KVM & Multiviewer Systems At IBC 2023

At the 2023 IBC Show, equipment suppliers will show their latest innovations in KVM and Multiviewing systems, which keep SDI- and IP-based production studios, as well as remotely produced events, running smoothly.

Advances in broadcast and post-production technology are changing the way content is captured and delivered, creating new opportunities for the integration of KVM and multiviewer technology to improve enterprise-level efficiency and versatility. KVM systems are a mainstay of the broadcast and media industry and offer numerous benefits including optimized workflows, latency-free access to remote systems and the ability to integrate virtual sources and enable remote access.

Along with numerous feature advances, these systems now facilitate the use of lower cost hardware while satisfying the need to create a more flexible workflow environment. Customers are looking for efficient computer access, more display area, and more capabilities per seat. This, in turn, has created better workstation access to data sources without latency.

Overall, KVM systems help broadcasters operate more effectively by streamlining workflows, improving control and flexibility, and supporting collaboration and teamwork. Multiviewing solutions are becoming more popular because they offer the possibility to display different sources flexibly on one screen. Thus, multiple processes can be observed and operated simultaneously.

Most makers of KVM switching systems now include integrated multiviewer capabilities via software. This provides users immediate access to hundreds of computers or servers. Throughout the eco-system of broadcasting environments, the KVM-Multiviewer system offers instant access to shared sources from a single workstation. There is no need to create a dedicated workstation specific to editing tools or storage devices. In a studio and editing suites, multiple servers can be assigned to a specific workstation to create customized settings for different editors or graphic artists. Each station can be configured according to one user’s needs and instantly changed to a different configuration for another user.

Another trend is the growing popularity of KVM-over-IP solutions as they offer several advantages over classic KVM systems, including greater flexibility, scalability, and remote management capabilities.

At the 2023 IBC Show, equipment suppliers will show their latest innovations that keep SDI- and IP-based production studios, as well as remotely produced events, running smoothly. This year 4K UHD-capable systems will be the norm, as the high-resolution format is becoming increasingly popular with European broadcaster and live production companies.

Apantac has seen increased demand for 4K 60Hz KVM point-to-point products, as well as its KVM multiviewers.

Apantac has seen increased demand for 4K 60Hz KVM point-to-point products, as well as its KVM multiviewers.

“Over the past year, we’ve experienced increased demand for 4K 60Hz KVM point-to-point, KVM over IP products, and enhancements on KVM multiviewers,” said Thomas Tang, President of Apantac (Stand 10.D44), a company that develops and markets such technology. They support many different connected peripherals including touch screens, tablets, and microphones over USB.

The company will spotlight its KVM over IP family; billed as a cost-effective, flexible, and expandable ecosystem that can run on a managed network with inexpensive COTS GigE managed switches. They can be used in point-to-point mode (unicast or multicast) or as a matrix (multicast) when attached to a 1Gps network. Apantac has released two new models of 4K60 (RGB 4:4:4) products with native USB 2.0 and transparent USB functionality.

Regarding multiviewer technology, Apantac will show a new 16-input NDI Multiviewer (Mi-16-NDI series) as well as T# with NDI inputs. The Mi-16-NDI Multiviewer series can display up to 16 NDI streams or sources (1080P) in a variety of layouts and supports up to HDMI 2.0, 12G, and 3G SDI outputs with supported output resolutions up to 2160P@60Hz.

“The new NDI support for T#, means that T# can interface with video devices connected over an IP network,” said Tang. “The flexibility of T# goes far beyond simply choosing input and outputs. Users can mix & match a variety of signal types (SDI, HDMI, IP, NDI) for multi-image display processing and monitoring on a single, or multiple displays, without any external conversion.”

