Security

Nov 20, 2014

A Smarter Approach to Systems Integration

Integrating disparate computer systems is a constant challenge for those seeking to effectively manage control room resources.  Traditional approaches often fall short because they are too complex, time-consuming and costly. RGB Spectrum offers a better solution: integrating with video.

Systems integration can be defined as follows: “In information technology, systems integration is the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications physically or functionally, to act as a coordinated whole” (Wikipedia definition of “Systems Integration”). In other words, the aim of systems integration is to allow disparate systems to communicate with each other and be controlled in a unified manner.

Technological innovation has led to the automation of more and more facets of business processes, increasing the number, type, and complexity of systems requiring integrated control. Consider the example of building automation. In general, a building will have systems that monitor and control various components including HVAC, access points, elevators, water systems, lighting, fire alarms, announcement and intercom systems, burglar alarms, phone networks, location tracking, and video surveillance equipment amongst others.

These discrete systems are typically monitored by several different operators. However, they are also interrelated, and issues related to one system can also affect other building systems. To ensure optimal functioning of the entire facility, systems need to be able to communicate with each other, and all systems should be easily accessible in case of emergency. Such unified control can only be accomplished through system integration.

Traditional Integration Strategies

With the traditional approach to systems integration, custom software enables systems to communicate with each other. This is a time consuming, difficult, and expensive undertaking. In many ways, this integration approach is akin to running on a treadmill that you can never turn off: every time an integrated application is upgraded (which happens with increasing frequency nowadays), the communication links between every system must be updated as well, requiring additional cost and time. Traditional integration with custom software creates dependencies which may severely limit your ability to upgrade/update individual systems.

In addition, today’s complex systems must provide flexible access to data. Who requires access to what information and when can change dramatically over the course of a day. In addition, system information must also be securely protected from unauthorized access or tampering. It is becoming increasingly imperative for control room systems to offer a high level of operational flexibility, while still effectively regulating control and access to resources. These are valid concerns for any organization attempting to centrally command and/or control people, places, processes, or technology.

Integrating with Video: A Better Solution

RGB Spectrum offers a smarter solution for systems integration. Every system has a way to present visual data to operators. This usually involves some kind of Graphical User Interface, or GUI, which provides operators with direct access to system information. For every system, these visual signals, or video, enable the interaction between operators and systems. For this reason, integrating using video signals rather than custom software is a more logical choice when your objective is to consolidate control of all system resources.

Building upon this concept, RGB Spectrum has created a comprehensive set of tools that can integrate systems using video. RGB Spectrum technology allows video from different systems to be captured, switched, processed, composited, displayed, and controlled, all without the need for traditional software integration.

These are the key elements of RGB Spectrum’s integration solution:

  • Video-based Integration – Almost every system has some type of standard video output: VGA, HDMI or DVI. RGB Spectrum captures and processes these video signals at full wire speed. Plug the video output of any system into an RGB Spectrum processor and it can become an integrated and controllable part of the system.
  • Unified Control Interface – Video signals from different systems are consolidated to appear to end-user operators as part of a unified control platform.
  • KlickSimpleTM Technology – Keyboard and mouse (KVM) control can be shared over a private Ethernet network between the source systems and end user operators. This private network transports only keyboard and mouse commands to protect system resources.
  • Integrated Visual Management – Operators can share video with each other and display on a video wall with a simple mouse click using the intuitive and easy to use View Controller to manage control of visual resources.
  • IP Transmission – Video and KVM control signals can be encoded for transmission over IP networks for both remote inbound system viewing and/or control and remote operator collaboration
  • Scripting and Control APIs – These allow complete access to the video processing environment for automation purposes without create dependencies between source systems.

RGB Spectrum’s control room integration platform provides a number of key benefits. The system is designed with an “air-gap” that separates operators from the systems they control. Operator workstations are not directly networked to the source systems, reducing the possibility of infection by malware or other viruses. In addition, source systems can be updated independently of each other, without any software dependencies. For multiple-user environments, sophisticated control arbitration features allow operators to share control over system resources and enables administrators to delineate/restrict access levels. Video from several source systems can be composited into a single video signal which can then be encoded and distributed to remote users, reducing bandwidth requirements. Finally, real-time video processing allows all operators to see the same video at exactly the same moment, with no encoding delay variation.

Using video as an integration enabler reduces the time required to implement complex integration projects and it eliminates issues related to system inter-dependencies.  It allows systems that otherwise could not be integrated to be displayed and controlled like any other resource. And it provides operators with a unified desktop control interface that is intuitive and easy to use.

Integrate your systems the smarter way…with video. Contact us for more information.

