An independent television station based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, WFMZ-TV operates 11 channels, including a primary channel with 9.5 hours of news coverage per day, a 24-hour automated weather channel, and several subchannels.
While the station had already employed KVM technology to enable remote access to PCs, thereby eliminating clutter across master control and news operations, it faced a challenge.
To address the network resource management challenge, WFMZTV upgraded its infrastructure and implemented a Black Box® KVM solution. The Emerald® KVM transformed the station’s workflow and signal flow across various departments.
In the master control department, the Emerald units provided seamless remote connectivity to virtual machines in the network operations center and enabled point-to-point control of computers located at both the station and satellite locations. This shift brought the WFMZ-TV team greater flexibility while streamlining the management of broadcast content. The news department benefited from flexible remote PC access, creating a less-crowded work environment. The weather team likewise utilized Black Box KVM units to gain real-time control of graphics systems directly from the weather set during on-air presentations.
To manage the KVM infrastructure efficiently, WFMZ-TV adopted the Boxilla® administration platform provided by Black Box. Boxilla allows for flexible user account management and ensures secure access to spon-air presentationsecific computers within the Black Box KVM network. This centralized administration simplified IT management, improved security, and prevented unintentional interference between different departments.
Henry Crush, the IT Director at WFMZ-TV, emphasized the transformative impact of the Boxilla system, stating, “While the control interface is straightforward, the Boxilla system has been game-changing from an IT standpoint. It gives me the ability to log in as an IT person, see the entire list of KVM devices, and administer any of those units from a central location.”
Looking ahead, WFMZ-TV plans to explore the software-based version of the Emerald unit, known as the Remote App. This would eliminate the need for physical units on all PCs, further enhancing flexibility and convenience.
WFMZ-TV is also deploying the Black Box Emerald DESKVUE receiver in its master control room, enabling efficient operator interaction with multiple sources across multiple screens. This costeffective and space-saving solution has the potential for broader deployment in other areas of the station, demonstrating the possibilities and versatility of the Black Box Emerald KVM solution.
Henry Crush expressed his excitement about the DESKVUE system, stating, “The possibilities are phenomenal. If Emerald DESKVUE works in our environment the way we expect it to, then we’ll expand from there and deploy the system in other areas as well.”
The implementation of the Black Box Emerald KVM solution delivered outstanding results for WFMZ-TV. The station experienced a remarkable 90% reduction in network utilization, freeing up bandwidth for critical tasks such as internet connectivity and video editing. By consolidating PC and Black Box units onto the same switches, WFMZ-TV eliminated the need for separate networks, simplifying infrastructure management and optimizing operational efficiency.
By leveraging the advanced features of the Black Box Emerald KVM solution and the dedicated support of the Black Box team, WFMZ-TV has successfully streamlined key aspects of broadcast operations, ensuring efficient resource utilization and delivering high-quality content to its viewers.