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IP Is Changing The Future Of The Broadcast Control Room

For the vast majority of broadcast engineers, the demands of new systems and future equipment are an ever growing issue.

For the vast majority of broadcast engineers, the demands of new systems and future equipment are an ever growing issue. What’s not growing, in most environments, is the physical space within a broadcast control room. As a result, every RU of space is increasing in value like the housing market—because, ultimately, this is all about real estate.

On top of increased content processing and the growth of digital and OTT platforms, the broadcast control room also has a number of fixed and variable costs. For example, how do the costs of power, cooling and rent factor into housing so much equipment? It is also important to consider the cost of each RU in your environment. Some estimates find that each RU of space in a congested broadcast server room is valued at upwards of $3,000. It is important to note that this is not including the cost of equipment, so careful planning can have a long-term financial gain.


Most of us take our dependency on IP-based networks for granted. That statement holds up across personal and professional areas and within just about any vertical market.

Within the broadcast space, we are witnessing a shift in thinking. Companies across the industry are coming together to help take the serial digital interface (SDI) workflow into the IP realm. Work is well underway in defining standards to guide this shift and create a common ground that benefits everyone.

But with all the excitement around IP-based workflows, it is easy to overlook other areas of your control room infrastructure that can greatly benefit from an IP environment. One such area is your keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) architecture

While broadcast control rooms have long benefitted from KVM systems in place, there have been several limiting factors based on the implemented technology. For example, traditional KVM architecture requires a centralized switch that limits the number of computer ports and user ports. If your needs exceed the limit in one area or the other, you’re required to expand to additional switches or re-do your install to accommodate the growth. These traditional systems are also limited by distance—meaning, how far a server and user can be located from the switch.



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