TV stations often face the dilemma of how to best link their broadcast studio to their other locations. WKRC – TV in Cincinnati, was attempting to connect anumber of different devices, including their “city view” camera located on the top of their building, to a control station in the basement of the building. They were also trying to send weather alerts to serial printers in various locations, and wanted to connect their “Live Studio”to their remote office morethan two miles away.
After fairly extensive research, they determined that the best solution was Serial Tunneling. Serial Tunneling is the “VPN of the Serial World.” Virtual Private Networking (VPN) technology allows a user to create their own secure network inside the Internet. Comtrol has applied the VPN concept for connecting two serial devices over Ethernet, where Comtrol’s DeviceMaster RTS server acts as the intermediary. A printer is connected to the DeviceMaster, which in turn is connected to the Ethernet network. The Serial Tunnel is then created over Ethernet to another DeviceMaster unit and is attached serial device. Because the solution uses Ethernet and the Internet, the serial devices can be located in separate rooms – or onseparate continents.
“The DeviceMaster is a mission-critical component that has proven to be very stable,” said Mike Willis, Technical Supervisor at WKRC –TV. The station proves that with the right technology and proper setup, it is easy to create a useful network between two locations. WKRC-TV found a way to speed up their connection between offices, without expensive replacement of legacy systems. They can now hook up peripherals such as:
The DeviceMaster RTS is Comtrol’s solution for connecting serial devices and running applications that can benefit from “real-time” performance. Using Comtrol’s developer kit, the DeviceMaster RTS can also be programmed to perform a wide variety of local processing tasks. DeviceMaster servers are available in one-port models for single device tunneling applications, and higher-density models from 1 to 32 ports, which can connect multiple serial devices using a single Ethernet connection.
Mike Willis says, “The DeviceMaster provides flexibility to our offices we never had before, and it has saved us thousands of dollars.” In broadcasting, it is important to have data at your fingertips. In order to do this, there must be a solid connection between your computer hardware and peripherals. By having the correct pieces in place, you create an edge over your competition.