Emergency Operations Center

Jan 23, 2012

Baton Rouge Executives Keep Watch on City with Help of RGB Spectrum Switchers

 Responsible for a population of 230,000 within a metro area of 800,000, Baton Rouge's municipal executives deal with a wide range of potential or actual crises, from floods and tornadoes to civil disturbances.

To enhance situational awareness, an Executive Over Watch Conference Room was added in City Hall. Separate from the region's primary Emergency Operations Center, the executive center provides views tailored to the needs of the mayor, city council and key staff personnel. Originally equipped with a single projector, this recent upgrade includes multiple displays with selectable sources, greatly enhancing the effectiveness of the facility.

An RGB Spectrum Linx® 800 DVI Matrix Switcher routes video from various sources to three high-definition flat-panel displays, allowing staff to monitor developments and manage the emergency responses.

"Image quality is great and it's been problem-free since install," Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Eddie Watkins said. "It allows us to do what we need to do: switch easily through the necessary video feeds."

Recommended and installed by Metairie-based area integrator Summit Integration Systems (formerly Creative Presentations), the system allows users to view available sources at the press of a button on a touch-screen controller. Sources include a video teleconference codec, a city map in grid style, news feeds from local, national and global broadcasters, a status board, and a geographic information system. With the Linx's ability to pass HDCP-compliant signals, any news feed via satellite or cable can be routed to one of the Sharp 1080p displays and viewed in high definition.

The system complements another emergency control room in East Baton Rouge driven by RGB Spectrum's MediaWall® 4500, which presents video and graphics sources on a 3x4 array of plasma panels. This facility is run by the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP), the coordinating agency for emergency and disaster activities for the region, pulling together governmental, law enforcement, medical, utility and other agencies. MOHSEP develops programs and emergency operation capabilities.

Fortunately, the system so far has only been used for an actual situation only once -- the recent flooding of the Mississippi River. But whether used for practice drills or the real thing, all have been pleased with its dependability, performance and ease of use.

For more info: http://brgov.com http://www.creativepresentations.com/company-profile.html

RGB Spectrum® is a leader in videographic and decision support system technologies. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers, Linx™ matrix switchers, DGy™ digital recording system, DSx™ H.264 streaming and recording codecs, MultiPoint KvM™ control room decision support systems, and SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Jun 1, 2010

Bucharest Police Center

District 2 is one of six Bucharest Districts and is an important center of industrial, commercial and cultural activities. In 2009, the Local Council decided to improve the abilities of local police to prevent crime, increase public safety and improve police response time by building a surveillance system covering the most important areas of the District.

A critical function of the system is data and information delivery to the other National Security System departments (e.g. Gendarmerie, National Police, Fire Police, Protective Services and 911 response for the city's population). The system is also directly interconnected with the Traffic Police Monitoring System. The RGB Spectrum local distributor and integration partner, EES srl, developed the system, consisting of 90 video cameras installed in 31 "hot points" in the area, connected to the control room by a fiber optic communication system. Datek, a local communication company, installed the system which began operations in January, 2010.

The core of the system is a state-of-the-art control room where three video walls, each consisting of four 47" LCD panels display, display video and graphic content. Because the control room shows a large range of visual sources, the display processors need to handle every known computer and video format in use. RGB Spectrum's MediaWall 2000 was chosen for its ability to accept and lock to the broad range of digital and analog sources being presented. Due to the excellent image quality and processing, the system experiences no video interruption or loss of frames; the MediaWall processors display every frame of graphic and video information. Furthermore, the system is scalable for the future because the number and resolution of sources being presented does not affect real time performance.

According to Aurel Dobrila, District 2 Local Police Director, "The new system has improved our situational awareness and provides us with the ability to respond to incidents in an informed manner. The efficiency of our response to all situations has increased by more than 35% related to the same period of 2009. We are very satisfied with the global result of this installation."

RGB Spectrum® is a leading designer and manufacturer of videographic and multimedia hardware subsystems. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, the RGB/Videolink® line of scan converters, the Linx™ DVI Matrix Switchers, the DGy™ digital recording system, Quadra® DVI universal scaler and synchronizer, SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers and ComputerWall® and MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Sep 6, 2005

Chicago's Emergency Operations Center Deploys the Latest Digital Recording Technology

The City of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) protects life and property by coordinating and managing all of Chicago's disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery programs. OEMC's Operations Center (JOC) provides 911 communications and conducts continuous 24/7 citywide monitoring, tracking activity, events, and the location of vital assets in use. The Center handles communication and coordination of police, fire, emergency medical services and city, state, and federal command personnel.