Blackmagic Design (Stand 7.C49) will display its MultiView series, a range of native Ultra HD multiviewers that let users monitor completely independent SDI video sources on a single HD or Ultra HD display. With full frame re‑synchronization on every input, users can monitor any combination of SD, HD and Ultra HD formats and frame rates simultaneously, on the same display. When used with a UHD television, the quad split view provides four full resolution 1080 HD monitors on a single screen. On screen audio meters and custom view labels can also be displayed.

Balckmagic’s MultiView 16 features sixteen independent 6G-SDI inputs that allow users to connect any combination of SD, HD or Ultra HD sources and monitor them all simultaneously on a single display.

Balckmagic’s MultiView 16 features sixteen independent 6G-SDI inputs that allow users to connect any combination of SD, HD or Ultra HD sources and monitor them all simultaneously on a single display.

The new low-cost MultiView 4 HD multiviewer lets you simultaneously monitor 4 different SDI video sources on a single display. Full frame re-synchronization on each input lets users monitor any combination of video signals, even if they have different frame rates. The multi rate 3G-SDI connections are compatible with all existing SD and HD equipment and formats up to 1080p60, including Level A and B devices. There’s also both 3G-SDI and HDMI outputs, allowing it to work seamlessly with traditional SDI displays and even big screen consumer televisions.

The company will also show its MultiView 16, with sixteen independent 6G-SDI inputs that allow users to connect any combination of SD, HD or UHD sources and monitor them all simultaneously on a single display. Router-style controls on the front panel, along with the LCD and spin knob, enable setting adjustments, routing sources to different views, adding overlays and more. Output can be set to a 2x2, 3x3 or 4x4 grid, and you can even SOLO any source full screen.

Guntermann & Drunck (Stand 8.B91) offers a full range of very low latency KVM extenders, switches, and matrix systems to support users in a wide range of environments. 

“KVM systems are an integral part of the broadcast industry because they help streamline and optimize broadcast operations,” said Jochen Bauer, Director Sales at Guntermann & Drunck. “With KVM, broadcasters can switch between multiple computers, servers and other devices with a single keyboard, mouse, and monitor. This way, less hardware and peripherals need to be used, saving time, and increasing workflow efficiency.

G&D’s VisionXS product line offers lots of functionality is a small, space-saving design.

G&D’s VisionXS product line offers lots of functionality is a small, space-saving design.

“In addition, KVM solutions give broadcasters the opportunity to monitor and manage multiple devices from a single console.,” he said. “As a result, computer technology can be bundled and relocated to protected areas.”

He said producers have a better overview of all processes and can operate the decentralized technology in real time. All systems are still available centrally while maintaining high performance, for example for the demanding computers used in post-production or e-sports.

“Adjustments to the systems are quickly and easily made without physically accessing each device,” said Bauer. “Another benefit is flexibility: KVM solutions allow multiple users to access the same devices simultaneously, which can improve collaboration and teamwork. Especially for live events, it is important that multiple people can access the same devices at the same time.”

The company will show its new PersonalWorkplace-Controller, multiviewing tool that enables broadcast and production professionals to display multiple video signals on just one large monitor or multiple displays and therefore individually designing their workplaces.

“Where previously a separate monitor was required for each process, the PersonalWorkplace-Controller now allows multiple video signals to be displayed on just one larger monitor or multiple displays,” said Hosmer. “In addition to getting a clearly arranged overview of all processes on just one monitor, users can simultaneously and flexibly access all the data they need. Providing latency-free operation of multiple computers from a single console facilitates everyday work whereas high image quality as well as unlimited flexibility in arranging the sources provides added value.”

G&D’s will also show its VisionXS product line, which offers lots of functionality is a small, space-saving design. These matrix-compatible extenders have been expanded to address more projects with task-specific applications. In addition to the existing DP-UHR variants for resolutions up to 4096 × 2160 at 60 Hz, the product range now includes new DP-HR models that support resolutions up to 2560 × 1600 at 60 Hz. For this series, the company relies on its lossless bluedec compression, which enables “authentic, pixel-perfect video experiences.”

