Interviews

Taking complete advantage of IP

Loki Ong, VP Sales APAC, Adder Technology tells Pradeep Suvarna how IP-based KVM is shaking up the post-production environment

The IP adoption journey within broadcast has come a long way, and if 2017 taught us anything, it is that IP technology is truly here to stay. With this in mind, there has never been a better time for broadcasters to take their post-production efforts to the next level with high performance IP-based KVM solutions. Loki Ong, VP sales, APAC at Adder Technology explains how this can help businesses to save money, operate more flexibly and boost productivity, all while making the typical post-production environment a far more comfortable one to work in.

How is IP-based KVM making strides in the post-production environment?
The IP adoption journey within broadcast is moving at a rapid pace, and its benefits across all areas of the broadcast workflow — from live production and contribution to distribution and beyond — are becoming clearer by the day.
If there is one particular area of broadcast that has been highly benefitted by IP, it is the post-production environment. With huge technological developments in the post-production space, from VFX software and 3D modelling to 4K and HDR image quality, IP has been able to help businesses take advantage of these in ways that might not have been possible with legacy infrastructures.

But why IP in particular?
IP’s primary function within the broadcast industry is networking, which can support and strengthen other technologies, such as switching and extension — KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) — to deliver new levels of efficiency and functionality to the working environment. IP-based KVM, for example, can transform a screen into a portal for any number of computers, allowing a single user to effectively perform a multitude of tasks from a single workstation.
While it is used throughout the broadcast workflow, one of the trends at the moment also sees an increasing number of broadcasters using IP as a standard method of transport around their facilities and campuses — hence, the welcome introduction of the SMPTE ST 2110 standards. IP is both ubiquitous and cost-effective, and when moving towards adoption it allows broadcasters to use their existing technology infrastructure without too much of a significant capital investment. In the post-production arena specifically, high performance IP-based KVM solutions can allow engineers to easily add enhanced functionality, scalability and cost savings to their existing workflows.

What role does IP-based KVM have in the post suite?
Post houses usually have a number of editing suites on-site that have to be configured depending on what projects are being worked on and what rooms are being rented out or used by in-house staff. All rooms need to be comfortable and include fast, efficient technology that gives users access to what they need — in real time — with the high audio and video quality expected.
The use of IP-based KVM means that all computers can be removed from the actual working area into another location, such as a centralised server room. As a result, excess heat and noise is removed from the post suite. The seamlessness of high performance, IP-based KVM technology means there is no change to the computer experience from the user’s point-of-view — in fact, providing the machines are kept in a temperature-controlled, rack-mounted environment, the technology will bring numerous benefits to lifespan and performance. It also means the physical access of the machines is controlled, which is particularly important at a time when concerns around cyber security are at an all-time high.

What are some other far-reaching benefits of KVM?

High performance IP-based KVM solutions can enable an additional level of operational flexibility. For a specific project, users can freely switch between rooms and use the KVM switching and extension technology to instantly connect to the computer or application they require. This delivers an added security benefit, as users can only work on the machines and content they have access to.
Lastly, because IP-based KVM is built around standard IP networks and infrastructures, it is easy to configure for technical staff. This means that the uptime of each room is increased, and there is minimal maintenance work required in terms of applying patches or firmware updates.

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