Royal Academy of Music

Draco tera KVM system enables flexible management of live AV recordings

The Customer

The Royal Academy of Music is an institution of world renown, training nearly 850 students from over 50 countries in over 20 musical disciplines. It is Britain’s oldest conservatoire, founded in 1822, and is currently housed in three historic buildings in the heart of London.

The Challenge

Across five public performance venues, the Academy’s Recording Department generates high quality multicamera videos of orchestral and chamber events throughout the year, destined for use on its website, YouTube, and live-streaming sites. In addition, the Recording Department provides a service for students to record academic submissions, scholarship applications, competition entries, and other AV projects during term time.

The Academy recently embarked on a long-term program to upgrade and update its buildings and technical facilities. The ongoing work centers on construction of a new theatre and recital hall, as well as relocating and redesigning the associated control rooms. Transmitting live audio and video signals between buildings over distances in excess of several hundred meters has proved a fundamental challenge.

The objective is to facilitate a more efficient and comfortable centralized environment in which producers can manage the wide variety of recordings and live productions undertaken each year.

The Solution

Initial system design work undertaken by the Academy’s own engineers and IT staff identified IHSE KVM extenders as the most appropriate devices to remotely manage a wide range of audio and video switches and servers located in the central equipment room. The addition of a Draco tera compact KVM matrix switch provides the added benefit of extending operations to locations beyond the main control room.

Direct connection is achieved between the Draco tera switch and the CON devices spread throughout the building over Cat 5 cabling on the shorter links within the main building, and single mode fiber on the longer runs between buildings. All types of media format are handled, including VGA, DVI and HDMI video and analogue, digital and networked audio streams.

We need to accurately manage sound and picture at the very highest levels of quality so that producers and editors can create the best possible material for live transmission and recordings. IHSE KVM extenders allow us to meet that challenge by providing instant access to centralized production, editing and recording tools from several locations around the facilities, making it an efficient and straightforward process. – David Gleeson, Head of Recording

The Benefit

Audio and video streams have to be managed reliably and accurately so that live transmission and storage of precious performances are not lost forever. The Draco KVM system performs with the highest level of reliability, enabling operators to instantly access chosen devices and manage the sound and picture streams without experiencing any switching delay or signal latency. Local control of switching by keyboard hotkeys provides users with convenience and flexibility with the added benefit of being able to access and control the system from various points around the sites. This eliminates the timeconsuming and tiring need to return to the control room for switch configuration changes. For the first time, performances staged in one building can be managed and distributed to other buildings, adding to the convenience and effectiveness of the installation.

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