Sam Tomlinson, Senior Project Manager for Electrosonic, explained, "The Operations Center maintains constant vigilance and provides unified interdepartmental coordination. One of the primary objectives of the new technology implementation was to establish an information network and command center where city agencies, the state, Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and other federal officials can coordinate a united response to emergencies, terrorist attacks or other disasters. The mission critical JOC is designed to integrate real time monitoring from video surveillance with a variety of other media to provide a comprehensive situational awareness picture to command personnel."

"The JOC is contains a multi-image video wall comprised of a 2 x 8 display array of sixteen 50-inch rear screen cubes. One of the requirements was to digitally record all of these images for coordinating responses, after action review, training, forensic analysis, and to serve as a system backup. The key criteria was to achieve the highest quality, faithful reproduction of the original images. After extensive research, Electrosonic selected RGB Spectrum's DGy™ high resolution digital recording system and QuadView® multi-window display processor to replicate and record the entire video wall display."

Tomlinson continued, "We use four QuadView processors to reassemble the images displayed on the video wall. Each QuadView receives four DVI sources from a distribution amplifier which are combined into a quad display. The QuadView then feeds this combined output at 1280 x 1024 pixel resolution to four DGy recording systems. The DGy systems record these images at 30 frames per second in real time while preserving the fidelity of the original imagery. The DGy records in a 16 hour recording cycle, then automatically loops the recording. On demand, the DGy units can feed the recorded images back to the JOC's video wall, pre-configured to replay on the wall in the same size and location as when they were originally displayed. The DGy and QuadView units are operating continuously 24/7."

The video wall imagery includes surveillance feeds from over several hundred networked cameras emplaced throughout the city, local, national, and international cable TV broadcasts, digital uplink to the National Weather Service satellite imagery and Doppler radar, FAA O'Hare Airport flight information, PowerPoint presentations, maps, police communication networks, and agency personnel, equipment, and resource tracking data.

Tomlinson remarked, "the DGy delivers a perfect reproduction of the JOC video wall. It is the best digital recording product on the market. Its reproduction is superb. You cannot tell the difference between the original image and the recorded image. The RGB Spectrum products were the ideal solution to perform reliably in this mission critical environment."

Electrosonic is a global audio-visual company, providing turnkey solutions of large screen image processing for corporate communications, command and control rooms, museums, retail display, theme parks and exhibitions. Electrosonic is headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota. For more information, call 952-931-7500 or visit www.electrosonic.com.

RGB Spectrum® is a leading designer and manufacturer of videographic and multimedia hardware subsystems. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, the RGB/Videolink® line of scan converters, the DGy™ digital recording system, Quadra® universal scaler and synchronizer, SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers and SuperWall™, ComputerWall® and MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at www.rgb.com.

Jan 21, 2011

City of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center Chooses MediaWall 4200

When the City of Los Angeles faced the challenge of implementing systems for a new Emergency Operations Center (EOC), it turned to Spectrum Integrated Technology Consulting Group. Spectrum developed the overall Vision, provided the specialized audio-visual systems design and integration skills that did not exist within the City's own departments, and articulated the vital features and specifications for the solution.

The EOC facility is housed in an earthquake resistant, base-isolated building.

Facilities are shared by three stakeholders: the Emergency Management Department (EMD), the Los Angeles Police Department's Real Time Analysis and Critical Response (RACR) Division, and the Los Angeles Fire Department Operations Control Dispatch (OCD) and Department Operations Center (DOC).

In designing the EMD Main Coordination Room (MCR), Spectrum ITC Group chose the MediaWall 4200 Display Processor, based upon its proven track record in Military Command and Control and Emergency Control Centers. The MediaWall is an easy-to-use, flexible, high-performance, real-time display processor with dual-redundant power supplies.

"The design of the wall with the MW4200 allows the Emergency Management Department to meet their goal of sharing critical news and information with all EOC staff responding to major events" said John Bilar Jr., CTS, Vice President of Technology at Spectrum ITC Group. "To assure the images are deliverable to the screens in the event of primary matrix system failure, the MW 4200 is utilized both in a primary full-wall mode, and in a bypass mode for fallback capability" said Bilar.

The 20' wide display wall utilizes four high-resolution TITAN projectors from Digital Projection Systems. The rear-projection arrangement is mounted in a customized seismic-rated structure provided by RP Visuals of Santa Ana, CA. Distribution and display of data is all digital, making the EOC one of the largest and most AV-capable facilities in the world.

About SPECTRUM ITC Group:

SPECTRUM Integrated Technology Consulting Group is located in Oceanside and Los Angeles, California. Spectrum specializes in Audio Visual Systems Design, Engineering, Integration and Project Oversight/Technical Management as an end-user advocate. As a former AV Design/Build Contractor for top Aerospace, Defense and Corporate clients, Spectrum merges strong practical field experience with skillful application of technology, allowing its clients to view critical data, decide on a path of action, and execute their plans in support of their mission. Major projects have included Classified Command Centers, Corporate Flagship Buildings, Videoconferencing, Customized Presentation & Meeting Facilities, and Touch Panel Control Systems. For more information, please contact John Bilar, CTS jbilar@spectrumitc.net or visit www.spectrumitc.net.

