Recently, with a view to the new season that started after summer holidays, the Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals has put into production its renewed Control A in high definition, and has done so with the help of Crosspoint, and the broadcast control system KSC Core, from the German company BFE.
Crosspoint with its “KSC Core” system was the winner of the public tender in which, among other things, different characteristics of both the system offered and the company responsible for the implementation were valued. KSC CORE system is of great flexibility and quality, of proven reliability, and with a large inventory of device drivers from the company BFE. Along with this great system, there is also Crosspoint’s great capacity to integrate systems, especially control systems, the company’s natural habitat, as well as Crosspoint’s extensive experience in consulting and project delivery capabilities on time and in due form.
Although BFE has implanted systems in other industries such as education, events, defense or administration, it is in broadcast where the German brand has the central competence, with the planning and integration of audiovisual systems and technical resources in central controls of studios, transmission rooms and OB vans. The independence and good communication of BFE with the manufacturers of a project is one of its fundamental characteristics, since it manages to integrate devices from different brands, giving a result of maximum flexibility combined with high efficiency.
KSC CORE: a unified device control system through panels
To control the new high definition Control A equipment of the TV3 CPA, Crosspoint developed a design through KSC CORE, BFE‘s flagship control and monitoring system. A highly adaptable solution that allows fast and flexible control of all areas related to live signal transmission: planning, contribution, production, broadcast and distribution. Additionally, KSC CORE has the ability to seamlessly integrate into existing network structures and improve reliability with hardware and software redundancy concepts.
Regarding the control of the system by the user, KSC CORE has hardware elements (panels) and software applications (GUI), installable on conventional workstations, which are fully customizable. In a single panel, you can interchangeably switch the video matrix, the audio matrix, the intercom, KVM or all at the same time. In addition, tallies can be managed in complex environments with several performance controls that interchange the use of sets or carry out the transfer of signal mnemonics, from a unified database, without the user having to change the name of the teams.
The system also allows the control to be configured quickly according to the needs of each program or to connect a second control as an emergency backup through quick and easy switching.
As shown in the diagram above, the system has a wide variety of control panels, from 18 buttons on 1RU to 72 buttons on 3RU. All are configurable and can be dynamically assigned multiple functions. They can work with pages to group switches by signal families and even combine them with video and audio controls or studio switching. KSC CORE also allows the creation of software panels, which can be replicas of hardware panels on PCs or tablets, or with the GFX application, a fully customizable graphical application that can include buttons, faders, vumeters, backgrounds, control urls. third parties and even video stream thumbnails.
As a pioneer in IP-based transmission control, in 2011, BFE developed KSC SILKNET, specially developed to meet the demands of the broadcast industry for new flows based on IP architectures and all kinds of topologies. KSC SILKNET is now one of the most versatile SDN solutions on the market, and can be seamlessly integrated with the KSC CORE broadcast controller. The core components of this product are the bandwidth management, topology, network service, pathfinder (route optimizer), and discovery (automatic device registration) modules.
Returning to the KSC CORE deployment carried out for the new TV3 control A, a redundant system has been proposed, with 23 BD54-IS/Z2 panels with 54 LCD keys, and multifunctional operating panels, in 2RU, 3 virtual panels and different interfaces for devices. controlled by IP, serial communication and GPI-I / O, such as video mixers and matrices, camera units, audio consoles, intercom or KVM systems.
The Control A renewal project has been a cross-collaboration project between different areas of the CCMA, with a design in line with the increasingly common trend of converting all technical elements into shareable resources, adaptable according to production needs. In this sense, 22 identical jobs have been defined with the KSC CORE control system in such a way that, for example, a position today can serve the assistant for the implementation of a program and tomorrow it can be assigned to the director of another program totally different, in an agile way, depending on the needs and routines of each program.
Given the potential offered by the system, it is assumed that it will perform at the highest level when the rest of the controls are transformed to HD and that in the future any set can be assigned to any production control, regardless of its physical location, and with assignment. flexible of resources between all of them. In short, we are heading more towards a scenario in which we are not talking about differentiated centers but about different sets and a pull of production controls.
Jesús Ruiz, technical director of Crosspoint who has led the project together with the engineers Luis Manuel del Álamo and Ricardo Cuenca, comments that “Being awarded this project by the CCMA has been a challenge. From a single management system, and its user interfaces, we must configure multiple broadcast systems with multiple protocols. The management system, with adequate redundancy, allows operators to manage resources from twenty-three physical and three virtual panels, which have been configured to meet operational and monitoring needs.
From Crosspoint, it gives us great peace of mind to have suppliers, human resources and knowledge to carry out this integration and solve all the difficulties that inevitably arise in projects of this complexity.
The magnificent communication with those in charge of TV3 has allowed us to adapt the technological solutions to the requested requirements ”.
Ramon Sangrà, Director of the TV Exploitation Area, comments that “the orchestration system has been the key to meeting some of the basic objectives of the project, such as: ability to configure jobs with the most suitable professional profile depending on the of the needs and routines of each program, flexibility in the allocation of technical resources according to the needs of each program, and agility in the configuration and preparation of live events or already recorded programs.
“We are very satisfied with the result obtained, not only because of the KSC Core, which is a very flexible system with many possibilities, and that will perform at its best when more controls can be interconnected, but also because of the Crosspoint team. They have been involved from minute zero, and together with the needs and feedback provided by our engineers, they have designed a system tailored to us, implementing and delivering the project on time”.
This KSC CORE control system integration project was carried out after the previous supply by Crosspoint of the ARTIST system (which also included AES-67 IP interfaces), from Riedel Communications, aimed at the renewal of intercom in the CPA of TV3.