Sep 22, 2014

Another Win for Galileo: Security Products’ New Product of the Year

RGB Spectrum’s Galileo Display Processor has won Security Products Magazine's New Product of the Year Award. The award for best new video management system was presented to RGB Spectrum at ASIS International 2014. Security Products Magazine is the leading resource for product information in the security market. The magazine ior s distributed to over 65,000 subscribers monthly, and its partner website, Security-Today.com, is visited by thousands of security professionals every week.

For the past six years, Security Products’ New Product of the Year Awards have honored manufacturers with the most outstanding product introductions geared towards the specific needs of the security market. Security Products Magazine chose their 2014 winners from more than 100 entries. “This year was by far the most exciting New Products competition we’ve ever had,” observed Ralph C. Jensen, editor-in-chief of Security Products Magazine. “Technology still reigns as the order of the day in the security industry. There are many compelling new products available in the security world, and I look forward to showcasing these new technologies.”

RGB Spectrum’s innovative new Galileo Display Processor is a powerful and performance oriented video wall system which incorporates high-performance PC computing. Galileo’s PC server capabilities support advanced application processing, such as decoding and displaying of IP video streams, or the ability to run validated application clients directly on the wall processor, with a hardware acceleration engine that ensures real-time performance and superb image quality.

The Galileo processor enables integrated control of multiple security systems, including VMS, alarm, mass notification, call box, building automation, and access control, without requiring custom software or complex integration. Client systems simply connect to the Galileo processor using HDMI or DVI video signaling. Optional remote desktop capabilities, with multicast functionality, allow operators to monitor and control these client systems, or other servers, located in other rooms, buildings or campuses. With an open architecture that is hardware and software agnostic, the Galileo processor is ideal for a range of security applications.

"RGB Spectrum is proud to have been recognized by the security industry for our product engineering," remarked Bob Marcus, President and CEO of RGB Spectrum. "Our Galileo display processor is ideal for even the most demanding control room applications. With the ability to display a range of inputs and applications on up to 56 displays, the Galileo processor provides security personnel with an enhanced level of situational awareness. Its advanced security features help ensure the integrity of all system resources.”

RGB Spectrum will exhibit a virtual demonstration of the Galileo Display Processor, along with its powerful Enterprise MCMS control room management system, at ASIS International 2014, booth number 3365. To learn more about RGB Spectrum’s solutions and to access the latest company news, please visit us at http://www.rgb.com.

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 video/graphics processors and decision support systems. Company offerings include multiviewers, video wall processors, matrix switchers, codecs, recorders, and integrated solutions for control room management. RGB Spectrum's products are preferred by major global organizations in industrial, security, medical, educational, commercial and military markets. 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.

Jan 31, 2005

AOL/Time Warner Center Enhances Security Monitoring with SuperView Technology

The AOL/Time Warner Center in New York City is a landmark building. The 750 feet, twin-towered multi-use complex, also named Columbus Center houses the AOL Time Warner World Headquarters, a luxury hotel spaces for retail, entertainment, restaurants and offices, luxury apartments, as well as CNN live broadcast production studios, and a concert hall. Throughout the entire center, there are closed circuit televisions and cameras tied into the control room.

The AOL/Time Warner security control center is state-of-the art facility, built in line with a trend to more sophisticated systems in an age where there is an increased awareness of security issues. The facility is designed to be a "safe area" to protect and monitor sensitive security monitoring equipment during a disaster or security related incident.

ETC, the project integrator, chose the SuperView® 3000 processor for its real time multi display functionality. Its high quality video processing made it ideal. Additionally, the ability to easily save settings and window positions as "presets" met initial functional requirements.

The security room is set up so that the 250 cameras placed throughout the center plus CCTV signals are sent to a Panasonic 850 Switcher. From there the signals are switched into SuperView-12 processors, each capable of displaying up to twelve signals simultaneously on six wall mounted 50" plasma screens. The SuperView processors are controlled by a workstation created by ETC specifically for the center. At any given time, up to 72 images can be displayed. The SuperViews' presets allow the controller to display at the push of a button anywhere from one to twelve signals in a variety of window arrangements on any of the six screens.

Frank Lloyd of ETC said of the SuperView: "The response has been impressive. The quality of the video has been exceptional, and it met their expectations." He added that the SuperView, "was a very user friendly product."

The SuperView multi-input display processor accepts up to twelve real-time inputs and displays the combined output on a single high-resolution monitor or projector. The window inputs can be NTSC or PAL, composite or S-video, and high-resolution analog RGB with up to 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution. Each window can be independently positioned, scaled to full screen, overlaid with computer graphics or overlapped with other windows. Additionally, the user can pan and zoom within each video image.

Time Warner Inc. is a leading global media and entertainment company with best-in-class businesses in filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems and publishing. They can be reached on the Internet at http://www.timewarner.com/corp/.

ETC is a non-proprietary provider of access control, security, CCTV, fire/life safety, and communication systems. They can be reached on the Internet at http://www.etc-us.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 http://www.rgb.com.

