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C More Entertainment AB

Project: Multiple user access to servers
Major challenge: No downtime during installation
Product: ServSwitch Octet

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The background.

C More Entertainment, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, is the leading Pay-TV provider for the Nordic countries. The company offers premium TV under the brand name CANAL+, and has 900,000 subscribers. It broadcasts films, sports, and exclusive TV programs on seven different channels, and a pay-per-view channel. Black Box has a long-standing relationship with C More going back to 1994. At that time, Black Box worked with C More to develop a system that helps the company subtitle the movies it broadcasts.

The project: more broadcasts, more servers.

Recently C More expanded and added more channels and live broadcasts. It needed a new, more flexible system to improve and simplify the management of the servers used for recording, texting, and live broadcasts. The system needed to provide multiple users with simultaneous access to PCs and servers. It also had to be expandable to accommodate future growth.

The solution: KVM technology.

For a solution, C More naturally turned to Black Box, a trusted colleague. C More knew from experience that Black Box could meet the company’s strong demands for absolute quality and round-the-clock support.

The Black Box team worked closely with C More technicians to design a solution that would be efficient, easy to manage, and economical. Design criteria included a system that would give at least 16 users simultaneous access to 200 servers.

It would also give the company room to grow and add more users and servers in the future as broadcast operations expand.

The Black Box solution was a system based on the ServSwitch Octet™, a keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) switch with cuttingedge server management and serial and audio support. With the new system, all the servers were moved out of the control room. ServSwitch Octet switches were set up to connect the servers to a wall of monitors and to multiple technician KVM stations in the studio. With just a click or two, the technicians can control subtitling, transmission, recording, and broadcasts.

A major benefit of the ServSwitch Octet system is that the noise and heat from the servers were eliminated in the control room because the servers were moved to a different location. Other benefits include the ability to use the system with CAT5, CAT5e, or CAT6 cable. The ServSwitch Octet also offers extremely high resolution over a distance of up to 300 meters. It seamlessly integrates security and monitoring operations, too.

The end result: a smooth transition.

Because C More couldn’t disrupt broadcasts, installation of the new system had to be carefully planned so as not to cause any downtime. C More is extremely happy with the new system. It works optimally 24 hours a day, and gives the company the ability to add servers and monitors as it expands.

The Black Box solution eliminated server-generated noise and heat from the work area, a key factor in a studio environment. We worked with Black Box for about 14 years, and we both put quality first.

F. Persson
Technical Manager, C More Entertainment AB