A switch in time: how KVM can unlock the future of broadcasting


Chris Smeeton



One of the major changes for broadcasters during the pandemic has been the shift towards remote production; by no means a new phenomenon in an IP environment, yet accelerated under lockdown to accommodate travel and gathering restrictions. A 2021 report found that almost 40% of broadcast professionals now employ remote production, up 9% on the previous year. This trend has coincided with the Covid-mandated move to home working; nearly 60% reported a majority of their workforce working from home in 2021. With the necessity of remote working at an all-time high, it is crucial that broadcasters have access to the tools they need to operate, participate and collaborate from separate locations.

That is where KVM comes in. The “keyboard, video and mouse” hardware allows users to control multiple PCs from a single switch, enabling operators to access mission-critical software remotely, be it from the office next door, the other end of the building, an OB truck or the comfort of their own homes. As a result, conditions can be optimised for the equipment on the one hand and the staff on the other. A PC can be stored in a typically noisy server room environment, where the heat can also be controlled to an optimum temperature. Meanwhile the operators can enjoy a comfortable, user-friendly experience wherever they happen to be stationed. The technology started life in the military and medical sectors before its adoption by London post houses in the early 2000s, now expanded to increasing use in studios and OB trucks.

As experts in broadcast components and network solutions, Argosy was in the KVM market at the ground floor, when the technology’s adoption was fairly limited to the post production industry. With the cost of hardware and architecture coupled with the limited capacity of production control rooms, storage space is at a premium. By placing the KVM in a 1RU rack mount and adding a console drawer with a built-in screen, Argosy provided considerable savings for companies looking to remote their IT. Suddenly engineers could monitor multiple pieces of equipment from a single point. This spurred discussions for how far KVM could help in all kinds of different projects, from matrix solutions to IP capable switches.




The arrival of IP-based production has connected the broadcast infrastructure to the wider global IT infrastructure, resulting in cost savings, network improvements and signal transportation efficiencies. Such networks need to be supported by IP-based, 4K-ready switching and extension products. Argosy now stocks the full spectrum of KVM solutions for IP workflows, partnering with specialists in the field such as kvm-tec, Guntermann & Drunck (G&D) and ATEN. Austrian manufacturer kvm-tec lets users operate up to 16 PCs with just one mouse and one keyboard, its software operable in switching systems with up to 2000 endpoints. The German company G&D employs security functionality to safeguard against possible failure scenarios, while Taiwanese multinational ATEN incorporates high-resolution LCD screens to provide visibility in the tightest control environments.



Argosy works closely with our customers to deliver KVM solutions driven by their specific requirements and specifications. Through this collaborative process we can offer the KVM solution to suit any broadcast environment, whether that means a simple low-cost model for point-to-point control or a high-end, almost military-spec product for long-distance operations. For instance, remoting one workstation can be achieved using a simple structured cable cat6, whereas covering distances of a few kilometres is straightforward using a KVM with a fibre link. More advanced scenarios might require control of many PCs from a single standpoint or offering multiple people the capability to access multiple machines, in which case a matrix solution can be designed.

In the last few years, broadcasters might have been suddenly forced into a remote working environment without having time to update their infrastructure. Even on a legacy system, staff can use a gateway product, such as a piece of software, to virtually access their machines, monitor and manage that hardware from their homes. Such cases result in savings for the companies through not having to refresh their technology all the time. If they have an existing KVM solution, they can buy a new system, link it in through the gateway and control and manage their workstations from there.

Those savings are not merely financial; leaving equipment in a separate environment and operating it remotely as and when required results in less data traffic running through the system, as the end point only needs information at the moment of switching. The security benefits are equally important in the current climate. Piracy and cybersecurity concerns have rocketed in the last couple of years, making it essential for broadcasters to protect their data and video streams. Removing PCs from the working floor is one way of safeguarding that data, and trusted KVM solutions from Argosy and its partners enable home workers to access that information in a safe and secure pipeline.

The last few years have taught us that we never know what is around the corner, when plans might be disrupted and workforces dispersed. The advantages of using a KVM switch are therefore growing all the time. Not only can this technology streamline remote operations and save money on redundant hardware, it also reduces cabling and infrastructure, consolidates desk space and increases performance by having multiple computers working as one. Those savings in terms of money, space and efficiency ultimately help broadcasters to grow in an age of ever increasing competition. If the future of broadcasting is determined by mobility, the need for remote access is virtually indisputable.





Tags: KVM | ARGOSY | GDSYS | KVM Tech | Chris Smeeton
Contributing Author Chris Smeeton

Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Argosy cables, connectors, active products, network KVM switches and fiber transport at IBC 2019

    Argosy cables, connectors, active products, network KVM switches and fiber transport at IBC 2019

  • GDSYS KVM solutions at IBC 2017

    GDSYS KVM solutions at IBC 2017

  • Connecting the Virtual and KVM World with the ADDER Infinity 3000 at ISE 2020

    Connecting the Virtual and KVM World with the ADDER Infinity 3000 at ISE 2020

  • APANTAC 4k Multiviewer with KVM at ISE 2020

    APANTAC 4k Multiviewer with KVM at ISE 2020

  • Apantac KVM over IP at ISE 2019

    Apantac KVM over IP at ISE 2019

  • Apantac KVM Switch and OpenGear at ISE 2019

    Apantac KVM Switch and OpenGear at ISE 2019

  • KVM and multiviewer combined in Opengear from Apantac at IBC 2019

    KVM and multiviewer combined in Opengear from Apantac at IBC 2019

  • KVM over IP with Video Monitoring Wall from Apantac at IBC 2019

    KVM over IP with Video Monitoring Wall from Apantac at IBC 2019

  • Adder show super low latency 4k KVM with Autodesk at IBC 2019

    Adder show super low latency 4k KVM with Autodesk at IBC 2019

  • Adder Infinity 4000 showing Dual-Head 4k60 KVM at IBC 2019

    Adder Infinity 4000 showing Dual-Head 4k60 KVM at IBC 2019

  • KVM over IP Matrix from Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2019

