KVMTech’s tailored control room solutions helped East Coast Radio transform its on-air studios to those of 21st century control capability, including scalability that allows for continued advancement. Contracted in 2018 to supply and install relevant electronic solutions and associated cabling for the station’s studio rebuild, KVMTech’s solution proved its ROI in a very short period. It has been maintenance- and trouble-free since installation, and its longevity, scalability and flexibility continue to contribute to the station’s profitability four years down the line.
East Coast Radio’s solution needed to be simple, time-efficient and flexible, catering to the requirements of a multitude of systems from IT to broadcasting, overseen only by a small technical team. Consisting of Guntermannn & Drunck (G&D) products, the installed solution comprised a customised digital video interface (DVI) centre as the central matrix switch, DVI connectors and DVI central processing units with trade switching as the core function.
“We previously had layers of wires littering our server room, causing confusion when one of the hard-to-identify extenders failed, a regular occurrence before the upgrade,” explains, Reuben Baatjes, IT and Broadcast Technician, East Coast Radio. He says that the failures would limit the DJs ability to carry out their tasks and, on occasion, result in station blackout – i.e., no broadcast. “We would remain “silent” for as long as the equipment repair demanded.”
To further complicate matters, the station’s DJs had to contend with multiple keyboards and computer mice, which affected their productivity. “KVMTech’s solution not only solved our connectivity challenges, but KVMTech’s single-console control (one mouse, one keyboard) with multi-monitor workspaces created more efficient internal processes,” points out Siyethemba Shozi, Technical Manager at East Coast Radio. “This has resulted in a flexible, convenient and easy-to-use studio, which improved DJ productivity and positively affected listenership ratings.”
The East Coast Radio team explained that Reghardt Rautenbach, KVMTech’s Managing Director, delivered a unique and customised solution. Using a proactive approach, Rautenbach came to a deep understanding of what the station’s requirements were and what it might require in future. “Many thanks to Reghardt, as he ensured we were prepared for any upscaling and any dynamic studio demands,” Shozi explains. “By asking the right questions and ascertaining the required studio functionality and flexibility, Reghardt pinpointed exactly what was needed. We now have a ‘future-proofed’ studio.”
Achieving a fast ROI across both financial and human resources, the team believes that KVMTech’s studio upgrade delivers a sustainable solution, where quality and productivity of product outweigh perceived costs. “Considering the time saved from a human resource perspective, and zero maintenance or repair expenses to date, there is no doubt that the ROI for this aspect of the studio upgrade has surpassed the initial investment,” Shozi points out.
While all products in the KVMTech range are warrantied for a minimum of 36 months, the warranty duration does not give full justice to the product and equipment longevity. “Once we have completed installation and commissioning, it is rare to see the same customer before 10 – 15 years have passed,” says Rautenbach. “Our equipment hardly requires any maintenance and it is extremely rare for any repairs to become necessary before at least 10 years have lapsed.”
He elaborates by citing examples that include a national television broadcaster and regional radio station. The TV broadcaster returned to KVMTech for an upgrade 10 years after initial installation, and the radio station has been running a KVMTech solution for 15 years without any hiccups to date.
“Having come from a history of late night call outs prior to the upgrade installation, it is encouraging to know that we can all sleep comfortably now, knowing that the studio will run without failure,” says Shozi. “The technical team continually praises their four-year-old solution – as DJs and hosts can now focus on the moment while enjoying and delivering top-quality on-air shows.”
KVMTech is a leading supplier of digital and analogue KVM equipment used in control rooms for industrial process control in broadcast studios, air traffic control, chemical/petrochemical and offshore industry, as well as shipping.