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Technicolor builds new post production sound facility employing Draco tera KVM matrix switch for HD signal distribution and switching

The Customer

Technicolor’s new 65,000 square foot post production sound facility was developed and constructed by collaboration between Technicolor and Paramount to handle a variety of post-production activities. Located on the Paramount lot, the large facility handles sound mixing, ADR and foley for both theatrical and broadcast releases including television shows such as Glee, Dexter, Vampire Diaries, Castle, Army Wives, and True Blood.

The Challenge

OOBAXS: the name stems from the company’s specialisation of Out-of-Band Access, helped integrate a new connectivity solution for the new facility. Alan M Frank, founder of OOBAXS was involved early on to help evaluate their need for a keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) solution that would enable them to easily manage multiple systems focused on post production.

In a process of very detailed evaluation spread over almost four years OOBAXS searched for an acceptable solution for Technicolor. OOBAXS identified and showed the Technicolor Content Services team several solutions and provided evaluation equipment.

The Solution

“This was during the period that the broadcast industry moved from analog to digital signal formats and after more than one year of demonstrations, changes, upgrades and testing, I was introduced to a future offering of an HD DVI Extender solution from IHSE that demonstrated the potential to meet the required need: no noise in the final content, high-definition DVI at 60 fps and an interframe switching speed between clients. “This was the first time a solution like this was seen in the industry. Then IHSE provided a prototype for digital audio within weeks of a customer request, which was the icing on the cake!”

OOBAXS received consensus from the team shortly after the working digital audio prototype that the IHSE Draco tera KVM matrix was the solution chosen for the new facility. From that point and over the next year, OOBAXS provided feedback from continued testing to the designers at IHSE who further developed the solution to meet and exceed the final expectations of Technicolor. “I visited the IHSE facilities in Germany to watch over the production of the IHSE Draco tera, noted Frank. “Seeing first-hand the attention to detail, pristine environment, and high-tech automation IHSE deployed was truly inspiring and supports their zero-deficiency record!”

In the fall of 2011 Technicolor’s facility opened with the fully operational IHSE Draco tera KVM matrix solution. Technicolor editors and technicians now manage 25-30 systems per switch. “Since the switches include digital audio we are now able to use headphones to monitor our activity through the KVM,” said Michael Novitch, chief engineer of Technicolor Sound Services. “The resolution looks great and there are no signs of video artifacts that we had in the past. The speed consistently switching back and forth between systems was the biggest issue we solved.”

The Benefit

Technicolor has been using the HD KVM solution since the facility opened in early September. The whole system works flawlessly and supports Technicolor’s efforts to help their media and entertainment customers remain at the forefront of the digital shift. “OOBAXS has been working with us for four years to help us identify a product to fit our needs,” added Novitch. “They were instrumental in allowing us to sample the first production model within our infrastructure and made sure everything got shipped, tracked and handled every issue, failure and problem.”

The flexible system now enables editors to monitor multiple systems without the need for multiple routers.

Download case study “Technicolor”