Pixcom Centralizes Video Editing Workstations with Matrox Avio KVM Extenders
Reliable, high-quality extension from Matrox helps world-class production company maximize productivity while removing system noise and heat from editing studios
One of Canada’s largest independent production houses, Groupe Pixcom Inc.’s domestic programming has far-reaching appeal, with award-winning television credits across all genres and an international catalog distributed to over 150 countries. With a move to a larger location on the horizon and the desire to continue centralizing workstations and other equipment outside of its video editing studios, Pixcom vetted different KVM extenders and chose the far-reaching, fiber-optic Matrox Avio F120, which enables real-time control up to 10 km (6.2 miles) away from the system.
Setting the Stage
Pixcom has always favored the centralization of its television production and video editing equipment in order to reduce in-studio noise and heat. In their new offices, the machine room was even strategically placed to provide customers with a view of all their equipment. However, with up to 100 m separating workstations from the editing studios, distance presented a challenge.
Pixcom needed a high-performance KVM extension solution capable of extending dual-display HP workstations running Avid Media Composer software, with keyboard, mouse, speakers, and graphics tablets & sound mixing consoles when required. The winning solution would have to provide high-resolution extension with real-time performance.
“When planning our move, distance was our greatest obstacle, but another big challenge was extending two monitors with HD resolution (1920x1080),” said Dominic Gagné, a member of Pixcom`s technical services team. In addition to dual-HD support, 4K display support was also a checklist item, in case the studios were upgraded down the road.
The Audition Process
Past experience with Matrox products had a positive impact on the company’s decision to test Matrox Avio.
“We’ve been using Matrox products for several years and we have always been very satisfied with them, as well as with the service/support received when needed,” said Gagné. “We subscribed to the Matrox e-newsletter and this is where we first read about Avio. We were able to witness how it worked at NAB Show and went on to validate the product in-house.”
Pixcom evaluated more than one solution and Avio stood out for several reasons, including ease of integration, reliability, supported distance, supported resolutions, and a compact, rack-mountable design with all required connections on one box. The ability to combine Avio with a compatible fiber-optic network switch was also of interest to Pixcom.
“Since we have many studios connected to many workstations, we were also attracted to the possibility of assigning a workstation to the locale of our choice by routing KVM extenders through a fiber-optic network switch,” said Gagné.
Avio transmits workstation signals over a single fiber-optic cable, which helps reduce the total amount of cabling required and deployment costs. It also means higher switch-to-desktop density can be achieved when combining Avio with a fiber-optic network switch.
Asked to explain Pixcom’s final decision, Gagné said: “Matrox Avio seems to have been designed specifically for our needs. It met all of our requirements and even exceeded them, which was not the case for many other models.”
Gagné described the ease of installation as “exemplary” and “as simple as plug & play.” In addition to simplifying installations, Gagné suggests that Avio has also helped reduce support calls.
“We are greatly pleased by the product’s reliability. In our past experience with other extenders, intervention was required on a weekly basis to be fully functional. We have been using Matrox Avio for 6 months now and no intervention was required,” he said with nothing but high praise for the KVM extender, adding he could see Pixcom using Avio again in the future.
“By meeting all of our extension needs in a single box connected by a single fiber-optic cable, Avio let us reduce clutter in the workspace and cut down on the wiring required. All stakeholders are very satisfied. Matrox Avio’s operation is completely transparent to the user and as far as the support staff is concerned, Avio is a robust technology that we can rely on... to the point where we can even forget it is there!”
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For More Information
Matrox Avio F120 and F125 KVM extenders consist of a transmitter and receiver pair. The Avio transmitter unit captures I/O functionality of the host computer and sends it uncompressed over a single duplex LC-LC fiber optic cable to the Avio receiver unit, letting you separate the computer from the user environment and place it in a climate-controlled machine room. Matrox Avio is the ideal KVM extension solution for 3D visualization and design, process control, broadcast, post-production, industrial, and military applications where system performance and security are key requirements. Its high-bandwidth transmission maintains system performance and does not introduce any latency or dropped frames.
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