Photo Credits:

[1] "Images provided courtesy Spectrum ITC Group". [2] "Radiation Plume Simulation image from Operation Golden Phoenix used with permission by NPS Center for Asymmetric Warfare."

RGB Spectrum® is a leader in videographic and decision support system technologies. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers, Linx™ matrix switchers, DGy™ digital recording system, DSx™ H.264 streaming and recording codecs, MultiPoint KvM™ control room decision support systems, and SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Sep 27, 2011

Harnessing Wind Power with the Help of RGB Spectrum

Exelon is one of the world's largest power producers in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Texas. Wind power alone contributes over 735 mega-watts of clean energy to its customers. What does it take to manage 37 wind power generation projects in eight mid-western states? Answer: a central command and control room that monitors wind turbines, generation power, weather and its trends, wind speed and other operational data. Exelon Generation chose an RGB MediaWall 4200 display processor for the core of its visual control system.

Previously, its control room was made-up of individual single-source displays. It became clear that with the growth of projects, a more efficient display solution was needed. RGB Spectrum technology partner Media Resources of Lisle Illinois was tasked to come-up with a contemporary design and installation. "My job was to provide a way to give them access to as much data as possible and display it so that instantly you have the information to make informed decisions" stated Brian Maksa of Media Resources, who designed and oversaw the installation of the video wall in the Command Center at Exelon.

The wall itself is made-up of six Akira 46" LCD monitors arranged in a 2 x 3 array. The processor is an RGB Spectrum MediaWall 4200 6/8 video wall which displays PC inputs and satellite HD signals. These provide detailed information on weather, service requirements and other data in real-time. An RGB BP-16 remote control button set allows for up to sixteen preset windowing configurations to be recalled instantly.

"Video wall projects like this are cool to look at. They're made even more satisfying when they meet or exceeds a client's expectations," Maksa summed up.

RGB Spectrum® is a leader in videographic and decision support system technologies. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers, Linx™ matrix switchers, DGy™ digital recording system, DSx™ H.264 streaming and recording codecs, MultiPoint KvM™ control room decision support systems, and SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Jan 27, 2009

Helena Police Department Finds Car 54

 If you're old enough, you remember the 1960's television sitcom "Car 54 Where are You?" or any other cops & robbers show through the 1990's, where police cars had to radio their locations to a dispatch center.

Fast forward to now. The Helena, Montana Police Department upgraded its 911 Dispatch Center by installing a new system based on Global Positioning System tracking. Dispatch Center personnel monitor all law enforcement, fire department, and emergency services radio traffic. They are responsible for routing and dispatching all incidents and emergency calls received by the dispatch center. An RGB Linx™ 8x8 DVI Switcher provides the flawless, dependable switching this system requires to function properly.

Each emergency response vehicle is fitted with a GPS tracking device that relays its location to the dispatch center where it is overlaid on a projected map. When a call is received, the dispatchers can see the location of all the vehicles as well as other pertinent data. This allows the dispatchers to contact and assign the closest available assets.

Four computer workstations generate maps, GPS points, weather information and images from road-side cameras. The computer output signals are connected to the Linx 8x8 switcher and routed to two 1400x1050 Optima projectors. Any of the four computer sources can be assigned to one or both projectors. The Linx's Total EDID Manager's™ sophisticated abilities handle the switching without "Hot Plug" events causing graphics card shutdowns or other EDID issues. In addition, the integrated Web Control Panel and front panel touch screen provide all the control needed for set-up and operation. The touch screen allows the user to select one of the unit's 100 available presets as well as creating input-to-output crosspoints. .No third party control system is needed.

The system has been installed and operating for almost one year, running 24/7. As Capt. Dave Jeseritz stated, "The system does everything we want and has been very reliable. It's important to us that budget money is spent wisely on things that work like they are supposed to."

Find our more about the Helena Police Department 911 Dispatch Center here: http://www.ci.helena.mt.us/departments/police-department/support-services-division.htm

RGB Spectrum® is a leading designer and manufacturer of videographic and multimedia hardware subsystems. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, the RGB/Videolink® line of scan converters, the Linx™ DVI Matrix Switchers, the DGy™ digital recording system, Quadra® DVI universal scaler and synchronizer, SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers and ComputerWall® and MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Oct 27, 2009

Marie des Mureaux Homeland Security Control Room

Located near Paris, France, is the City of "Les Mureaux". It is home to over 32,000 citizens and is a vibrant center of cultural activities, sports associations, theatre, feasts and festivals. And yes, even here, Homeland Security is a key facet of civil services. In an effort to improve security, a state of the art control room for the management of video surveillance has been installed. RGB Spectrum's technology partner AGELEC, designed in and installed MediaWall® 2000 dual display processors as the key visual display system in the facility.

