Do you remember those commercials with Payton Manning “If it’s shot with a Sony it should be watched on a Sony?”
I’m a big fan of the A&E show LIVE PD. One of the production elements that I like so much is that all the transitions go right into stand-ups in the control room. It gives you a real sense of how the live show comes together. One of the shots, lets you see the director call the show over Dan Abrams’ shoulder. Another one of the transitional control room shots is the switcher. This is always one of the more intriguing shots, because it gives viewers a look at the actual equipment that is used in the real world, with a background of lots of flashy colored lights.
If the thought behind Sony’s ad campaign has any merit at all, that if it’s shot on a Sony camera it should be viewed on a Sony HDTV, then we need to closely examine what A&E Networks are using before we recommend any Pro Video products.
The switcher in the control room is a Grass Valley Kayenne K-Frame switcher. Look closely during the transitions and you can read the nameplate. The Multiviewer on the video wall is driven by a Grass Valley Kaleido. This is not the largest control room, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
The Grass Valley Kayenne K-Frame switcher
I don’t see any Blackmagic or Ross products here. I certainly don’t see any Roland or NewTek TriCaster products in this control room either. So, why would you expect professional quality results with those products anywhere else? I believe this is a very legitimate question. Sony seemed to think so, too.
This begs the response, “but, my school, church or corporate video customer doesn’t need a control room of that size, or budget.” The beautiful thing about Grass Valley is that every one of their product families is scalable. That means that you can build it out as large or as small as your project, and budget allows. This certainly speaks to the Grass Valley K-Frame switchers. They now have a couple new small footprint offerings to meet the scale used in these kinds of projects. And, they’re still built on the K-Frame design that allows scalability as future growth dictates.
The Grass Valley Kaleido MX
Likewise, the Kaleido Multiviewers are also fully scalable. So, let’s focus on those for a minute.
Grass Valley Kaleido enables you to design a multi-image video wall of any size, populate it with any number of image windows, in any configuration, and scale the installation to support future growth needs. This fits right in to our Visualization Station initiative.
It’s clear that one application is for the video production control room. Let’s imagine some of the other applications for multiviewers in Pro AV.
The first application that comes to mind is security control rooms. Here, you might have dozens of IP video cameras that need to be viewed simultaneously across a video wall. That video wall could be one large display, or multiple displays. The configuration might be dozens of small thumbnail windows and one large window to allow closer examination of a single camera. The beautiful part of Grass Valley Kaleido, is that it can be configured to store presets for any number of views and then have them recalled with a button press or through a control system. Venues that might use this application would be corporate security offices, casinos, universities, shopping malls and financial institutions.
Another application is Command and Control. Here, you might have a large video wall comprised of many displays, either LCD or seamless LEDs. The Kaleido can then allow you to configure windows of many sizes across the video wall. Again, presets allow you to have multiple recallable window configurations to accommodate any situation. This is ideal for venues like Emergency Operations Centers, transportation companies like airline and railroad operations centers, energy companies, and federal, state and local government agencies, like police, fire, traffic and EMS services.
The Grass Valley Kaleido IP
The last application we’ll look at is video distribution. Here, we likely won’t have a huge video wall, but rather one or two modestly-sized LCD displays. We may have dozens of video streams or cable channels being distributed around a facility. We only need a bunch of thumbnail views to make sure all the streams are active. Kaleido is perfect for this application, because using presets, we can select groups of streams to view simultaneously and a view where a problem can be identified easily with a brightly colored alert. As an example, if feed #31 is lost, a red box will flash on that particular thumbnail, and using GPIO can even sound an alarm or flash an external indicator. Venues that fit this application are cable TV and satellite TV operations centers, convention and event centers, multiplex theaters, and even large hotels and resorts.
Don’t think that designing these systems is difficult. All you need to know is the number and type of inputs and outputs. Like 32 IP camera inputs and for a 2x3 video wall, 6 HDMI outputs. Kaleido supports any input and output signals and format, including mixed signals. The best part of all this is, whatever you may need, we will configure it for you.