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Control Systems > LAWO - Virtual Studio Manager

The Basic Concept

One Independent Control System - Full System Control Under One Umbrella

There are many challenges facing broadcasters today. Making the most out of the available resources in terms of money, technology and personnel are hot topics. Concepts of centralised resource sharing and streamlined workflows can only effectively be addressed with fully integrated system designs.

Typically the flexibility and usability of a particular router control system is the driving force in the choice of router. Imagine instead having a single hardware independent control system that allows operation, configuration and system integration of a chosen video router, video switcher, audio router, audio console, intercom system, multi-viewer system, modular equipment and other third party devices. Often single hardware manufacturer system solutions offer the best integration, but this can mean being forced into specific technological and operational concepts that the manufacturer has employed. Further down the line, it also reduces flexibility and choice when rapidly changing technologies forces core system components to be added or replaced. Wouldn’t the ideal solution be to have the flexibility and freedom to select any hardware technologies on the market at any time, but integrate the control of all of these elements into a single control system. This would then allow operational workflows and user interfaces to be customised to meet individual needs. If in addition the control system offers an extensive design toolbox that allowed the customer to easily change these interfaces without manufacturer support, this would give peace of mind that the system would be able to adapt and grow as needs and requirements changed over time.

VSM

Broadcast Control and Monitoring System

A VSM control system brings together all the requirements for a safe and flexible broadcast operation. The “everything under one roof” philosophy unites technical devices and operators in a most adaptable way. User panels and interfaces can be configured without limitation to meet the requirements of different workflows and applications, while the whole system is under redundant control.

The IP infrastructure of a VSM network, including all control panels, interfaces and external devices, guarantees easy installation. All the advantages of IP connectivity, such as its high data performance and standard management  components, increase the power of a complete broadcast system. As a unique feature, real time feedback from every single crosspoint and parameter is available, as well as special applications such as audio metering via the protocol. All VSM user interfaces display the confirmed action from an attached device, for example, a router. This guarantees maximum transparency for every operator and every control unit. Additionally, a global naming facility for mixers, UMDs, user panels and many other devices provides status information at a glance. 

The heart of a VSM system is the vsmStudio server application, running on standard machines without any Master/ Slave restrictions. All configuration data including real time information from the attached devices is always synchronous, on all connected servers. If one machine fails, there will be no perceptible interruption, and your broadcast will continue without any limitations. In high redundancy applications, VSM devices can communicate simultaneously with up to four servers.

Operation is a breeze for users, thanks to a variety of interfaces. Hardware panels in a number of different styles provide maximum information via their high-resolution buttons, as required. A multicolor backlight supports signal management and parameter changes, even for large applications. For truly intuitive operation, touchscreen solutions are available to display any individual panel layout.

Concept & Vision:

  • Be the most open and sophisticated broadcast control system on the market
  • Supply the best system integration and control interfaces to all essential broadcast equipment
  • Provide clear separation to the broadcast hardware technology decisions and the control aspects
  • Provide clear separation to the broadcast hardware technology decisions and the control aspects
  • Remain third-party hardware manufacturer independent to offer free choice based on the best technology available
  • Protect the investment of our customers by a commitment to continual protocol implementation
  • Offer a simple yet sophisticated tool box allowing configuration changes, system expansion (third-party and VSM) and workflow changes without factory support

Architecture:

With hundreds of different protocols  already implemented and growing by the day, VSM already seamlessly integrates with the majority of the most popular broadcast equipment on the market, including video routers, video switchers, audio routers, audio consoles, multi-viewers, intercoms, modular equipment and many special third-party devices. By talking native protocols where possible, equipment from different manufacturers can be seamlessly ‘glued’ together, giving unmatched recall and logic control possibilities system wide.

vsmStudio - Power and configurability in your hands

vsmStudio software is the heart of the VSM system and the main administration and configuration tool that runs continuously on all VSM servers in the system. From here, an easy-to-use GUI provides all the functions, tools and setup wizards to control and customise your VSM system to your specific application and workflow needs. Additionally, all connected hardware settings and statuses are shown in real-time, with instant control and feedback. 
The basic vsmStudio software licence provides all the tools needed to administrate communication ports, define and control router layers, enter signal paths and labels, configure all hardware and software panel user interfaces and many other features. A number of modular `add-on’ software functions can then be added for more sophisticated functionalities such as scheduling, boxing, pooling etc.

The vsmStudio software concept is that after initial assistance and factory support with custom configuration to mould the product into the project specific requirements, the customer is trained and left with a tool to continually adapt, add and change all parts of the system without further factory support.

As your needs change, the full power and configurability of VSM is in your hands. Not only this, technical staff need only learn one system interface to control numerous devices, saving time and money in training. 

Functions:

  • Crosspoint routing
  • Global labelling
  • Signal Bundling for logical and simplified routing and operation (Pseudo Devices)
  • Global snapshots including all parameters under VSM control (Storage Groups)
  • Virtual signals paths for logical separation of physical signals and production workflows (Virtual Signals)
  • System wide GPIO and tally management
  • Dyamic router tie line management
  • Free configuration of operational workflows on hardware and software panels
  • Sophisticated Alarm management
  • Built-in scheduler for time-orientated crosspoint and parameter changes

Features:

  • Heart of the VSM studio product
  • User-friendly software to handle all configuration, administration and central control
  • Configuration changes occur in real-time with no download or need for the system to be offline
  • Offline configuration possible
  • Remote access, control and support with standard secure IT solutions
  • Multiple server redundancy synchronisation and seamless changeover
  • True real-time status monitoring of attached devices
  • Virtual matrix view allows all router layers to be combined, organised and controlled in custom XY views
  • vsmStudio only `asks’ and displays current equipment settings upon startup – safe and secure operation