France Télévisions

KVM system helps to increase efficiency and communication in recent France Télévisions studio upgrades

The Customer

France Télévisions broadcasts a bouquet of five national television channels and 24 regional channels. It is the major French public service broadcasting group. Each week, more than 77% of the French population watches France Télévisions channels, viewing programs that inform, nurture and entertain.

The Challenge

Through a recent upgrade to the broadcast suites in two studios, France Télévisions greatly improved the facilities available to its production staff and engineers to increase the overall efficiency of the organization.

At the start of the program, France Télévisions identified the need to enhance visual communication between users through the use of easily-viewed mosaic displays on large screens and to redesign individual workstations to maximize their ergonomic layout and user-efficiency, making them more accessible to production staff within the operation.

The Solution

IHSE worked closely with French dealer, Gentec, and in close collaboration with France Télévisions to devise a completely new approach to studio infrastructure based around a digital KVM architecture. Rather than incorporate a fixed and inflexible layout, users would have the ability to connect their personal workstations to computers and broadcast editing machines as, and when, they were needed. In this way, studios and work areas could be dynamically configured to meet the needs of users. The upgrades were carried out to the equipment infrastructure of two of the main broadcast channels.

Régie 3 handles regional programming and special events, such as the Olympics or French national elections. To achieve the flexibility required by production teams the gallery is built around a 48 flexible I/O ports KVM switch, supplemented by a number of point-to-point extenders. The modularity and controllability of the system allows the studio to be reconfigured quickly and easily depending upon the type of program being broadcast.

Régie 4 started operation in 2014 and has benefited from recent developments in IHSE technology. Of particular importance was the introduction of a  significant degree of redundancy within the system in order to ensure that the station can continue operations in the unlikely event that any of the system components or links should fail.

The IHSE KVM system was selected primarily on its ability to deliver high quality images and its imperceptible transmission and switching latency.
Further advantages that France Télévisions welcomed included the ability to configure the system with any combination of inputs and outputs and its modular construction which will allow future expansion to accommodate growth in the number of users. The broadcaster also wished to continue using legacy equipment, much of it is with VGA outputs, within the new digital switching system: a facility that was also offered with the Draco tera system.

The new system has given us a great deal more flexibility in the way we operate and allows the production teams to rapidly reconfigure the studio layout to meet their specific needs; making them more effective, which has in turn, enhanced the quality of the programming. The system surpasses our original expectations and has made major improvements to operational procedures whilst allowing us to save costs through efficiencies and the reduction in expensive equipment needed to manage a national broadcast station. – Makhtar Ait Naceur, Project Manager

The Benefit

The use and adaptability of the two studios has been greatly extended through the deployment of the IHSE KVM switching solution. Staff working on
programs can quickly and easily configure the operational areas to their particular requirements and preferences, based on preconfigured and
stored layouts. All users within the studios can access a wide range of resources within the studio complexes without being tied to specific work locations. This allows them to work more proficiently and effectively, leading to an increase
in the quality of transmitted programs. Both channels are expected to grow in the future which will be facilitated by the modular nature of the Draco tera KVM switches deployed. Not only can the individual ports be assigned as inputs or outputs as required, but the system can be readily expanded to handle more source equipment and users as needs dictate.

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