A Guide to Picking the Right Processor for Your Operation Center
The technology systems behind the scenes within operation centers are comprised of several components, including video wall management software, displays, audiovisual components, and a video wall processor. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive guide to selecting the right video wall processor for your operation center, with additional information on the capabilities of Haivision’s Alpha FX Series and Stryke Video Processor.
Understanding the Video Wall Processor
At its core, a video wall processor enables the visualization of high-resolution models, monitors real-time video feeds, and facilitates the routing and display of content from various signal formats and devices. It acts as a critical part of operation centers, and should offer scalability, flexibility, and the ability to create a large-scale AV/IP network.
If you are establishing an operation center for the first time or are working to expand existing infrastructure, you understand the importance of ensuring your investment in technology is done so with care for form, functionality, and longevity. Below are what we’ve found to be the most important considerations when helping public safety agencies, enterprises, government entities, and defense organizations choose the right video wall processor.
Choosing a Video Wall Processor: Essential Considerations
Is it scalable and flexible?
Ensuring that your control room design can evolve with the growth of your organization is critical. While there’s no real rule-of-thumb for how much expansion to plan for, it’s important to leave room for your operation center to grow – both physically and in terms of the number of data sources (inputs) that you may need to include in the future. Output capacity should also be a consideration; the processor needs to support all of your displays, in the right resolution and configuration, for your video wall to operate effectively. In terms of the physical space, plan for diverse display types, such as horizontal, vertical, or non-standard shapes, including LCDs and LEDs. Many of our customers add new displays to their existing video walls to accommodate growing visualization needs. It’s vital that your video wall system and video wall processors can support the addition of more displays.
The Alpha FX series of video processors are built with modularity in mind, so users can easily scale up their input and output capacity as their needs evolve. This can be achieved by either adding additional I/O cards to the existing server or through the use of an expansion chassis. In both cases, the existing processor is leveraged, protecting the original investment.
What level of performance is required?
The Alpha FX series boasts content support from any digital, analog, or IP source, high-density inputs and outputs, 24/7 reliability, and supplemental video wall control. Whether you need to route and display digital or analog signals, the Alpha FX processors deliver unparalleled video quality and flexibility for any mission-critical application.
With the prevalence of AV-over-IP technology, it is also important to ensure that your operation center’s video wall processor can decode streams using codecs such as H.264/AVC and supports protocols like SRT, RTP3, RTSP (unicast, multicast, TCP-interleave), and MPEG2-TS3.
What does the video wall processor need to connect to?
Video wall processors are only one piece of the larger technology ecosystem in any operation center. Video wall management software plays a pivotal role in providing a seamless and user-friendly interface for control in conjunction with a processor. Therefore, a fundamental aspect to consider is the ease with which customized control panels can be created. These control panels serve as command hubs, empowering users to effortlessly modify content on the video walls and recall different display configurations with a simple touch. Importantly, this process should be intuitive and not require custom programming skills. This means that operators have the autonomy to quickly adapt workflows and operations according to their specific needs.
The Alpha FX video processor integrates seamlessly into a complete Command 360 video wall ecosystem. This compatibility between hardware and software allows for simple, fast setup.
Is the setup easy and intuitive?
Easy setup is closely linked to compatibility; if all components of your video wall ecosystem are compatible, putting all the pieces together becomes far more straightforward. Video wall processors’ compatibility extends beyond hardware; it also involves software integration. The ability to seamlessly connect with different operating systems and software applications enhances the overall adaptability of the video wall processor. A user-friendly setup should facilitate quick integration into diverse environments without requiring an extensive learning curve. Consider a video wall processor that embraces plug-and-play functionality, minimizing the need for complex configurations. This ensures that operators, regardless of technical expertise, can efficiently deploy the system.
Does it need to be portable?
In instances where a common operating picture in the field is required to make mission-critical decisions. Examples of this include rigid shelters, tactical command posts, and emergency response mobile operation centers.
For those requiring a mobile setup for tactical operations, for example, Haivision offers the Stryke Video Processor. Small, lightweight, and ruggedized, the Stryke ensures operators in various environments can share multiple video streams and images, providing real-time situational awareness wherever the mission takes them.
Making the Choice
The Haivision Alpha FX Video Processor is a time-tested solution that has exceeded expectations across scalability, performance, connectivity, ease of setup, and portability criteria. The Alpha FX series is designed to deliver unparalleled video quality, providing the power, control, and flexibility required for any mission-critical application.
For a more in-depth exploration of Haivision’s video wall ecosystem, including the Alpha FX Series and Stryke Video Processor, check out Haivision’s detailed blog post here.