Japan’s Asahi Streamlines Control Room Ops with Matrox

Headquartered in Osaka, Asahi Broadcasting Group Holdings Corporation (ABC) serves one of Japan’s most populous regions. ABC’s wide offering of news, sports, and informational TV programs means that the organization requires strict around-the-clock control room operations. In order to optimise resource sharing and better manage broadcast equipment during emergencies, ABC turned to Matrox Extio 3 IP KVM extenders. With Extio 3, ABC is able to connect staff and equipment flexibly and efficiently.

Searching for low-bitrate, multi-system control

Before installing Extio 3 IP KVM extenders, ABC’s computer terminals were dispersed between a master control room and three secondary control rooms – with each of the control rooms separated by different floors. Furthermore, physical constraints such as small spaces and the presence of dust made it difficult for ABC staff to keep systems separated and maintain them when not in use. ABC therefore needed an IP KVM solution that would allow them to centralize control room resources – all while being easy to install and flexible enough to scale to meet the organizations evolving needs. Intrigued by Extio 3’s ability to deliver pristine image quality and excellent keyboard and mouse responsiveness at a distance, as well as its ability to provide support for ultra-high resolution applications at unprecedented low bitrates, ABC decided to test the product. What the broadcast organization found was that Extio 3 IP KVM extenders would allow staff to readily access secondary control room equipment from the master control room for secure, centralized resource management across multiple different locations in the building.

Seamless operation across multiple control rooms

All of ABC’s broadcast control room equipment is located in the company headquarters in Osaka. Two Extio 3 transmitter devices are installed in a dedicated server room on the fifth floor of the building, and send signals to four different Extio 3 receiver devices in other locations in the building. The master control room is installed on the seventh floor, where operators can seamlessly access and manage equipment in the organization’s sub-control rooms. Also located on the seventh floor, sub-control room “N” is dedicated to news programs, while a separate sub-control room “G” is dedicated to sports programming. On the ninth floor, sub-control room “C” caters to informational programs. Signals that appear across a quad-monitor display in each of the sub-control rooms are sent via ABC’s 1Gbps network at ultra-low bitrates, allowing for smooth operation.

Affordable and efficient resource management

With plans to continue to increase the number of control room installations, ABC can count on Extio 3 for affordable IP KVM extension. Deploying Extio 3 has allowed ABC operators to optimize control room operations with ease. Not only has Extio 3 enabled ABC to decrease the movement of staff and equipment between control rooms, but it has also made real-time remote access to different systems in separate control rooms a possibility. “Matrox Extio 3 has proven to be a robust and cost-effective KVM extension solution for ABC,” said Masayuki Kanda, Section Chief for ABC’s Engineering Division, Broadcasting Operation Department, and Engineering Strategy Department. “We have found the low-bitrate encoding to be so fast, it is hard to tell that the desktop is being accessed remotely. Furthermore, operation is incredibly intuitive and straightforward.”

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