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.

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.

Feb 24, 2014

Emergency Monitoring and Response in Hennepin County

Located in Medina, Minnesota, and serving a population of over a million residents, the Hennepin County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) monitors and responds to a range of potentially dangerous situations including extreme weather conditions, fires, hazardous materials spills and infectious disease outbreaks. The EOC oversees public and private disaster resources and acts as a hub from which city and county personnel can coordinate emergency response.

During a recent expansion and facilities upgrade, EOC officials turned to MSpace, a leading provider of AV solutions, to design a new emergency monitoring and response system. The new system, which features RGB Spectrum’s MediaWall 4500 Display Processor and three QuadView HDx Multiviewers, provides a superior visual experience that enhances situational awareness and operator response.

“RGB Spectrum’s products are key components in the Hennepin EOC’s emergency management system” observed Keith Gustafson, Director of Technology at MSpace. “Combining unsurpassed quality with responsive features and quick installation, the MediaWall processor and QuadView multiviewers provide the client with powerful display capabilities and real-time processing of video and graphic inputs. These display processors were the only ones on the market capable of accommodating all of the EOC’s requirements, especially HDCP-compliance, which made them the logical choice,” Gustafson added.

Situational awareness activities are concentrated into three main areas of the facility. The newly-constructed EOC features a 60” x 384” (5ft x 32ft) projection video wall, and two rooms that make up the Situation Monitoring Station (SMS) provide personnel with a range of visuals to support emergency decision-making. The audio-visual system connects the three rooms, allowing video and graphics signals to be routed to any display device in the facility.

As the Training Room for Hennepin County’s Public Works Department, the EOC is used for a variety of purposes. In addition to emergency management and videoconferencing support, instructors use the facility to train Hennepin County staff on new technologies and equipment, and to teach certified emergency management and situational awareness training courses for city and county personnel. In addition, the room is used as the venue for quarterly city and county meetings.

To provide visual aids during meetings and presentations, a switcher is used to route 16 input signals to the MediaWall processor for windowing and display across the training room’s 1x4 screen projection video wall. For videoconference support, signals are also routed through the QuadView multiviewer to enable transmission of a composite of four sources to participants at the far end of the videoconferencing session.

Two QuadView multiviewers installed in the situation monitoring rooms are used to configure up to four signals for display on 90” monitors. Used primarily to facilitate decision-making during crisis situations, emergency personnel can display relevant sources on the main monitor for detailed review, analysis and action. EOC personnel use a third-party touch screen controller to choose preset window layout configurations and change the selected sources.

Available inputs include multiple desktop and laptop PCs, a Blu-ray player, an Apple TV, a video conferencing system, and a video management system (VMS) that processes video feeds from county-wide traffic cameras and security systems. In addition, PCs running Hennepin County’s specialized crisis management software, WebEOC, monitor extreme weather warning systems and weather maps, as well as non-weather emergency situations. Any of these inputs can be routed to display devices located in the main EOC facility or in either of the situation monitoring rooms.

Prior to the upgrade, operators could view only one source on a single monitor. In comparison, the SMS rooms now provide emergency management personnel with a comprehensive view of crisis situations in real-time. In addition, the newly added training room provides an effective instructional and meeting environment for city and county personnel.

Hennepin County EOC system administrators have been very happy with the reliability and capabilities of the system. Dan Anderson, Senior Coordinator of Data Collaboration and Communication for Hennepin County Emergency Management, observed that the flexibility, quick response, and excellent quality of the source distribution and display processing were key benefits of using RGB Spectrum’s products. “In this line of business, it’s crucial that partners understand our demands and expectations” Anderson remarked. “For an Emergency Operations Center to function efficiently, personnel need to be able to access a range of visuals in real-time and at the highest resolutions. MSpace and RGB Spectrum provided – and continue to provide – exceptional partnership and service with a display system that has exceeded our expectations.”

About MSpace

MSpace is a full-service audiovisual systems integration company. MSpace’s designers, engineers, and sales professionals are experts in audio and video communications, as well as organizational communication and room design. With a thorough understanding of technology and business strategy, MSpace enables companies and organizations to effectively communicate with local or dispersed audiences using multimedia collaboration.

Nov 20, 2014

Emergency Operations at UC Berkeley

In partnership with the US Department of Energy, the UC Berkeley Regents recently upgraded their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located in a high-profile experimental facility in Berkeley, CA. Its new audiovisual system is built around RGB Spectrum’s Enterprise MCMS®, a collaborative control room solution.

The UC Regents commissioned Pacific Coast AV, an integration firm based in Northern California, to design a system that could link communications between the research facility’s security personnel, UC Berkeley’s Police Department, and municipal fire and police departments. Previously, the display system had consisted of individual monitors with minimal switching and collaborative capabilities. The main monitoring room of the EOC now features a 2x3 video wall of 55” monitors and four operator control stations.