    KVM over IP Matrix from Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2019

  • Apantac KVM and Multiviewer with OpenGear at NAB 2019

    Apantac KVM and Multiviewer with OpenGear at NAB 2019

  • ADDERLink Infinity 4000 4k KVM at NAB 2019

    ADDERLink Infinity 4000 4k KVM at NAB 2019

  • Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

    Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

  • HDMI over IP and KVM over IP with the Apantac OG-Mi 9 series shown at IBC 2018

    HDMI over IP and KVM over IP with the Apantac OG-Mi 9 series shown at IBC 2018

  • Guntermann and Drunck show KVM over IP at IBC 2018

    Guntermann and Drunck show KVM over IP at IBC 2018

  • KVM over IP from Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2018

    KVM over IP from Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2018

  • Apantac Multiviewer and KVM at IBC 2017

    Apantac Multiviewer and KVM at IBC 2017

  • Guntermann and Drunck KVM over IP at IBC 2016

    Guntermann and Drunck KVM over IP at IBC 2016

  • 4k 60 Matrix from GDSYS at NAB 2017

    4k 60 Matrix from GDSYS at NAB 2017

  • Guntermann and Drunck Video Transmission Solutions at ISE2020

    Guntermann and Drunck Video Transmission Solutions at ISE2020

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2017

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2017

  • Guntermann and Drunck at IBC2011

    Guntermann and Drunck at IBC2011

  • ADDER Technology AdderLink Infinity range shown at ISE 2020

    ADDER Technology AdderLink Infinity range shown at ISE 2020

  • APANTAC MiniDE-4-QUHD 8K Multiviewer and Video Wall at ISE2020

    APANTAC MiniDE-4-QUHD 8K Multiviewer and Video Wall at ISE2020

  • APANTAC with openGear at ISE 2020

    APANTAC with openGear at ISE 2020

  • Adder ADDERlink Infinity 4000 range at ISE 2019

    Adder ADDERlink Infinity 4000 range at ISE 2019

  • Adder ipeps at ISE 2019

    Adder ipeps at ISE 2019

  • Control Centre Digital from Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2018

    Control Centre Digital from Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2018

  • ADDER show the ADDERLink INFINITY and more at BVE 2018

    ADDER show the ADDERLink INFINITY and more at BVE 2018

  • Adder at BVE 2017

    Adder at BVE 2017

  • Apantac UHD conversion technology at IBC 2016

    Apantac UHD conversion technology at IBC 2016

  • Guntermann and Drunck at IBC 2015

    Guntermann and Drunck at IBC 2015

  • Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck CrossDisplay switching and CCD at IBC 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck CrossDisplay switching and CCD at IBC 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at NAB 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at NAB 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at BVE 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at BVE 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2012

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2012

  • Argosy at BVE North 2011

    Argosy at BVE North 2011

  • Argosy at IBC2011

    Argosy at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 22nd March 2021

    KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 22nd March 2021


Articles
The Future of Broadcast Technology
Sebastian Richter

Spotlight on Sebastian Richter, Vice President Media Systems at Rohde & Schwarz.

We are currently in the middle of a transition phase with migration to several new technologies, from the move to IP-based infrastructure and the shift from linear to video-on-demand (VOD).
The question for all of us is how long that transition phase will last; it is going to be faster for some customers then for others – national broadcasters, for example – it will be a slower process.

Tags: broadcast | 5g | 5g broadcast | rohde and schwarz | Sebastian Richter
Contributing Author Sebastian Richter Click to read
Spotlight on James Gilbert, Director of Product and Solution Management
James Gilbert

Over the next eight years we are going to be in transition, and within that there will be vastly different rates of change among content owners and media organisations. As a technology provider the onus is on us to be flexible and adaptable to meet this wide range of requirements from our customers.

Tags: | James Gilbert
Contributing Author James Gilbert Click to read
Spotlight on Karl Mehring, Director of Professional Services, Broadcast, Amplifier and Media
Karl Mehring

How has the role of Professional Services evolved in recent years and what vision do you have of the broadcast technology business? Covering new opportunities that the move to remote brings, new technologies such as 5G broadcast & the impact on the broadcast industry, and the challenges for broadcasters and how can they overcome them.

Tags: COTS | cloud | remote production | distribution | 5g broadcast | Karl Mehring
Contributing Author Karl Mehring Click to read
The Future of Broadcast Technology
Manfred Reitmeier

Now that OTT and VOD have become more mainstream, many commentators talk about traditional broadcast methods, like terrestrial transmission, being a thing of the past. With so many new platforms and non-traditional content services carving out a growing slice of the market, you can be forgiven for thinking that linear over-the-air television is on its way out. The reality is that the industry must strike a balance between meeting consumers’ shifting habits and the business and operational needs of content providers.

Tags: Rohde Schwarz | 5g broadcast | Manfred Reitmeier
Contributing Author Manfred Reitmeier Click to read
A switch in time: how KVM can unlock the future of broadcasting
Chris Smeeton

One of the major changes for broadcasters during the pandemic has been the shift towards remote production; by no means a new phenomenon in an IP environment, yet accelerated under lockdown to accommodate travel and gathering restrictions. A 2021 report found that almost 40% of broadcast professionals now employ remote production, up 9% on the previous year.

Tags: KVM | ARGOSY | GDSYS | KVM Tech | Chris Smeeton
Contributing Author Chris Smeeton Click to read