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Emerald® - 4K and HD KVM over IP Matrix Switching and Extension

Introducing Unified KVM

Emerald® is an award winning KVM matrix switching system that delivers pixel-perfect HD or 4K video over a dedicated or existing IP network. It allows reliable extension and switching of video (DisplayPort or DVI), transparent USB 2.0 and bi-directional analog audio signals across any combination and number of physical and virtual desktops and servers. Easily access both physical and virtual servers with support for VMware® and Microsoft® virtualization solutions, using PCoIP, RemoteFX and RDP 8.1. The Emerald Remote App turns any Windows 10 device into a software KVM receiver - without the need for additional hardware. Emerald delivers superior value, lowering your costs of ownership and saving your IT investments.

Emerald Unified KVM Features

  • Remote Computer and Server Access

    Access and manage an unlimited number of servers, PCs, and virtual machines from any location and share resources such as hardware and licenses across a dedicated KVM network, an existing IP network, or even the internet.

  • 4K over IP KVM Matrix Switching

    High performance, secure extension and switching of 4K60 (DisplayPort 1.2) and HD (DVI) video, transparent USB 2.0 and bidirectional analog audio.

  • Remote BIOS-level Access

    Benefit from BIOS-level access to troubleshoot, reconfigure, reboot and power cycle servers remotely.

  • Remote Virtual Machine Access and VM Sharing

    Provide access to virtual machines, such as Vmware® and Microsoft® over RDP 8.1 or PCoIP (Ultra), to lower IT costs. Let multiple users access simultaneously the same virtual machine.

 

Emerald Unified KVM Benefits

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Futureproof and
Scalable KVM

Start with HD and add 4K at your own pace. Scale a small point-to-point extension up to an enterprise KVM matrix of unlimited endpoints by adding additional receivers/transmitters.

Network
Resilience

Designed with 24/7/365 critical applications in mind, Emerald 4K and Emerald PE are configurable with redundant network paths via SFP(+) ports (fiber or copper) for fail-safe operation. Supports complete switchover to a backup control room location.

True-USB-Emulation

True
USB Emulation

True USB emulation, supporting USB HID devices, X-Keys, USB push buttons, Wacom® tablets, USB mass storage, and other high-speed USB 2.0 devices.

Remote Access to
Virtual Machines

Enable multiple users to access any number of physical and virtual servers and desktops. Support for VMware® and Microsoft®, using PCoIP Ultra, PCoIP, RDP 8.1, and RemoteFX.

Pixel-perfect-4K

Pixel-perfect 4K
and HD Video

Extend and switch HD and 4K video. Adjust compression in five steps up to pixel-perfect image transmission — every pixel visualized at 60 fps with 10-bit color depth.

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KVM Software
Receiver

Use the Emerald Remote App to turn any Windows 10 device into a software KVM receiver. Connect to multiple transmitters and virtual machines simultaneously and from everywhere.

Emerald Remote App For Microsoft Windows® 10/11

The Emerald Remote App is a new KVM software receiver that enables remote computer access to both physical and virtual machines from any Windows 10 device. The Remote App increases mobility, device access and monitoring on your Emerald System and delivers a full HD video desktop experience up to 40 fps from multiple connections that can be launched simultaneously. This facilitates device management and access to your Emerald KVM network from anywhere you want.

  • Supports HD video up to 1920 x 1200 and provides access to both physical and virtual machines over an IP network or WAN connections
  • Open connections to multiple devices simultaneously
  • Licence-based access authenticated by the Boxilla® KVM Network Manager in real time, ensuring the Emerald administrator has full control (view licence options)
 
 

(1) Boxilla KVM Manager is required for demo purposes

Emerald GE PCoIP Ultra Gateway

Emerald® GE is a new unique solution, which leverages cutting-edge PCoIP® Ultra technology to enable users to access the cloud or a virtual machine just as they would a physical system. Because the gateway can be implemented across multiple receivers, users can access virtual machines in a shared model rather than a conventional single-user (point-to-point) model.  With extremely low bandwidth requirements, the system supports secure, high-definition, and highly-responsive remote access over a LAN or WAN.