Pacific Coast AV selected RGB Spectrum’s Enterprise MCMS system to enable multi-site collaboration and consolidate the EOC’s disparate resources. The new control room system integrates new and legacy computer systems, client/server systems, and direct video feeds on a central video wall. RGB Spectrum’s OmniWall® Display Processor controls the video wall display and enables collaboration amongst operators. When a wide-scale response is required, EOC supervisors can communicate directly with other campus and community agencies to coordinate the deployment of emergency personnel and equipment.

A typical monitoring scenario might include the display of cable broadcast channels (news, incident reporting and weather), surveillance video from VMS security systems, and/or content from visitors’ laptops or tablets. All system resources are routed through the OmniWall processor to the video wall or to any of the control stations.

For day-to-day operation, an operator uses presets to change displayed resources. The processor’s pan, zoom, and scaling capabilities allow the operator to focus in on particular areas of interest. A video conferencing codec enables collaboration with on-campus security personnel or other emergency organizations in the community. During emergency situations, the control arbitration features of Enterprise MCMS allow multiple operators to share control of all system resources without physically moving between separate control points.

The Enterprise MCMS system enables the centralized display and control of system resources for enhanced situational awareness. A “drag and drop” GUI design simplifies operation and allows users to easily route system resources to any display. The versatile system can also be reconfigured and expanded as needed to support future requirements.

RGB Spectrum’s products are manufactured in the US and provide 24/7 reliability. For mission critical applications, its powerful solutions deliver superb visual clarity, redundancy and real-time performance, while also enabling the collaborative coordination of emergency response.

For more information on Pacific Coast AV, please visit their website at www.pcavinc.com.

Oct 29, 2013

Enhancing Security Systems Monitoring

A leading provider of secure global commerce solutions for financial institutions, merchants and customers around the world recently opened a new Security Fusion Center designed to enhance the ability of its operators to monitor both internal security systems and customer accounts. RGB Spectrum’s MediaWall 4200 Display Processor is a key component of their solution.

During a recent upgrade, the company specified the need to enhance their monitoring capabilities. Previously, operators viewed accounts and alarms on individual workstations, which limited their ability to analyze and display large amounts of information. They needed a more comprehensive solution to enable the simultaneous visualization of all threat reporting systems.

The integrator of the project, Tech Systems, Inc., designed a new system to improve situational awareness and enhance the ability of operators and supervisors to manage the security system collaboratively. The cornerstone of the system upgrade was a 2 x 4 array of thin bezel LCD monitors controlled by a MediaWall processor, enabling the collective display of multiple signal sources on a centralized, shared video wall.

At any time, 2-3 operators at the Center are logged onto multiple workstations that monitor various internal systems, surveillance cameras, and reporting tools. Inputs to the video wall via the MediaWall processor include signals from these PCs and information from a Corporate Server, which provides customer account information and access to news and other relevant broadcasts. In addition, operators can display mapping and GPS applications.

The MediaWall processor configures up to 12 of these signals in windows that can be displayed in any size and position on the 8 screen video wall. Individual images can be enlarged to fill the screen, or panned and zoomed to enhance detail and enable analysis. The processor supports a wide range of input resolutions, and processes them into high resolution outputs that enhance both text viewing and operator awareness.

Operators have two methods for controlling the video wall: the processor’s embedded Web Control Panel for setup and a BP-16 button panel to quickly access preset window layouts. The MediaWall processor’s simplified control options provide operators with real-time access to a variety of visual resources. System administrators have been pleased with the ease of use, signal quality, and the reliability of the processor since installation.

The security solution provided by the MediaWall processor is secure, flexible and cost-effective, and offers operators and supervisors a real-time, detailed, and in-depth view of customer accounts and potential security issues.

About Tech Systems

Since 1987, Tech Systems has been a leading provider of enterprise electronic security systems. Tech Systems provides design, integration, and maintenance solutions for security, compliance, liability prevention, and asset protection. With the convergence of logical and physical security, its Network Services Group provides complete solutions for people, processes, and technology.

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 video/graphics processors and decision support systems. Company offerings include multiviewers, video wall processors, matrix switchers, codecs, recorders, and integrated solutions for control room management. RGB Spectrum's products are preferred by major global organizations in industrial, security, medical, educational, commercial and military markets. 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

 

Oct 28, 2014

Fear BadUSB? RGB Spectrum Has An Answer

One of the most disturbing presentations at Black Hat’s 2014 Security Conference in Las Vegas was a seminar entitled “BadUSB – On accessories that turn evil.” USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a ubiquitous and very flexible protocol that simplifies the connectivity of peripheral devices to computers. BadUSB is a security flaw, or exploit, that allows attackers to reprogram USB controllers (in any USB device) to perform a desired function. The exploit modifies the firmware of USB devices, which places it beyond the reach of an operating system (and anti-virus software).

