To tackle the differing requirements for device control in live production, DNF Controls has developed the Production Control Application. This runs on its Flex Control Network modular platform of machine controllers, and allows broadcasters to build tailored solutions, which manage standard video and graphic playout devices which are capable of IP control.
The Production Control Application is a complete, semi-automated solution that works with existing control room equipment to simplify production control, expand capabilities, enhance the look and branding, and minimise errors. It can control up to 24 channels of VTRs, DDRs, video servers and graphic devices synchronously for on-air and on-set playout from highly reliable, easy-to-use, tactile control panels and their production switcher.
“Despite the complex nature of today's broadcast operations, our customers still want a simplified and intuitive workflow,” said Dan Fogel, CTO of DNF Controls. “This system not only improves workflow and reliability by automating and timing complex interactions, the simple setup and configuration means reduced engineering involvement and cost."
The Production Control Application consists of dual DC20 device controllers that control up to four devices each, along with two types of control panels: a CP20 event-based, cue-marking, VTR-style control panel, and an ST420 shotbox for instantaneous access to trigger complex events. By adding device controllers, the application expands to control up to 24 channels.
The control panels talk over ethernet to the device controllers, which translate to the correct control protocols. By separating the control panels and device controllers, broadcasters can create centralised systems in an equipment or control room, or distributed systems that allows users to control playout devices with frame accuracy via ethernet from anywhere in the world. The distributed system architecture means that failure of an individual piece will not cripple the entire system.
The Production Control System is based on the Flex Control Network, a platform which supports 25 drivers and interface solutions that combine with a full range of control panels to create applications using an existing IP infrastructure as the backbone. Its tactile control surfaces, browser-based interfaces for ease of use and deployment, and simple push-button operation using ‘event to action’ logic built sophisticated, automated control.