Bringing the best of Hollywood to Asia, with the help of IHSE
HBO Asia is a division of Time Warner and operates from Singapore, transmitting a bouquet of channels and services to viewers throughout Asia.
The broadcaster brings the best of Hollywood to Asia through licensing deals with major and independent studios. With several live and on-demand broadcast channels, the organisation operates on a 24-hour per day basis.
In order to continuously monitor transmissions a system was required that would allow around 20 personnel to access over 100 servers housed in the central equipment room at the broadcaster’s headquarter offices.
To achieve the desired connectivity and flexibility that would allow monitoring staff to access individual channels and switch easily between them, a 160 port Draco enterprise KVM switch was installed in the computer room. The switch is connected through Draco CPU units, enabling all the servers to be input to the switch. A variety of DVI and VGA signals from a mixture of Linux, MAC, Window OS version PCs video formats are accommodated.
Individual Cat X cables were laid from the switch to IT room, server room and monitoring operation centres. Final connection to the user workstations is made through small CON units, allowing users to control the remote source remote computers and servers with their own keyboard and mouse.
The Tera Viewer IP based monitoring and switching tool is included to enable graphic, near real-time, display of remote video streams from servers and help monitor the different applications residing on different servers.
The Tera Viewer application was further customized to suit HBO specific requirements. A new operator console function was added that enables the Tera Viewer operator to instantly connect to a source by clicking on the thumbnail image to gain KVM control over it. Users are also able to enlarge the small thumbnail images to fit the full size of the monitor for better viewing.
These additional features assist operators in rectifying any issues quickly and easily from their own workstation. They were designed to be easy and intuitive to use, without additional training. The result is a faster and more accurate response to issues occurring on any source computer on the system.
With the Draco tera enterprise system, users can easily select the desired sources to view through shortcut commands at their own workstations. The Tera Viewer tool provides a convenient and highly usable method of visually monitoring individual channels; ensuring that they are operating and live, before switching to them for visual monitoring.
The IHSE KVM switch allows HBO’s small team to monitor a large number of channels. Each operator can instantly switch between channels, freely and without restriction, making this a very efficient and usable solution to our monitoring requirements. – Tan Lai Heng, COO at Broadcast Engineering Services