USB protocol assumes that a peripheral device produced by a known manufacturer can be trusted by a computer. Therein lies the fundamental vulnerability that is exploited by BadUSB:

  • If someone wanted to redirect information from your computer to an alternate location, they could reprogram your mouse to act like a USB network adapter. This innocuous-looking mouse could then load a driver to enable external control of a target computer’s DNS
  • A hacker could program your keyboard to act like a thumb drive, enabling it to auto-run a program that infects your computer with a Trojan application
  • If you plug in your cell phone at an airport charging station that has been compromised, it could upload a virus to your phone that steals your contacts and other personal information
  • Or what about your apparently secure network that is air-gapped from the rest of the world? Plug in a single mouse and your entire network could become vulnerable to attack

"If you put anything into your USB [slot], it extends a lot of trust," remarked Karsten Nohl, chief scientist at Security Research Labs in Berlin, and one of the developers of BadUSB. "Whatever it is, there could always be some code running in that device that runs maliciously. Every time anybody connects a USB device to your computer, you fully trust them with your computer. It's the equivalent of [saying] ‘here's my computer; I'm going to walk away for 10 minutes. Please don't do anything evil.’"

In recent years, many manufacturers have added some level of programmability to their USB devices in order to simplify the manufacturing process.  This programmability allows manufacturers to make changes to support new features and functions, and ironically, also to implement security fixes. Attackers can exploit this programmability, however, by creating microcode that overwrites a USB device’s internal firmware to fundamentally change its function. Virtually all USB devices are vulnerable to hacking in this way, and there is very little an end user can do to detect it.

So what can you do to defend your systems from this threat? Let’s consider some of the standard solutions:

  • Only purchase USB devices from manufacturer that are known and trusted
  • Only purchase USB devices from vendors that are known and trusted
  • Only purchase USB devices with clear manufacturer labeling and original packaging
  • Never use a USB device if you are uncertain of its origin or history
  • Do not plug your cell phone or computer into USB charging outlets in public places like airports; use a “wall-wart” power adapter instead
  • Disable USB devices in BIOS if they are not necessary
  • Turn off “autorun” for any USB device
  • Use epoxy to permanently attach peripheral devices like keyboards and mice to USB ports
  • Use epoxy to permanently fill unused USB ports
  • Physically remove USB ports when not needed

Beyond these “point” solutions, you can try to isolate potential problems by choosing a system that offers an extra layer of protection. RGB Spectrum’s hardware-based MultiPoint® Control Room Management System (Enterprise MCMSTM) integrates control of system resources in a way that both isolates them from operators and protects them from external threats. This is accomplished using an External Desktop Adapter (EDA), a hardware dongle that is installed on every connected resource. The EDA’s one-way communication system relays only HID (keyboard/mouse) signals to a controlled system, effectively creating a protective “air-gap” between operators and system resources.

This air-gapped level of security protects system resources from external tampering and negates the threat of malware infection, because malware no longer has an access point to enter the system. If an operator connects an infected USB device to his control station, MCMS limits potential damage to a keystroke attack, which can be easily detected and nullified. The powerful MCMS system offers the best protection against BadUSB attack because it prevents reprogrammed USB devices from being able to hijack other systems.

The addition of RGB Spectrum’s new Video Desktop Adapter (VDA) technology also enhances the secure capabilities of our control room systems. With VDA adapters, an operator workstation PC can be replaced with a thin, fully-secured client device that uses AES-256 encryption, NSA Suite B ciphers, and strong user authentication to protect controlled resources and sensitive data. Like the EDA, the VDA workstation appliance encodes and passes only HID data to prevent malware attacks. The VDA appliance also has no writable storage, so it is impervious to viral infections and cannot be reconfigured by hackers.

By blocking USB access to controlled systems, RGB Spectrum’s highly-secure, air-gapped control room solutions protect critical infrastructure.

Oct 31, 2014

IP Video Surveillance Academy Training Events in Tampa and New Orleans

RGB Spectrum and its partners in the security market would like to invite you to attend our next IP Video Surveillance Academy seminar to learn about the network-centric video surveillance revolution, and how it relates to integrated security systems, "BYOD", cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and the "Internet of Things".

I will be presenting a paper on "Video as a System Integration Enabler," which I hope you will find both educational and entertaining.

Join us if you want the freedom to choose best of breed components for your specific needs and be assured that they will work together. Leading security and public safety experts will show you the "interoperability made easy" approach that standards-based, "open API" compliance provides.

Hear how you can provide your organization with a security system that is multifaceted, scalable and adaptable to both current and future threats. Learn about strategies for implementing safe city initiatives, central station commercial, and campus wide monitoring solutions.