A new addition to the portfolio this year is the VisionXS extender with two display port connectors for dual-head applications.

“This makes it possible to operate two monitors at the same time while saving cabling effort and additional hardware by using only one transmission port,” said Bauer. “On the user side, the new option ensures better ergonomics and greater flexibility at workstations.”

Grass Valley’s Kaleido-IP Video Multiviewer offers a worlds variety of video and audio program decodes for simultaneous display.

Grass Valley’s Kaleido-IP Video Multiviewer offers a worlds variety of video and audio program decodes for simultaneous display.

Grass Valley (Stand #9.A01/9.C05) will show its Kaleido-MX 4K, the latest addition to the Kaleido family of multiviewers, offering seamless 4K pictures (without visible quadrants) for monitoring on large 4K screens. Available in four configurations for up to 64 SD/HD or 3G inputs, the Kaleido-MX 4K is designed for high-end in-studio TV productions, outside broadcast trucks, and playout facilities.

A multiviewer like IHSEs new MV42-4K60 is capable of handling up to four ultra-high-resolution sources on a single 4K60 display as well as supporting full control of a locally connected keyboard and mouse. Typical screen setup features support Picture-in-Picture mode, Full Screen mode, de-embedded audio, USB-HID and USB 2.0.

“Embedded audio signals can be connected to a loudspeaker (analog or digital) via a separate audio interface and once the mouse is moved into the specific source region on the display, the audio becomes active,” said Dan Holland, marketing manager at IHSE USA. “For expandable access to multiple sources the integrated multiviewer provides scalable, zero latency interaction with the KVM matrix system allowing users to make screen layout changes by simply using an embedded On-Screen Display.”

In the company’s stand (7.A25), IHSE will be introducing KVM solutions spread across five presentation areas. These will each highlight the advantages of its KVM products while showcasing flexible, secure, and high-quality solutions for the broadcast and postproduction sector in the global media and entertainment industry.

Station 1 will highlight the new JPEG XS Encoder IP Core for next-generation JPEG XS compression is an image and video coding system that enables visually lossless image quality. Holland said it can replace uncompressed raw data to significantly reduce bandwidth and energy requirements as well as other costs.

IHSE is the first KVM manufacturer to implement JPEGXS in an IP core for near-latency-free transmission of pristine high-definition video.

IHSE is the first KVM manufacturer to implement JPEGXS in an IP core for near-latency-free transmission of pristine high-definition video.

IHSE is the first KVM manufacturer to implement JPEGXS in an IP core for near-latency-free transmission of pristine high-definition video.

Station 2 will focus on the latest KVM/Multi-view extenders for up to 5K60 over a 3Gbit transport, while Station 3 will demonstrate the Draco IP Gateway CON and software-based Draco CON app, which are used to bridge multiple KVM matrices over an existing IP network.

Finally, Station 4 will demonstrate the KVM Multi-view Commander System, which can manage up to sixteen 4K60 video sources on a single display while also offering a full range of features for image scaling, positioning, cropping and PIP. Station 5 will introduce IHSE’s direct KVM systems for high-level security and low-latency requirements.

“As more technicians and studio editors migrate to 4K, it will not be long until these users start seeing the value of a KVM system,” said Holland. “With multi-display or Multi-view control, switching of a single mouse and keyboard to the appropriate remote computer is automatic and occurs as the operator changes focus between computers and/or displays, simply by rolling the mouse cursor to the new region or display. This avoids the need for manually changing display settings or maintaining multiple keyboards and mice at the workstation.”

In the end it’s the operational benefits that matter most. For broadcast technicians the workflow is tremendously improved when operators can share multiple computer sources, no matter if they are centralized or located across the globe.

“For example, data analyst and video production editors can work from a single workstation area while accessing the main computer no matter where they may be located,” said Holland. “It saves space on the desktop, removes noisy computers, increases system security, and adds convenience for users since they do not have to leave their desk to access multiple computers.”

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