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NEXUS Server as Intelligent Link in Event-based Operation of Main Control Rooms

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A KSC/NEXUS system integrating four NEXUS audio networks


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Berlin, September 2010: At this year’s IBC in Amsterdam, STAGETEC presents a new system called NEXUS Server, which is used to optimise NEXUS in Main-Control-Room applications. Designed in close cooperation with BFE, NEXUS Server integrates tightly with KSC Manager, BFE’s MCR control system. KSC Manager is to be found in a large number of broadcast MCRs in Germany and many other countries.
NEXUS Server interrogates the Main Control Room control system, KSC Manager, about large numbers of scheduled routing events. Then the system organises the scheduling and triggers execution of these events on the NEXUS system, at the correct times, autonomously. NEXUS Server, as an intelligent link, replaces the BFE controller, which the KSC Manager would otherwise require.
This combination enables event-based routing to be set up. The operator configures the Server in advance using a graphical user interface or by filling in a table. The programmed routing actions are then performed automatically at the exact preconfigured time. The more complex the MCR tasks, the greater the benefits which can be achieved by employing a system with a NEXUS Server and the KSC Manager.

Technical Implementation

From the technical point of view, interaction between KSC Manager and the NEXUS Server is based on an Application Programming Interface API, a standard interface for application programming in the IT world. Via this API, NEXUS Server queries the KSC manager for all routing events scheduled for a specific period and receives a suitably formatted events list. In the next step, NEXUS Server triggers the required events at the appropriate times and reports the execution back to the KSC manager. Thus the operator in the Main Control Room can see at a glance the status of a specific NEXUS router crosspoint.

Error Management

Improved status overview is just one major advantage of communication between KSC manager and NEXUS Server. Error detection and reporting are also key features. If a scheduled routing event does not occur, NEXUS Server tries repeatedly to trigger it. If these attempts fail, for example because the respective NEXUS Base Device is not connected, an error will be displayed. In such a case, the operator can react accordingly to solve the issue.
NEXUS Server also detects incorrect connections and tracks any manual interventions to the NEXUS and logs both to a database. This enables the broadcaster to analyse the exact course of events after an operational error, for example.
The smart interface also improves timing considerably because the NEXUS Server handles the audio router timing management. This advantage has the biggest effect when many crosspoints are to be set at the same time and prevents any bottleneck in the transmission of switching requirements.

Reliability

NEXUS Server offers the highest grade of reliability as required in main control rooms. Thanks to its networking capabilities all the typical IT safety strategies can be deployed, for example the use of redundant servers. Each system can be tailor-made to meet the needs of the customer exactly regarding redundancy and reliability.
Another benefit of computer networking is that it enables any number of control clients to be run in parallel.

Reference Installations

Hessischer Rundfunk at Frankfurt (Germany) is running the first NEXUS Server installation in a radio environment. It is a large router network comprised of four separate NEXUS networks each with two NEXUS Servers which are configured as a master system with a redundant slave system. At the IBC, STAGETEC will show an emulation of this set-up for demonstration purposes at the MEDIAGROUP booth (Hall 8, C 80). In addition, an example of a typical TV installation is on display at the BFE booth (Hall 12, B 10).

Other IBC Highlights

Visitors from the radio-broadcasting domain will also be able to take a look at STAGETEC’s brand-new ON AIR 24 single-operator console, which will be presented to the public for the first time at the SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP booth (Hall 8, C 80).

KSC Manager: The Facts

The BFE KSC Manager is the main user interface for all routing systems in a Main Control Room, regardless of the equipment to be controlled in the background. KSC Manager was originally developed for TV Main-Control-Room environments. The hr installation is the first purely radio application of the system.
KSC Manager enables routing events to be scheduled, which will be triggered subsequently at the appropriate time. This automation feature renders a great many of the routine daily tasks in the Main Control Room redundant, freeing up time for employees to concentrate on short-term changes, routing bottlenecks and error prevention.

The SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP can be found in Hall 8, booth C 80 and are also presenting the VRT HD02 OB truck in the open-air area OE 119 of the exhibition. Also visit DELEC who will welcome you in Hall 10, booth B 31. The IBC takes place at the RAI Congress Center, Amsterdam (Netherlands), between 10-14 September 2010.