Learn about the differences between proprietary and open standards, defacto standards and common methodologies, and the latest developments on standards from the Security Industry Association.

Visit ipvsacademy.org for more details, and to register for these complimentary educational seminars. Please make sure to indicate that your were referred by RGB Spectrum.

IP Video Surveillance Academy dates and locations (see the website for details):

Hilton New Orleans; 333 St Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA

Tuesday November 4, 2014

Tampa Marriott Westshore; 1001 North Westshore Boulevard, Tampa, FL

Thursday November 6, 2014

Each Academy begins with registration and breakfast at 8:30am. The session starts at 9:00am and ends at 1:00pm with lunch at noon. There is no cost to attend. Please feel free to forward this information to your colleagues.

Hope to see you there!

Best Regards,

Bob Ehlers

VP Marketing & Vertical Market Development, RGB Spectrum

---

Event organized and sponsored by:

John Convy
202-421-3777
john@convyassociates.com

www.ConvyAssociates.com

Jan 27, 2014

Keeping Oil and Gas Facilities Safe and Secure

Companies operating in high-risk geo-political locations that are violence-prone must take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their employees, assets and infrastructure. To this end, they often enlist the help of firms like the Risk Assistance Group, which provides turn-key security solutions for managing logistics and keeping the supply chain safe.

During a recent facilities upgrade at the headquarters of a high-profile client, one of the largest drilling companies in Mexico, the Risk Assistance Group chose to install RGB Spectrum’s MediaWall 4200 Display Processor with SinglePoint KvM control to add advanced display processing capabilities to the client’s expanded security system.

For a drilling company located at the intersection of territories controlled by powerful drug cartels, the ability to securely monitor and control its oil and gas facilities is of the utmost importance. With 320 operational hydraulic fracturing wells, nearly 2000 employees, subcontractors and service providers, and miles of pipeline and other infrastructure, this oil and gas company relies on the state-of-the-art technologies deployed by the Risk Assistance Group to keep their workers and facilities safe.

According to President/Owner Pierre de Hail, both Risk Assistance Group and the customer have been thrilled with the capabilities of the MediaWall system. “When compared to other display processing products on the market, we found RGB Spectrum’s MediaWall Display Processor to be a feature-packed value proposition offering us all of the video wall functionality that we needed with the secure reliability needed to do business in Mexico” de Hail observed.

Located within the company’s Security Operations Center (SOC), the eight-monitor video wall is used to display video feeds from 30 IP-based CCTV cameras that monitor all areas of the facility. In addition, operators can display information from GPS systems tracking the movements of a fleet of 80 vehicles, as well as visualizations, live news feeds, web pages, and access control spreadsheets on the video wall.

System inputs are displayed in up to 12 windows of any size and configuration, and preset layouts allow operators to quickly and easily re-arrange the video wall output. For maximum flexibility, windows can be displayed anywhere on the video wall, including across monitor bezels, and can also be overlapped and resized as needed. The real-time nature of the MediaWall’s graphics and video processing ensures that every pixel that enters the system is displayed on the video wall with no delay or dropped frames.

The room is equipped with two control stations, each with two-24 inch monitors. The SinglePoint KvM functionality added to the processor provides a single operator with integrated control over the control station monitors and all displayed sources on the video wall using a single keyboard and mouse. In addition, the SinglePoint KvM system enables users to remotely control security system components as well as access required information from displayed computers and applications.

The SOC operates on a 24/7 basis to ensure that the facility’s security systems are not breached. To prevent unauthorized access and tampering, the MediaWall processor is installed in a highly-secure equipment room along with servers for the CCTV cameras and access control systems. In this highly restricted environment, the risk management company needed a video wall processor that was built from the ground up for continuous 24/7 operation, without any traditional PC vulnerabilities.

“The particular socio-political environment of Mexico means that we cannot rely on the government to assist with our security needs. Since we must operate single-handedly, the MediaWall Display Processor is the centerpiece of our security system. It is a powerful tool that helps us respond in a timely manner to even the most extreme security situations” remarked de Hail. “Secure reliability, exceptional visual quality and full layout flexibility coupled with stellar customer service, training and technical support make the MediaWall processor a winner! Everyone who sees our Security Operations facility is impressed with the system, and we look forward to adding a second RGB Spectrum video wall to monitor our operations in the near future.”

About Risk Assistance Group

The Risk Assistance Group is a risk management firm that specializes in providing security logistical assistance to corporations operating overseas, especially in high-threat environments. It provides services to protect ALL corporate interests against ANY outside threat (security, financial, political, cultural, labor related, etc.), by working with a network of international security sector, support service companies, and affiliate agencies. The Risk Assistance Group works only through referrals and does not release information about its clients. Because of the persistent threat caused by terrorists and transnational organized-crime groups seeking to target multinational corporations as well as their providers, the Risk Assistance Group keeps a very low profile and does not publicize its services other than through the referrals of existing clients. As a result, the Risk Assistance Group does not offer a website.