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Industry Applications

Case Studies Featuring Emerald KVM

KVM Over IP Brings Ultimate in Flexibility to Public Broadcaster

Aug 13, 2021, 05:58 AM
A technical service provider for a large public radio and television broadcaster with multiple sites oversees a comprehensive array of day-to-day technical operations, including device/technology procurement, project planning for broadcast technology, system administration, replacing and upgrading systems, and training operators and employees.
Title : KVM Over IP Brings Ultimate in Flexibility to Public Broadcaster
Company : German Broadcaster
Company link :

BACKGROUND

A technical service provider for a large public radio and television broadcaster with multiple sites oversees a comprehensive array of day-to-day technical operations, including device/technology procurement, project planning for broadcast technology, system administration, replacing and upgrading systems, and training operators and employees.

In past years, this service provider successfully implemented Black Box KVM solutions to support radio broadcast operations for its broadcast client. The challenge back then was to connect all control room operators with devices located remotely in central equipment rooms, and the installation of 200 endpoints met this requirement while enabling acoustic decoupling and reducing clutter in the radio broadcast control room.

CHALLENGE

However, because the KVM system for radio broadcasting was implemented over years through a series of projects, the system grew into a patchwork of island solutions with seven different KVM matrices all running on one KVM grid. At the same time, distance limitations of the proprietary KVM network installed to support television broadcast operations made it impractical or impossible to connect not only all operator workspaces to all equipment rooms, but also radio and television control rooms to one another across the broadcaster’s extensive campus. Growth had become difficult, requiring complex and costly workarounds, and the separation of resources prevented both the radio and television divisions from operating efficiently.

To address this problem, the service provider decided to consolidate its radio and television broadcast divisions on a single KVM system that would simplify management, support scalability, enable cross-functional access to content, and take advantage of the existing IP infrastructure to extend connectivity campus wide. The resulting system would permit the broadcaster to achieve trimediality and to leverage all of its resources to create and deliver content across its radio, television, and online/mobile services.

To ensure uninterrupted broadcast operations, the service provider needed to deploy this new KVM system in an incremental migration, allowing for continued use of legacy systems through completion of the shift.

SOLUTION

Based largely on its positive experience working with Black Box DKM systems, the service provider chose a Black Box Emerald KVM-over-IP system with an Emerald Remote App license and the Boxilla AV/IT and KVM system management platform. The company is building out a system that currently includes 47 Emerald endpoints on the general IP network that also runs any server, user computers, and other equipment. Because all switches are interconnected at 40 Gbps, bandwidth will not be an issue.

The KVM system will support workstations across radio and television broadcasting — 360 days of live programming each year — and multiple operators working at different times will be able to share connected workstations to access remote computers and perform their jobs.

RESULTS

Using the Black Box Emerald KVM platform, the service provider is gradually deploying a single, flexible, and future-proof IP-based system that will connect all radio and television broadcast control rooms, controllers, and directors. Thanks to the Boxilla platform, the Black Box solution is easier to set up, maintain, and scale than the broadcaster’s legacy networks. The KVM system also offers more reliable and intuitive operation while enabling cross-functional access to resources. Because there is no learning curve and no performance loss with the shift to IP, operators will be able to continue working as usual through the migration.

“It’s exciting to see our longtime customer taking this KVM system to a new level, with much more extensive connectivity and greater access to resources across various broadcast divisions and departments,” said Daniel Berkemer, KVM business development manager, EMEA, for Black Box. “Cross-functional agility is critical for broadcasters serving audiences on multiple platforms, and this migration to a comprehensive IP-based KVM system will deliver valuable new efficiencies and much greater flexibility.”

