Game Creek

IHSE Draco tera compact KVM switch gives Game Creek’s Spirit new flexibility for replay operations

The Customer

Game Creek Video is a privately owned company that works with the world’s largest television networks, production companies, and news organizations to provide comprehensive mobile production solutions. The company’s mission is to provide the best technical, logistical and production support using state-of-the-art HD technology. Game Creek has a presence at virtually every major televised sports and political event in the country.

The Challenge

After successful KVM matrix switch installations in FX HD and RiverHawk OB trucks, Game Creek Video were looking for something a little different for the next truck: Spirit, a new 53 foot Expando A/B truck. The idea was to create a lot of working space so all replay operations in the B unit could operate as virtual workstations anywhere there was a workstation available – no matter if it was in the A-unit or B-unit. It was clear that IHSE matrix switch solutions would be the perfect solution.

The Solution

Game Creek selected two Draco tera compact 80 port Hybrid matrix switches for each side of the A/B installation. The draco tera switches support both Cat X and fiber, along with a combination of Draco compact 474 and 477 XV (eXtreme Velocity) series extenders. Engineered for reliability and ultra-high resolution image performance, these extenders use IHSE optimized compression technology to deliver virtually lossless transmission of 24-bit digital video to 2048 x 1152 @ 60 Hz and full 24 bit resolutions (including 1920 x 1200 and 1080p video).

To reduce the amount of fiber interconnects required between the A/B units, an 8 port CWDM multiplexer/demultiplexer unit was used to tie both matrices together. The Draco CWDM combines up to eight extenders over one single-mode fiber connection. Although the A/B units are normally located very close to each other, the CWDM multiplexer/demultiplexer could easily allow source connections up to 10 km.

Combining the two systems to create a single matrix solution was handled via IHSE new Matrix Grid software: a bundled software package allowing up to 16 levels of KVM to be integrated into a single control environment.

Each matrix switch includes redundant power and is connected via a standard network interface for administration setup and diagnostics.

The Benefit

The solution combines multiple video encoding technologies to deliver the very best picture, while a pixel mapping ratio of 1:1 ensures authentic display of high-quality, full-screen video.

“Incorporating the IHSE KVM matrix system and moving some of the replay operations into the B unit allowed us to incorporate a larger space in the audio room” said Jason Taubman, Game Creek Video vice president of design and new technology. “The expanded area provides a better layout for surround sound mixing and the KVM option adds greater flexibility to how we setup replay operations.”

“What really attracted us to IHSE was their ability to handle lower resolutions for legacy video and the ability to handle RS422 machine control along with keyboard and mouse devices. We wanted a system that would provide quick access to servers in the tape room from any other room on the truck and it also had to handle VGA resolutions down to 640 x 480.”

“We were so impressed by the IHSE system installed in FX HD and Riverhawk trucks that we chose it for the Spirit truck. Installation was achieved quickly and easily using IHSE flex-port technology which provided a huge time savings for pre-configuring ports to specific I/O requirements. Switching between sources is glitch-free and instantaneous thus reducing eye strain and annoying video tearing found with other systems.”

We normally try and do a smaller show for the rollout of a new truck. However, the first show for Spirit was a FOX MLB national broadcast. The show went off without a hitch. Spirit is an awesome addition to the Game Creek fleet. – Jason Taubman, Game Creek Video

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