and the Eagles successfully installed the Black Box Emerald KVM-over-IP system to move toward more flexible signal distribution and extension across multiple sites with full support for virtual machine access, without compromising the performance essential to a seamless user experience. As it turned out, the shift onto the Emerald KVM platform also gave Sullivan and his team much-needed agility as COVID brought about new protocols for distancing and remote work.
As long as there was an Ethernet connection, Sullivan could put a producer or engineer anywhere. With the Black Box Emerald system, it was plug and play. No need to worry about deployment scenarios, locations, or infrastructure.
During the pandemic, studio personnel who normally worked at the NovaCare Complex relocated to the stadium for four months. With the Emerald KVM network in play, they simply went into work and sat down with a keyboard and a mouse. On their screens they saw the same list of connections that they'd normally see at their desk in the control room.
Team members working from home were able to use the Black Box Emerald Remote App to connect via VPN and work directly within a familiar environment and applications rather than clunky remote access software that requires significant CPU resources.
"The Black Box Emerald system has 100% changed the way we work in our facility," says Sullivan. "Because it is standards-based networking and it's over a one gig infrastructure, I can take a KVM receiver and go to any port in the building, drop it down, and have full access to all of our production systems. During COVID, we spaced people out and put people in buildings that weren't designed to be production studios or control rooms. With the Emerald solution, you just drop an Ethernet connection and log in, and you've got the same access that you did in a different zip code."
Taking advantage of the Emerald network's resilience over WANs, Sullivan sometimes brings an Emerald receiver on the road with him so that he can dial back into any of team's production servers while he's at an away game. While this kind of flexibility is a top priority for Sullivan, ease of use and performance are a close second.
"I think the biggest nod to Black Box is that production folks, graphics designers, and editors have no idea that there's any device between them and the host machine," says Sullivan. "The video performance is exceptional, especially considering the bandwidth that it averages; the Emerald systems are extremely efficient on our network. And from an engineering standpoint, I think I've had to call tech support once, and it was a quick and easy fix. It's so good, we don't talk."
"KVM is a make-or-break scenario, right?" adds Sullivan. "If your KVM doesn't work and if it doesn't work effectively, then none of our creative and production people can access the systems that they need to drive everything. When you put all your eggs in one basket, it's got to be solid, and Emerald is. It's a transparent, efficient KVM product that reliably supports 40 users on a daily basis — and more on a Philadelphia Eagles game day."
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Just as your KVM control rooms are the connectivity point for all you do, we make a point of connecting your needs to our services. We bring human-centric technology solutions to assist you in a seamless adaptation toward today’s dynamic broadcast and post-production control room environment and into the future. We analyze your broadcast and post-production requirements and suggest how technology can help meet those goals. We’re committed to objective analysis and honest appraisals. By continually investing in R&D, world-class infrastructure, and bringing the best talent from all across the world, we co-create path-breaking broadcast and post-production technology solutions with our customers.
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