Future Proof Control Room Connectivity

Black Box KVM
(Image credit: Black Box)

Control rooms are the operational heart of an enterprise, whether in the broadcast, public safety, industrial, or defense industry. And critical to these environments is optimal 24/7 functionality and efficiency. Planners will want to improve safety, increase uptime, reduce maintenance costs and enhance the operator experience and workflow within any upgrade or new control room build—allowing for improved situational awareness and decision making as well as greater collaboration.

Tom Fitzgerald

Tom Fitzgerald (Image credit: Black Box)

A key part to the planner's goals involves the challenge of enabling operators with the use of new technologies, tools, information, and solutions in the most user-friendly way possible. Today, control room design and infrastructure must accommodate a greater amount of data, AV sources, and streams, as well as new media formats that require higher bandwidth and storage and varied types of networks, interfaces and devices for handling all of this information. 

As many control rooms are undertaking an ongoing digital transition with their signal switching and extension systems, other control rooms are in the midst of moving from analog AV infrastructure to IP-based control room infrastructure and possibly the use of virtualization to reduce equipment costs and overall control room complexity. No matter what the case, resilience, plug-and-play interoperability, future-proof scalability, and ease of use are top priorities for the installed control room solution. 

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When deploying new control room infrastructure, integrators and planners want to ensure that their results will address the immediate requirements of a mission-critical AV, communications, and control facility— and that it can grow and evolve economically to continue meeting those needs. Key solution considerations include making the control room future-proof, employing or keeping the door open to virtualization and cloud technology, ensuring high reliability and continuous uptime, establishing and maintaining high video quality, and addressing current and future network and bandwidth requirements.

Black Box

(Image credit: Black Box)

In future-proofing the control room infrastructure, an enterprise allows for a smooth, incremental growth leveraging new techniques and technologies—and their benefits. Robust KVM solutions can offer valuable plug-and play interoperability, simplifying expansion and upgrades as well as paving the way for HD and 4K video transmission, and allowing for the use of a dedicated network or standard IP network infrastructure or both. 

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By supporting legacy networks and IP infrastructure, today's sophisticated KVM systems allow for the migration to IP systems and infrastructure at a comfortable pace. With IP connectivity established, the control room enables unlimited scalability with respect to endpoints, including virtual machines.

Tom Fitzgerald is the product manager, KVM, for Black Box.