Known as the Urban Supervision Center, the control room operates in conjunction with the municipal police, local and national public safety. The facility is staffed 24/7, monitoring street and highway activity.

The previous facility utilized individual monitors plus one multiviewer to display the camera feeds. AGELEC designed a display solution around three sections. As before, there are fixed LCD monitors for individual video feeds, a total of 50. The dynamic portions of the wall consist of two 2x2 arrays of larger LCDs, each powered by a MediaWall 2000 processor. Input sources include computer and composite video, RGB analog, and DVI over IP decoders, which carry the network video feeds. Maps are displayed in the background and camera feeds in windows relative to their location on the maps. A custom control application configures the display as new situations and events present themselves.

The embedded system architecture of the MediaWall 2000 and its deterministic performance create a display processing solution that operates as a single display surface even though it is made up of discrete elements.

Homeland Security is an expanding requirement in municipalities throughout the world. In France, AGELEC sees this as a real growth market. Following the installation of the Urban Supervision Center, Jean Michel Lanco, CEO, remarked, "We are very satisfied with the global result of this installation. It will be a great reference for us."

RGB Spectrum produces a broad range of real-time video wall display processors to manage Homeland Security requirements. Its MediaWall display processors support input and output resolutions up to 1920x1200, analog and digital signals and background graphics up to the full resolution of the wall.

RGB Spectrum® is a leading designer and manufacturer of videographic and multimedia hardware subsystems. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, the RGB/Videolink® line of scan converters, the Linx™ DVI Matrix Switchers, the DGy™ digital recording system, Quadra® DVI universal scaler and synchronizer, SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers and ComputerWall® and MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Jun 6, 2011

MediaWall 4500 Helps Keep Baton Rouge "Red Stick Ready"

Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, is a thriving city that is home to both Louisiana State University and Southern University, and numerous businesses and industrial facilities. With great people, unique food, and a lively music scene, Red Stick has something for everyone - including a local government that cares.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP) is the coordinating agency for emergency and disaster activities for the region, pulling together governmental, law enforcement, medical, utility and other agencies. MOHSEP is responsible for developing programs and emergency operation capabilities. First order is to prevent disasters while reducing the vulnerability of parish residents to any disaster that cannot be prevented. MOSHEP supports recovery in the aftermath of any emergency involving extensive damage or other debilitating influence on the normal pattern of life within the community. The city and parish have become nationally known for its own brand of preparedness it calls being Red Stick Ready.

"East Baton Rouge is one of only two local programs in the United States to achieve national certification from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program," said JoAnne Moreau, director of MOHSEP. "All of the area's first responder agencies also have received the highest national rankings," she said.

MOHSEP Emergency Operations Center needed the ability to monitor multiple video and data images simultaneously to manage crises more efficiently. Viewing maps, news feeds, hospital status, and road closures concurrently became critical. They turned to Creative Presentations, Inc. in Metairie, Louisiana to provide an easily configurable video wall to replace a single projector display.

The RGB Spectrum MediaWall® 4500 processor was selected to unify various video and graphics sources on a 3x4 array of Orion plasma panels. Video source selection and the arrangement of windows on the display are made using a Crestron controller.

In operation for more than a year, the MediaWall display receives great reviews from the EOC staff. Image quality, ease of use, speed of response, and reliability are cited as top features of the installation.

The MediaWall 4500 processor provides easy compensation for mullions allowing unrestricted size and position of windows across a near-seamless display. Eddie Watkins, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, says selecting the MediaWall 4500 was "the best decision we could have made."

Creative Presentations, Inc. offers design and integration of A/V systems. Creative enjoys the reputation as one of the top US companies in the dynamic LCD industry. Ready to recommend the very best in technology solutions, Creative provides its clients with in depth consultation, tailored designs, certified installation, service and support to assure a visual communications success. The corporate office can be reached at 504-454-2749 or www.creativepresentations.com.

RGB Spectrum® is a leader in videographic and decision support system technologies. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers, Linx™ matrix switchers, DGy™ digital recording system, DSx™ H.264 streaming and recording codecs, MultiPoint KvM™ control room decision support systems, and SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Mar 25, 2008

Power Utility Control Center Keeps Electricity Flowing 24/7

The Palmetto Electric Cooperative, based in Ridgeland, South Carolina, is a customer-owned utility supplying electric services in South Carolina. To ensure that residences and businesses receive reliable 24/7 power, the Cooperative operates a centralized control center which continuously monitors and performs surveillance of Palmetto's power distribution network. This mission-critical control center performs its vital functions every day, every minute, without interruption.

