IHSE Brings Small-Footprint Flexibility to NEP

PITTSBURGH—At the NEP Systems Integration Group, we design and build television production, mobile truck, and flypack systems for content producers whose needs change from show to show. We consider every design in light of space, size, weight, and power consumption—and also in terms of flexibility, which is why we equip many of our production systems with KVM technology.

For many of our mid-size mobile production units, we count on KVM switches and extenders from IHSE’s Draco tera and Draco vario. With a simple keyboard command, our operators, engineers, and producers can use their own workstations to connect instantly to and control another device within the truck—with no delay or visual artifacts. By defining and recalling specific connections on a per-show or per-day basis, operators can access just the equipment they need for any production.

Size, density, price point, and flexibility all make the Draco KVM systems a good fit for the mid-size truck niche. With the 6-U Draco chassis, we typically use a CPU card and an extender, or a second card for serial control for much of the equipment. We often just use two pairs of transmitters or two pairs of receivers, but we can get three of those pairs into a 1RU chassis that can go pretty much anywhere.


Design engineer Martin Eibeck laid out the KVM system for EN3, our new, twintrailer mobile unit for network sports production. In a more traditional twin-truck combination, the A unit would handle record/replay in addition to production audio and video, but we designed EN3 so that operators in the B trailer can handle record/replay if needed. With an IHSE Draco compact KVM switch providing a matrix of 48 copper ports for A with an additional 16 fiber ports available for B, we use eight-channel Draco CWDM modules to mux and demux KVM signals between the record servers on A and the operators on B. Record/replay workstations are configured with Draco vario KVM DVI combination extenders. This creates a highly flexible mobile operation in which both units can be configured to meet a given show’s requirements; operators can move between B to A, plug their controllers into the KVM serial port, and simply recall their servers without changing wires or moving cables.

The KVM equipment has optimized EN3 for remotely integrated at-home production (REMI) and graphics remote integration (GREMI), two powerful and relatively new approaches that lessen the allow core crew working on site to set up and test the system and, as air time nears, switch all the KVM connections to the remote operators—replay or graphics operators or others — helping to run the show from the broadcaster’s fixed facility.

As we engineer ever-better workflows, we appreciate IHSE’s willingness to help us build each system the way we want it. (We’re not all that shy about making special requests that allow us to design and build facilities that stand out from the competition.) We enjoy a great working relationship with IHSE, and the company’s KVM equipment has served us reliably and well.

Joseph Signorino is vice president, systems integration for NEP US Mobile Units and can be reached atjsignorino@nepgroup.com

For more information, visitwww.ihseusa.comor call 866-721-0744.