Media Center Lume at Aalto University uses a Draco major KVM matrix switch to provide operational flexibility
Finland’s Aalto University School specializes in audiovisual communication, new media, motion picture and production design. The University’s Media Center Lume is a national education, research, development and production center which combines the disciplines of cinema, TV, digital media and production set design. It is one of the best equipped media production resources in European media schools covering over 11,000 square meters and attracts over 30,000 visitors each year to 300 film, stage and TV-related events and productions.
The production and audience facilities within the center have been designed for maximum flexibility and versatility. One of the ways this is achieved is through the use of comprehensive file data distribution and user access to computers to ensure that video content and files are made available rapidly, wherever they needed. This allows video and data of almost any format, including Flash, MediaPlayer, Quicktime, RealMedia, DVD/MPEG, audio and general office files to be accessed wherever the user is located.
An IHSE Draco major KVM matrix switch installed by local system integrator Mespek helps to provide this availability and gives flexibility to the varied operations undertaken at the center. The main role of the switch is to provide switching between twelve computers and twelve control stations located in a secure and separate equipment room, enabling operators to share resources across the studios and control rooms. This allows them to have access to data and programs held on the source computers wherever they are in the building.
Studios and control rooms can be configured according to immediate requirements and their roles can change to suit that need, without the necessity of dedicating individual studios to specific tasks. In the TV studio role, a set of computers is used to assist in multicamera, virtual studio, effect shots, motion capture and single camera productions. Different computers are then used for post-production serving the functions of video servers, computer graphics and virtual studio computers. Computers are also used to provide video projection in motion capture situations.
The whole system is managed and controlled locally by means of network interfaces and computers located in the equipment room and production office.
“Several of our computers are dual head with Nvidia Quadro6000 graphics cards on which we carry out intensive graphical work,” explains Tony Tolin of Aalto. “The matrix system requires instant switching between powerful computers for virtual studio applications with our high-end virtual studio system. This is provided by the Draco major KVM matrix switch which delivers near-instantaneous (millisecond) switching of single, dual and quad-head digital video up to 1080p to monitors together with analogue and digital audio and transparent, bi-directional USB 2.0 data, enabling the connection of HID devices, tablets, jog wheels, memory and webcams.”
The numbers of studio staff and students vary in different courses and it is very convenient that one person can run several task or computers through the Draco matrix switch or in bigger productions several people can split these tasks in different control positions. – Tony Tolin of Aalto