The center's old display system began encountering maintenance issues which periodically truncated its monitoring and surveillance operations. To remedy the situation Palmetto enlisted the audio video technology expertise of Southern Media Systems, Inc., based in Charleston. David Major, President of Southern Media Systems explained, "The control center's display wall was comprised of six rear-projection cubes in a 2 x 3 array. This display worked well for some time, but when it came time to change a bulb, Palmetto personnel discovered that all six projection bulbs had to be changed at once to conserve color balance. They also found that the display wall had to be adjusted periodically for alignment, color, and brightness by a specialized, costly technician. Thus, the overall maintenance issues with their display wall became unacceptably expensive and burdensome."

"Palmetto Electric wanted to upgrade the control center wall. We recommended replacing the 2x3 video wall with a more pragmatic, less expensive solution that would meet their display needs while dramatically reducing maintenance costs and downtime. Our design replaced the cube array with a single, large screen capable of displaying multiple images simultaneously using RGB Spectrum's SuperView® display processor."

The SuperView processor provides control center personnel with a centralized, real time view of all system-wide data, activity, operational status, and security surveillance. Computer inputs include SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) data collected from various sensors at the utility plant and other remote locations throughout the distribution grid, maps, spreadsheets, and control system data and status. Video inputs include local and national weather and news broadcasts, two sets of security surveillance cameras, VCRs, and DVD players.

The SuperView processor integrates these visuals and outputs the combined multi-window image to a Projection Design CINE 3+ high resolution 1080p HD projector on a 139"x74" screen. The multi-image display is also routed to the adjoining the Dispatch room and displayed on a 65-inch plasma screen for resource allocation and response.

According to Major, operation of the processor's extensive display capabilities is remarkably easy. Control center personnel operate it using its embedded GUI and a pre-programmed ten-button controller. With a simple "click and drag" or push of a button, Operators can instantly switch input sources, re-size and reposition any image, and zoom and pan on an area of particular interest.

"The SuperView-based system optimizes data analysis and security monitoring efficiency. It centralizes a wide range of visual information sources and presents them in a correlated view so that operators can quickly assess and analyze pertinent data. The system is also designed for future expandability. The processor's high definition 1080p video input capability already meets display requirements mandated for 2009 deployment by the FCC."

Major concluded, "This system will fit Palmetto Electric Cooperative's needs for a long time to come with very low maintenance. They are very pleased with the results, the system's performance, and its ease of use."

Palmetto Electric Cooperative, based in Ridgeland, South Carolina, is a customer-owned utility supplying electric services in the southern section of South Carolina. Palmetto Electric Cooperative provides diversified, innovative energy and related services to its customers and serving its customer base in a community-building leadership role. This cooperative membership offers electricity at the lowest possible cost along with other membership benefits. For more information, visitwww.palmetto.coop.

Southern Media Systems, Inc., headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, sells, designs, installs and services leading edge audio, video and security products and systems. For more information, call 843-556-3112.

Feb 28, 2008

Public Safety Wall in China

Governments around the world are continually investing in new technologies and strategies for managing public safety. An example of a modern command and control center has recently been completed in China. The room features a large 1x3 rear-projection, edge blended video wall capable of displaying a variety of visual resources depending on the situation at hand. The wall can be reconfigured for various situations including public safety, traffic control, sporting and public events, weather and natural disasters.ionwide dealer network.

At the core of the display system is an RGB Spectrum MediaWall® 2000. Six computer graphics sources are displayed simultaneously. The combination of DVI and analog input connections make it possible to select from a multitude of video and computer graphic sources including weather, satellite, traffic information and other real time data.

The MediaWall display processor supplies overlapped digital outputs to a high performance edge-blending system. The rear-projection system is made-up of three live, high-resolution projectors and three back-up units to provide for uninterrupted service. It was determined that the MediaWall did not require a back up due to its robust 24/7 operational capability.

RGB Spectrum's technology and integration partner FICO supplied the design and installation services. Mr. Sunny Qi of FICO remarked about the choice of MediaWall, "Our customer chose RGB because of the excellent image quality and fastest processing without any interruption or loss of frames." With regard to the installation Mr. Qi said, "The ease and simplicity of operation saves us money in an otherwise complex installation."

Because the control room was going to display an extreme range of visual sources, the display processor needed to handle every known computer and video format in use. The MediaWall 2000 was chosen for its ability to accept and lock to the broad range of digital and analog sources being presented.

High on the list of selection criteria was real time performance. In a visual world, some events occur in "the blink of an eye." Lost frames of video translate into missed information that could affect life and death decisions. MediaWall displays every frame of graphic and video information delivered to its inputs. The number or resolution of sources being presented does not affect real time performance.