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 video/graphics 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 industrial, security, medical, educational, commercial 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.

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 23, 2017

Networked AV on Display at ISC West

The upcoming International Security Conference & Exposition, ISC West, is the largest event in the U.S. for the physical security industry. Attendees will get a chance to see RGB Spectrum’s control room solutions including the new Zio® Networked AV encoders, decoders, and multiviewer products integrated with the MediaWall V® video wall processor. The show runs from April 5 to 7 in Las Vegas, NV at the Sands Expo (Booth 2103).

Named “Best of Show” at its InfoComm 2016 debut, Zio encoders, decoders, and multiviewers provide simple scalability and ease of use through its unique peer-to-peer architecture. Zio networked AV is compatible with signal sources and displays up to 4K UHD resolution. It uses industry-standard 1G or 10G Ethernet switches, with encoders that support standard HDMI video and audio signals from media players, computers, and other sources, plus decoders that drive displays. Video, audio, and control data are converted to IP packets that can be switched and routed to any location on the network. As system requirements grow, additional endpoints can easily be added.

Zio AV over IP products complement RGB Spectrum’s award-winning MediaWall V video wall processor. Wall outputs can be encoded for remote display, providing the ability to duplicate or mimic any content on the video wall or the video wall itself.

Make sure to stop by Booth 2103 for a demonstration and discussion about upcoming projects. More information on all of RGB Spectrum products and services can be found at www.rgb.com.

Oct 28, 2014

New Options for Galileo Processor

RGB Spectrum recently released two new feature packs for its versatile Galileo Display Processor: the Security Pack Option and the Digital Signage Option.

The new Security Pack Option for the Galileo system offers enterprise-level security that meets the requirements of IT administrators. It includes a host of features designed to protect the integrity of system data and resources, including user profile security and event logging capabilities, as well as integration with Microsoft Active Directory authentication. With this feature, registered users login to the Galileo system with their MS Active Directory network user name and password, enabling a higher level of system security and IT oversight. In addition, Security Pack features allow administrators to restrict user access to layouts, scripts, schedules, and even limit user accessibility to specific areas of a video wall. The Security Pack Option also includes detailed event logging which can be used for after action reporting, training, and a host of auditing functions.

The new Digital Signage (DS) Option adds extensive image manipulation capabilities to the Galileo system. It offers an easy-to-use timeline editor that can animate video input windows. Adjustable parameters include window size, position, cropping, opacity, rotation, input source, brightness, contrast, hue and saturation. The DS Option’s powerful image editing capabilities allow users to create engaging and fully-customizable digital signage displays.

Depending on your requirements, these new options pack enhance the versatility of our Galileo system. Choose the options that are right for your project. For more information, please contact us at sales@rgb.com or (510) 814-7000, option 3.

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.

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.

Mar 25, 2014

RGB Spectrum Helps Secure the Statue of Liberty

When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast on October 29, 2012, the Statue of Liberty was on the frontlines. The storm surges and high winds caused extensive damage to the utilities infrastructure on both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. It took over eight months of renovations and repairs before the Statue of Liberty could be reopened to the public on July 4, 2013. As part of the reconstructive efforts, Lady Liberty received a state-of-the-art security system from Total Recall Corporation, a New York-based security integration company.

The new security system covers both Liberty Island, where the Statue is located, and Ellis Island, the site of the new security operations center. Total Recall designed the system using equipment provided by a team of industry-leading technology partners which included RGB Spectrum. The company's MediaWall 2900 Display Processor adds powerful image processing capabilities to the installation by enabling the high-resolution display of camera feeds on a 2x2 video wall.

"Our MediaWall processor configures real-time information display on the video wall" said Bob Marcus, president and CEO of RGB Spectrum. "Operating with 24/7 reliability, the processor enhances operator awareness, essential for a security system tasked with protecting such an important part of America's culture and history. RGB Spectrum is honored to be part of the system protecting the Statue of Liberty," added Marcus.

Over 150 network cameras, supplied by Axis Communications, are used to monitor the park and monument. Additional cameras with a 200 degree panoramic view were provided by Scallop Imaging to ensure the security of all perimeters. A robust broadband network allows the high-resolution IP cameras to wirelessly communicate with the central command center, which was moved to a protected location on Ellis Island above flood elevation. Milestone and BriefCam servers take in the camera feeds and convert them to DVI signals that are input to the MediaWall processor, and Milestone's XProtect Video Management System (VMS) integrates the various systems used in the installation.

