Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) is a leader in media services, system integration and software development in the areas of television, radio, production and postproduction, telecommunication and IT. Its power and influence within the broadcast industry is remarkable — if you’ve ever consumed media in Europe, it’s likely that it’s been through part of the BCE infrastructure.
With more than 200 employees, BCE serves about 400 clients in various sectors, such as TV channels, radio stations, film distributors, producers, advertising companies, telecommunications operators and public services. It is also an enthusiastic champion of IP technology; from ingest and storage all the way through to transmission, the BCE infrastructure is based entirely around IP.
In 2017, BCE moved from its premises in Luxembourg to a new facility, 500 feet away in RTL City. Despite the small geographical distance between the old and new sites, the work required to relocate one of the largest broadcasting centres in Europe, while maintaining service, was an overwhelming prospect for even the most experienced of companies.
The move involved creating brand new studios for television broadcast, production, post-production and radio, as well as new facilities for transmission, multimedia, IT and resident partner broadcasters. Once designed and implemented, BCE also wanted to ensure that each of these broadcast functions were connected. This would help to improve operator workflows, enable flexibility across teams and maintain seamless 24/7 broadcasting operations while staying within budget.
After reviewing the possibilities available to them, BCE decided to work with Intronics, a specialist in professional connectivity solutions. Having met the Intronics team several times, BCE was impressed with its proof of concept work, and its experience in dealing with IP-based broadcast infrastructures.
In addition to its IP infrastructure expertise, Intronics also has a strong knowledge of IP-based KVM technology and solutions, which BCE agreed would be the best option for seamlessly connecting each of the broadcast functions on the new site. With this in mind, BCE and Intronics opted for the AdderLink Infinity, an IP-based KVM solution from Adder Technology that allows for flexible and intuitive infrastructures.
Franz Voss, project engineer at Broadcasting Center Europe, said: “The choice for an IP-based solution was obvious due to the required flexibility, in line with our decision to go for IP on all other levels, including our SDI infrastructure. During the RFP process, Intronics teaming with Adder proved to be the best choice for this huge endeavour and both showed a very high level of expertise and professionalism throughout the project.”
The Adder Technology solution consists of several Adder products that work together to perform the overall operation. In the case of BCE, the AdderLink Infinity solution included two AdderLink Infinity Managers (A.I.M.) which are responsible for the management and coordination of the entire KVM system and approximately 500 AdderLink Infinity transmitters and receivers — enough for each of the user end points located throughout the new building. In addition to this, BCE opted for multiple Adder CCS-PRO4 and AdderView 4 PRO DVI switches. These allow users at certain end points to control and manage up to four different computers using a single keyboard, mouse and display. The Adder RED-PSU rack mountable power distribution units, with redundancy, were also chosen to optimise reliability and uptime.
The wider KVM network in the new BCE building consists of two core ICX7750-48 switches in separate racks, and 40 satellite switches. All endpoints are connected to both stacks for bandwidth and resiliency. Specific features like packet loss monitoring and a level 3 network layer were also engineered by Adder in consultation with both BCE and Intronics.
By utilising the common copper and fibre IP network withthe high performance IP-based AdderLink Infinity KVM solution, BCE is able to successfully connect all broadcast functions and operators within its new facilities. This is a huge operational advantage and a scalable solution that simply would not have been possible in the company’s previous premises.
The benefits that the AdderLink Infinity Solution has delivered to BCE are plentiful. Firstly, it has enabled improved user ergonomics and a level of flexibility and scalability that only high performance IP-based KVM solutions can provide. If BCE wants to move a number of user end points to a different location, for example, or if it decides to increase the total number of end points required, these changes are simple to make and do not require any dramatic overhaul of the IT infrastructure. The AdderLink Infinity solution also offers multiple levels of network, hardware and power redundancy, which gives BCE reassurance that they will be able to continue their 24/7 broadcast operations without any unexpected outages or interruptions.
The nature of standard IP networking infrastructure means that multiple systems can exist on the same network, while the addition of the AdderLink Infinity solution allows each of them to be accessed more easily. Adder’s solution comes without distance limitations, meaning that a post-production studio at one end of the building can be seamlessly connected to a broadcast studio located elsewhere. It also comes without limitations on the number of connected users or computers in a matrix, meaning the IP-based KVM solution is infinitely scalable to the requirements.
Finally, from a business perspective, Adder’s high performance IP-based KVM solution delivers significant return on investment for BCE. Because the solution relies upon BCE’s existing IP infrastructure, and because the solution can be scaled precisely to the company’s needs.