Jul 15, 2013

QuadView HDx Enhances City of Whittier EOC

The City of Whittier, CA recently opened a new multi-room Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located within its main police department complex. Funded by a $500,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant, the facility added state-of-the-art equipment that has dramatically improved the ability of city managers and emergency personnel to monitor and respond to disasters or crisis situations. To facilitate decision-making during emergency situations, an RGB Spectrum QuadView HDx Multiviewer enables multiple video and computer sources to be displayed as a single source, which can be routed as required throughout the facility.

The EOC supports two operational modes: presentation and emergency. In the first mode, operators can use individual rooms for demonstration and training. In an emergency situation, however, the rooms are designed to operate together to support collaboration and coordination across government agencies.

The QuadView multiviewer is installed in the Head End room, which houses equipment for all audio and video routing, control processing, and system support. Inputs to the multiviewer include computers, cable tuners, and Blu Ray players. These input signals are processed and displayed on various monitors throughout the facility, including a large multi-screen display located in the main EOC. The interconnected system allows EOC operators to use the multiviewer to transmit information to any individual room in the complex or to all rooms simultaneously.

Integrated Media Systems, the company that designed and installed the system, selected the QuadView multiviewer because it consolidates up to four sources plus a background signal onto one screen. Sources can be labeled, sized and positioned with full flexibility, and operators can use presets to save and recall various layouts as required. The multiviewer provides real-time throughput and 24/7 reliability. These features all enhance the ability of emergency personnel to make time-sensitive decisions during crisis situations.

"The RGB Spectrum QuadView is the "Wow Factor" in this installation," says John Grubin, vice-president of sales and marketing at Integrated Media Systems. "The unit not only increases the number of sources that can be displayed in the EOC's Main Room from 5 to 8, but also greatly increases the flexibility and capabilities of the entire EOC."

The system has been operational since December 2012, and both the integrator and city officials are pleased with the image quality, performance and reliability of the multiviewer.

About Integrated Media Systems

Integrated Media Systems, based in Orange County, CA, was founded in 1987 to address audiovisual and communications system integration for corporations. The company has maintained this focus while continuing to evolve and adapt with emerging communication technologies and various vertical markets including corporate, healthcare, government/municipal, and higher education. IMS is a recognized leader in the design, integration, and support of video, audio, audiovisual, videoconferencing, presentation and communication environments for global enterprises.

About RGB Spectrum

RGB Spectrum provides innovative solutions for the display, recording, and transmission of computer and video signals. Since its founding in 1987, RGB Spectrum has established itself as a leading designer and manufacturer of cutting-edge graphics and video processors, and decision support systems. With advanced capabilities, proven reliability, and flexible user interfaces, RGB Spectrum's products are preferred by a "Who's Who" list of major global organizations in commercial, industrial, medical, educational, and military markets. Company offerings include multiviewers, video wall display processors, matrix switchers, streaming codecs and recorders, as well as integrated solutions for multi-user KVM and control room management.

RGB Spectrum is a privately held company based in Alameda, California. For more information about our products, please call 510-814-7000 or visit us online at http://www.rgb.com.

Feb 17, 2012

QuadView Multiviewer Lights the Way for North Carolina's Tri-County Electric

The Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) was founded, like many other Rural Electrification cooperatives, in 1940. The cooperative served rural North Carolina farms and homes with 304 miles of line. Today, Tri-County serves over 20,400 consumers with more than 2391 miles of electric lines and is based in Dudley. This April, RGB Spectrum technical partner, Integrated Visual Solutions designed and installed EMC's new Call Center. This, first of its kind, facility primarily serves as the overnight call center and system-wide operations monitoring facility.

The new call/command center location was created to allow customer service phone representatives to monitor critical systems that show power usage, outages and other problems throughout the EMC coverage area. A QuadView HDx multiviewer allows EMC's representatives to quickly and easily respond to customer calls and concerns while monitoring a multitude of information sources in real time (which is the real mission of the EMC). The facility also serves as a command center for the EMC during times of emergency and natural disaster as widespread power outages impact large numbers of people. Prior to the new Call Canter, EMC had no centralized location for managing calls and monitoring the electrical grid. During the planning of the new center a number of options were considered for gathering and displaying vital information. In the end, a system built around the RGB QVHDx and a single high resolution projector proved to be the best choice. An RGB BP-16 button control panel facilitates the change of views as situations dictate.

Ease of use was a primary design criterion for call center personnel. Simplicity reduces training time and staff supervision which lead to a more efficient and responsive operation. In times of emergency response uncomplicated operation reduces confusion and supports appropriate decision making. The system enables the simultaneous display of computer generated maps and proprietary applications for monitoring power usage/outages, a network of cameras plus broadcast news and weather feeds.

