Company Emergency Management Agency

The Challenge

An Emergency Management agency works to prevent and withstand major crises and disasters. The agency assists the municipal rescue services, the police, and other authorities in interventions, where a lot of manpower or special equipment is needed, same as with international disaster situations. Its headquarters include an operation room and a crisis operation center to manage the state rescue responses, assisted by six emergency response centers distributed throughout the country.

The Agency opened a tender to update their control room infrastructure. The agency had all their equipment such as computers, keyboards, and screens inside their central control room, and they wanted to establish better visualization in a clean environment with easy access to information they need to make quick decisions when responding to incidents. The solution needed to reduce the amount of equipment on user desks and include a video wall so everyone can see what is going on from their own sources and react quickly from the laptops on their desks.

They addressed multiple system integrators with a tender consolidating their strict requirement with 78 criteria to deploy a video wall and cabling infrastructure, back-racking computers in a locked server room with secure, comprehensive, and user-friendly operator access to the local computers, as well as video feeds from the remote response centers.

The system integrator for implementing media technologies reached out to Black Box, known for its excellent reputation in video wall processing and KVM-over-IP systems for flexible system access. When visiting a related organization, the agency saw a Black Box control room setup with several screens, a video wall, and more, and they were impressed with the setup of the dynamic, interactive system. The customer’s control room operators can pick and choose sources on the video wall as well as on their desktops, and the client wanted something similar. This, combined with the service, cabling infrastructure, and screen selection offered by the system integrator, compelled the client to work with Black Box.

The client wanted to acquire a video wall solution consisting of twelve 55” Full HD LED screens for the central control room inside the head office, as well as nine operative Full HD LED screens to which information from the screen wall can be distributed, and which are to be placed at nine remote locations. To achieve a unified network of information dissemination across departments, the client needed a managed video wall processing system, cabling, and an operator connectivity platform. The client stipulated their desire for a total solution that follows best practices. They also need improved situational awareness and operator efficiency to be ready to act so they can mitigate disasters in real-time. The client required the components to be Microsoft® OS compatible, operate over IP KVM, and delivered on a tight schedule.

The Solution

Black Box’s Michael Enevold, Application Engineer, and Klaus Petersen, Business Development Manager, worked together with the integrator and the client to deliver a suitable solution. After several iterations, the solution was finalized.

In the control room, the Black Box solution includes two operator workstations with four and two screens respectively with 2 x 6 Radian Flex Video Wall screens. Radian Flex Video Wall Processor Software operates the screens and video wall. Connected to the workstations are Emerald SE receivers, and a Freedom II switch that allows optional switching between the computers with the mouse. All 12 physical computer sources are back-racked in a separate server room.

Everything in the room is controlled by ControlBridge® touch panels, which Black Box configured specifically for the client. ControlBridge allows users to control their Radian Flex Wall and Emerald® desks of both operators. A ControlBridge Processor handles audio to the two speakers.

The integrator divided up screens on the wall and remote locations and took care of complete wiring and component installation, while Black Box took care of the system’s configuration and setup.

Use Case Diagram - Emergency Management Control Room

The Result

The client now has a comprehensive, fully functioning control room solution. Emerald SE Extenders, Radian Flex Video Wall Software, Freedom II KM Switches, and ControlBridge work synergistically to foster quick, decisive corrective actions in the control room with effective communications from the remote sites that mitigate resolving emergency situations. The client benefits from operators’ improved situational awareness and increased efficiency. The solution also can broadcast TV footage from onsite locations to keep everyone in the control room informed.

The new solution met all of the client’s initial requirements: it is Microsoft OS compatible, operates over IP KVM, and was delivered on schedule.

The client was happy that the resulting solution did exactly what they needed it to do. They were pleased that the solution can not only display the same content on the video wall and on nine remote screens, but alternately can show different content on each of the screens. The informative Radian Flex video wall enables everyone in the control room to have crucial, real-time information in their view so they can act to resolve situations quickly.

Klaus commented, “The client really liked the features Michael helped with, as it added functionalities they didn’t expect to be needed like dual-monitor or multi-monitor consoles dealing with absolute mouse limitations. Our Application Engineer figured out how to put a docking station on the desk, route signals back to the server room, and send signals back to Emerald to work on two screens. Freedom takes care of this with hotkeys, allowing the user to opt in and out of absolute mouse.”

During the configuration work, Our Application Engineer introduced the client to further capabilities of the Emerald KVM over IP system, such as an easy future migration to 4K or even virtualization. They are especially looking into the new Emerald DESKVUE receiver that redefines the operator workspace by allowing more real-time information at the user desk (up to 16 systems) and interacting seamlessly with them in the most convenient way.

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Industry: Government, Public Safety,

Products: Emerald® 4K KVM over IP, ControlBridge® Control System, Video Walls, Control Room Solutions,

Technology: KVM Switching & Extension, Video Walls,

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