Emerald uses network switches over the facility’s standard IP infrastructure, so new workstations or rooms can be brought online quickly and simply via the Boxilla interface, regardless of their location. With multiple IP switches connected via fiber, technicians can add a new workstation simply by connecting the Emerald device to one of the switches. Distance is no longer a limiting factor, and scalability is ensured with a virtually unlimited number of ports. The current deployment supports HD, but Emerald’s support for 4K will enable the incremental addition of 4K workstations in the future. Because of the system’s low bandwidth consumption, it is now possible for the end customer to link their headquarters with a satellite studio in a different city 63km away.

Connected sources can be accessed only through physical access to a KVM device that is configured in the KVM system, so the network is inherently secure. If needed, the service provider can grant external access over the internet using a secure VPN connection — a task administrators could not perform with the older proprietary KVM matrix.

Although the service provider’s technicians can access the on-premises Emerald system by logging into Boxilla from a browser, the company has taken advantage of the Emerald Remote App to enable its IT support and maintenance team to work partly from home. The Remote App also provides a secure and convenient way to grant access to third-party suppliers for maintenance. (They can use the app and a laptop supplied by the service provider to connect via a secure VPN.)

The combination of Emerald KVM physical extenders and the Emerald Remote App, all running on an IP infrastructure, will introduce greater flexibility, scalability, and efficiency across all broadcast services. Free from the technical constraints of its old system, the broadcaster will be able to turn more of its time and resources toward creating compelling content for its radio, television, and online/mobile audiences.

Tags :
  • Boxilla
  • Broadcast & Media
  • Emerald KVM
  • KVM over IP
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Emerald Use Cases

Network Application

Black_Box_Emerald_GE_Connection_Diagram

Application diagram: Emerald IP-based KVM matrix switching application.

Multiple Site Application

EN_ApplicationDiagram_Control_Room

Application diagram: Emerald KVM matrix connecting a control room and a backup site.

Resilient KVM Networks

en_applicationdiagram_emeraldpe_redundancy_network-fail

Application diagram: Emerald KVM transmitters and receivers providing redundant network paths in case of failure.

Virtual Machine Connectivity

EN_ApplicationDiagram_Emerald_virtual-machines

Application diagram: Remote, high-speed access to virtual machines, supporting Vmware®, Microsoft® and Citrix®.

Emerald Remote App

EN_ApplicationDiagram_Emerald_Remote_App

Application diagram: Emerald Remote App installed on a laptop connected to Emerald Transmitters and a virtual machine via Boxilla.

Emerald Product Comparison

FeatureEmerald 4KEmerald PEEmerald SEEmerald ZeroU TXEmerald Remote App
Max Video Resolution4096 x 2160 at 60Hz (DisplayPort 1.2)1920 x 1200 at 60Hz (DVI)1920 x 1200 at 60Hz
Video QualityPixel perfectVisually losslessHigh quality ~35fps
Dual Network PortsYes, (2) SFP+Yes, (1) SFP, (1) CATxNo, (1) CATx-
Peripheral SupportAll USB 2.0 devicesUSB HID only
VM SupportPCoIP, RDP/RemoteFXRDP/RemoteFXRDP/RemoteFX-RDP/RemoteFX
Bidirectional Analog Stereo Audio(Speaker only)-
System ScalabilityPoint-to-point extension up to unlimited KVM matrix

Emerald Product Portfolio

Associated Products

While Emerald is a one-of-a-kind solution that opens up the revolutionary new world of Unified KVM, the platform builds upon time-tested KVM technology evolved by Black Box since the early 1990s. Emerald works flawlessly with many popular Black Box product families, including: the DKM proprietary direct-connect KVM system; the Freedom II KM Switch for easy switching just by moving a mouse between screens; the ControlBridge® system for one-touch, multisystem control; and the award-winning Boxilla® KVM Manager.

Freedom-II

Freedom II
KM Switch

This 4 or 8 port USB KM Switch allows switching between up to 8 connected PCs by just moving your mouse from one screen to another. Compatible with all Emerald products.

Controlbridge-room

Controlbridge
Room Control Automation

Versatile touch-based multisystem room control processor. ControlBridge allows control room operators to switch between sources or whole room setups.

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