Tony Grantham, Manager of Engineering for EMC states, "The RGB multi-view system allowed us to create an AV solution in which multiple sources can be viewed in scalable windows using a single projector. Our users--without help from the IT staff-- can easily change the sources or presets using the simple BP-16. Our staff was able to create their own presets even before the completion of the initial training session. The objective of making a true call center/command room was achieved using the QVHDx/projector solution at a lower overall cost than a typical LCD video wall setup. That being said, the most important aspect is that we know the system will function whenever the need arises."

RGB Spectrum® is a leader in videographic and decision support system technologies. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers, Linx™ matrix switchers, DGy™ digital recording system, DSx™ H.264 streaming and recording codecs, MultiPoint KvM™ control room decision support systems, and SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Aug 21, 2012

RGB Spectrum Enhances Situational Awareness in Shanghai

As China's economy expands, a reliable and efficient power system is critical to the country's economic growth. Concurrent with that growth, Chinese electric utilities such as Shanghai Power have become more mature with regard to their selection of efficient control room monitoring solutions. Key decision factors in the evaluation process include reliability, real-time monitoring, and the ability to scale the overall system without impacting performance. In today's advanced control rooms, where accurate and prompt decisions take priority, low performance products are no longer acceptable.

With the advancement of high definition display technology and today's new generation of intelligent monitoring solutions, China's electric utilities have re-directed their focus on new ways to improve network control and efficient power distribution. To that end, RGB Spectrum's MediaWall® 4200 display processor was recently integrated by Shanghai Power at their new Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

At Shanghai Power, the MediaWall 4200 functions as the engine for the EOC's Power Quality Management System (PQMS) - a remarkable high definition, multi-projector curved display. The PQMS collects data from multiple applications and displays that information in a clear, multi-window format - yet all on one large, seamless screen. This wide-area configuration provides all personnel with a high degree of situational awareness, and provides a collaborative environment in which EOC's skilled operators can easily change layouts and content in response to specific situations. Even when the maximum number of windows are displayed, information is always presented in real time, with no dropped frames.

PowerVision is the prime system integrator for the Shanghai Power installation. The Project Manager commented on the company's evaluation process, and the importance of selecting the right solution. "We went through many different systems but we found that RGB's MediaWall 4200 was the only product that met our requirement for displaying twelve windows plus a background on a single screen - and all in real time. We also found the RGB system to be the most user-friendly and the easiest to set up, without sacrificing any powerful features. The system also integrates easily via IP or RS-232, and RGB has an excellent reputation for 24/7 reliability. Overall, this is the best system we evaluated, and for Shanghai Power, the MediaWall 4200 continues to perform exactly as needed, and so much more."

"Both nationally and internationally, our fundamental goal is meeting and exceeding requirements," said Bob Marcus, CEO of RGB Spectrum. "Shanghai Power's selection of the MediaWall 4200 for their new EOC truly underscores how our products offer creative and collaborative solutions across multiple industries."

For further information about the MediaWall 4200, or to submit inquiries for video wall and control room applications, please email sales@rgb.com.

RGB Spectrum® is a leader in videographic and decision support system technologies. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers, Linx™ matrix switchers, Opto™ fiber optic products, DGy™ digital recording system, DSx™ H.264 streaming and recording codecs, MultiPoint MCMS™ control room management systems, and SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Oct 25, 2012

RGB Spectrum Enhances Situational Awareness in Turkmenistan

Located due east of the Caspian Sea in Central Asia, the country of Turkmenistan covers an area slightly larger than the state of California. The country is using advanced video technology for a variety of security and monitoring applications.

In the capital city of Ashgabat, the Security Ministry was tasked with implementing a new monitoring system for the city's expanding network of roads and highways. In order to ensure an optimum state of awareness for any scenario, the system's top design priority was the monitoring and assessment of security conditions for the general population and for government officials. To this end, the Security Ministry turned to Avkom Technology, a leading systems integrator for the region, with the task of designing and installing video walls at two separate locations within the city.

Avkom selected RGB Spectrum's MediaWall 4200 processor as each facility's nerve center, feeding two video walls. One wall is L-shaped, comprising a12x3 array of narrow bezel Samsung 46" LCD monitors, each with a resolution of 1366x768. The second wall is of similar size, but U-shaped.

Each system receives, manages and monitors video streams routed from 12 specialized NVRs (Network Video Recorders). Every NVR, in turn, processes images from over 1000 IP-based security cameras located around the city. In terms of system flexibility, each video wall can display up to 300 IP cameras simultaneously. Any camera image can be scaled to any size - up to filling the entire video wall. For simplicity, one operator can drive the video wall and control all 12 NVRs.

