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KVMs: Facilitating live sporting events & eSports in the new zero-latency world?

As Covid-19 restrictions around the world continue to ease, live sporting events and eSports are back in stadiums with full force. What is the key to a successful production in the new zero-latency world? For a live production to succeed, broadcasters will usually rely on several servers, computers, connected devices — and, the most instrumental device among all — the KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) switch. Indeed, the KVM is vital, as it facilitates connection between creation, production, and the management of the content, resulting in content delivery from the live site to the production studio and to the end-users in stadiums and at home.

The global eSports market size is projected to grow to $5.48 billion by 2029, according to Fortune Business Insight, a business specialising in market studies. Will KVM soon grow to empower broadcasters to scale up for global multi-screen live sports broadcast?

IHSE KVM — super slow-motion replays

IHSE, a broadcast media technology innovator based in Germany, is offering KVM extenders with 240 Hertz (Hz) to 60 Hertz (Hz) synchronised sequential frame rate conversion, achieving what the company calls “the world’s first” super slow-motion replay for eSports gaming events. 

To ensure a full immersive experience for spectators in stadiums, the signals are compatible with large screen display video processors and can be switched using the Draco tera KVM matrix switch to create the ideal arena video wall management system, while providing dynamic control and raising the level of excitement during live events.

Furthermore, IHSE’s KVM extenders enable eSports events via on-air transmission and social media distribution, directly from the gaming computers, thus, ensuring that there is no downtime for the viewers at home.

Mark Hempel, Head of Product Management at IHSE, explained, “Major eSports events are attended by thousands of passionate spectators in major venues and watched by millions online. Our solution integrates the separate venue presentation and broadcast transmission workflows into one.  

“Not only does this simplify the on-site infrastructure but it ensures that the same content is available everywhere at a pristine quality level that greatly enhances the overall impact of the event and enjoyment of viewers.”

IHSE has also collaborated with EVS, a company focusing on live video technology for broadcast, to design the KVMs for real-time recording of gaming streams for later view and analysis of the game.

At NAB 2022, IHSE showcased its Draco tera FLEX series of secure KVM matrix systems. From the company’s basis 16-port in 1RU to the larger 160-port in 4RU, FLEX provides huge time savings for system installers who normally must pre-configure network ports as inputs or outputs


Black Box KVM — reliable outdoor broadcasting 

Outside broadcasting presents operators with the challenges of having to broadcast zero-latency content with low bandwidth requirements and space constraints. To address these challenges and allow content to be delivered while lowering the cost of ownership, Black Box has introduced the Emerald GE PCoIP Ultra Gateway, a KVM solution that leverages on IP technology to enable multiple users to access the cloud or virtual machines.

Despite operating under an extremely low bandwidth requirement, the system supports secure, high-definition, and highly-responsive remote access over a LAN or WAN.

Apart from its suite of IP solutions, Black Box is also offering intuitive innovations such as

Boxilla, a centralised KVM and Pro AV dashboard that connects and manages several signal

extensions, enabling centralised secure remote access to an unlimited number of end-

devices, including computers and virtual machines. It also offers an accurate view of

network bandwidth such as dropped frames, round trips time and data that are critical for

outside broadcast.

When coupled with its Emerald VUE 4K Multiviewer, four video sources can simultaneously be monitored using two screens, effectively allowing content to be monitored in a space-constrained OB van or small makeshift studio. 

Black Box also supports end-to-end live sports streaming with its video wall processing solutions, which can mix live capture, IP streams and local media in one application. In addition, they can extend zero-latency video and audio to an unlimited number of displays and easily switch between sources with no skew (or delay).


G&D KVM —  pro-gaming & broadcasting

G&D is offering a new high-performance KVM-over-IP extender VisionXS, which enables an authentic, pixel-perfect viewing experience. With 10G data transmission technology for an even better user experience and with resolutions of up to 4K, VisionXS combines a large range of functions with performance in a pocket-size format.

Another key feature is the integrated switch functionality ‘IP-MUX’, which allows one console device to manage multiple target IP addresses from up to 20 computer sources, with no additional hardware.

G&D has also launched the PersonalWorkplace-Controller, which displays multiple screens on one single monitor. With the Multi-viewing Tool, up to 26 video sources can be displayed and controlled on one single screen, enabling lesser deployment of monitors in any  constrained workspace.

Combining a KVM system with the PersonalWorkplace-Controller ensures reliable, performant and flexible access to all relevant computer systems.

Indeed, KVMs are now being deployed for mission critical operations all over the globe. Today’s newly enhanced KVMs offer strong collaboration between different locations, while delivering high-resolution content to multi-screens — thus, making KVM instrumental to bringing live sports as well as eSports productions to physical and virtual screens worldwide.

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