Burhan Eker, Avkom's project manager for the Security Ministry's video wall project, commented on the selection process. "We selected RGB for several reasons. First, it is very stable, and second, the system is not PC based. Third, the system is capable of managing very big video walls." Mr. Eker also noted that the MediaWall 4200 processor's reliability was a key decision factor. "The installation requires little or no technical support on behalf of Avkom personnel."

For further information about the MediaWall 4200, or to submit inquiries for video wall and control room applications, please email sales@rgb.com.

RGB Spectrum® is a leader in videographic and decision support system technologies. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers, Linx™ matrix switchers, Opto™ fiber optic products, DGy™ digital recording system, DSx™ H.264 streaming and recording codecs, MultiPoint MCMS™ control room management systems, and SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Oct 25, 2012

Sophisticated Monitoring in Mairie de Colombes

Mairie de Colombes is a suburb located in the northwest corner of Paris, France. With over 83,000 citizens, the town has a sophisticated municipal EOC (Emergency Operations Center) for surveillance and security. RGB Spectrum plays a major part.

For a new video wall project at police headquarters, city managers turned to French AV integrator AGELEC to design a sophisticated system for monitoring IP-based security cameras located around the city. AGELEC selected RGB Spectrum's MediaWall 4200 as the foundation of the system.

The EOC's video wall is comprised of eight narrow bezel NEC 46-inch panels, each with 1366x768 pixel resolution, arranged in a 4x2 array. Video from each security camera is routed via fiber cable to the EOC, decoded, and then sent to eight network video recorders (NVRs). Each NVR connects to the MediaWall processor, which allows security personnel to monitor groups of 48 cameras at a time. Control of the video wall is provided by AGELEC software.

AGELEC selected the MediaWall 4200 because of its module architecture, picture-in-picture (PIP) capability, ease of use, and high degree of reliability. These advantages stem from the fact that the MediaWall 4200 is based on a dedicated architecture, rather than a PC. This was a key factor in its selection.

Jean Michel Lanco, CEO of AGELEC, saw a comprehensive demonstration of the MediaWall 4200 at a Paris exhibition, and convinced the Mairie de Colombes police department that this was the right product. "I invited members of the department to the trade show to see for themselves," said Mr. Lanco. "They agreed that the MediaWall 4200 was extremely simple to use, with the ability to display more images on fewer screens than competitive products, with real-time display capability. Their response was very positive."

For further information about the MediaWall 4200, or to submit inquiries for MediaWall 4200 applications, please email sales@rgb.com.

RGB Spectrum® is a leader in videographic and decision support system technologies. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers, Linx™ matrix switchers, Opto™ fiber optic products, DGy™ digital recording system, DSx™ H.264 streaming and recording codecs, MultiPoint MCMS™ control room management systems, and SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.

Jan 22, 2008

Strategy Room for San Francisco Disaster Relief Activities

Not so long ago, the Loma Prieta Earthquake quite literally shook the city to its foundations. Countless disasters have befallen San Francisco and the Bay Area, often requiring the immediate response of multiple city services and departments.

The San Francisco Emergency Communications Department recently turned to RGB Spectrum technology partner Snader & Associates to create a state-of-the-art Strategy Room - a first of its kind for the city - in which chiefs of staff can meet and coordinate relief activities during a disaster. Funded by the Homeland Security Act, the project was 'soup to nuts' with Snader attending all design and preconstruction meetings with the end users, City architects and contractors to ensure the team fully understood system needs and to enable the design and integration of all necessary technology and features.

As anyone - victim or rescuer - who has lived through a major disaster will attest, during an emergency accurate information and speedy communication are critical to addressing the multiple 'fronts' of any civil crisis. It was essential that the new system include various computer and video feeds simultaneously displayed for quick access by decision makers.

The $165 million turnkey room incorporates dual 67" Planar DLP displays forming a 1x2 video wall with an RGB Spectrum MediaWallsystem with custom designed interface provided by Snader, officials in the Strategy Room can access instantaneously a wide variety of information, including TV broadcasts (both cable and off-air), 911 audio and video data sources, and CAD maps of the city. Equipment is housed neatly in racks within the custom wall cabinetry designed for the room.

The system proved a total success as, during the first emergency trials drill, Mayor Newsom and the Chiefs of Fire, Police and other civil services were able to meet in the Strategy Room to make decisions based on the visual information displayed.

Snader and Associates Inc. is an independent reseller and integrator serving production, post-production, audio visual presentation, 3D animation and Federal Government professionals around the globe. Snader is acknowledged for its expertise in the Broadcast and AV design build business.www.Snader.com

RGB Spectrum® is a leading designer and manufacturer of videographic and multimedia hardware subsystems. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, the RGB/Videolink® line of scan converters, The Linx® DVI Matrix Switcher, the DGy™ digital recording system, Quadra® universal scaler and synchronizer, SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers and ComputerWall® and MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.