The MediaWall processor works with the VMS and servers to enable an expanded range of display possibilities, from a single video feed scaled across all monitors, to mosaic images of 4, 9 or 16 cameras feeds displayed in each of up to eight windows of any size and configuration. These windows can be located anywhere on the video wall, including across monitor bezels. Operators use a BP-16 panel to quickly recall preset window layouts and change the on screen display with the touch of a button. The video wall display's real-time reliability and versatility enhance both public safety and operational efficiency.

Previously, the Statue of Liberty and surrounding grounds were monitored by an analog system composed of five separate sub-systems; technicians were required to know how to operate each of them. U.S. Park Police Captain Greg Norman observed that the new digital system is now fully integrated and allows operators "to identify any problems and quickly take action [as well as] make critical decisions to better manage the park."

According to Jordan Heilweil, CEO of Total Recall, the contrast between the old system and the new is more than night-and-day. "It's like going from Mr. Magoo who couldn't see his hand in front of his face, to Superman with x-ray vision" observed Heilweil. After seeing the National Park Service struggle for years to get funding for a new security system, Heilweil decided that he would design and donate a cutting-edge system to the Statue of Liberty. With an estimated value of over $4 million, the solution provided to the park by Total Recall and its team of technology partners was "not restricted by budget. It has all the features and benefits that the Park Service and police needed [including] wireless connectivity, video synopsis [software], ample camera coverage, and [excellent display processing capabilities]."

"The new system is used [to ensure] the day-to-day safety and security of park visitors while also helping monitor traffic flow, expand people management capabilities, assist ferry services operation, reconnect parents with misplaced children, verify theft, loss or accident claims and effectively respond to medical emergencies " said Captain Norman. "The ultimate goal: to keep the visitor experience enjoyable while at the same time being able to respond optimally to incidents or emergencies."

The Statue of Liberty's new security system is so innovative that it has been honored with multiple industry awards, including the 2013 GSN Homeland Security Award and Security Technology Executive's Security Innovation Award (2013). RGB Spectrum is proud to play a part in this unique installation.

For more information about RGB Spectrum's full line of products, please visit our website at www.rgb.com.

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 video/graphics processors and decision support systems. Company offerings include multiviewers, video wall processors, matrix switchers, codecs, recorders, and integrated solutions for control room management. RGB Spectrum's products are preferred by major global organizations in industrial, security, medical, educational, commercial and military markets. 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.

Nov 30, 2015

RGB Spectrum Powers the Canon Command Center at Canon Expo 2015

Once every five years, Canon U.S.A. organizes a world-class gathering of their subsidiaries and divisions designed to showcase their current products and future innovation. This year, the Canon EXPO 2015 was held in New York City with the help of technology from RGB Spectrum.

Canon brought together their most powerful products, most cutting-edge innovations and most inspirational ideas for one exhibition. The result was a showcase of the ways they strive to improve the lives of all who interact with their brand. From consumers to universities, businesses to hospitals, and stadiums to movie sets, people were able to see the power of Canon.

In the Imaging Journey pavilion Canon demonstrated their advanced video technologies including security products from Milestone Systems, Axis Communications and Canon Network Video Solutions. At the core of the pavilion was the Canon Command Center where over 100 security cameras throughout the entire Exposition converged into a state of art security operations center powered by a RGB Spectrum Galileo video wall processor.

“The RGB Spectrum Galileo video processor allowed us to combine the display from several Milestone Xprotect SmartWall clients streaming video from the Canon Network Video cameras onto one massive 2x7 video wall,” said Jay Skye, Senior Specialist for Systems Integration at Canon U.S.A.. “The Command Center was the centerpiece of the pavilion and allowed us to show how all Canon security products could be easily combined together for seamless interoperability.”

In addition to security cameras, there were also video feeds from Canon professional cameras coming from the baseball stadium in the next pavilion, and 4K media playing from files stored on the Galileo processor itself. All of this content was displayed on a video wall with over 28 million pixels supporting borders, labels, and scalable windows.

The Canon Command Center also served as the stage for twice hourly multimedia presentations about Canon’s security products offering. During these presentations the RGB Spectrum Galileo display processor changed purposes from running security operations to become a highly effective digital presentation system.

“The versatility of the RGB Spectrum Galileo system allowed us to showcase our products in exactly the way we wanted, quickly switching from control room, to presentation, and back,” Skye continued. “Throughout the entire Exposition, the RGB Spectrum Galileo never missed a beat delivering beautiful images from all of the security cameras as well as product presentations. The switching times were fast and the scaling of images was fluid.”

Thanks to Galileo’s advanced scripting and processing capabilities, Canon was able to automate all of the transitions between the layouts of the wall, and even added a countdown timer window to the wall indicating time remaining to the next presentation.

Canon Expo 2015 recently was rendered into a “virtual expo” where each pavilion was filmed in high definition. By visiting the Imaging Journey pavilion you will be able to view the Canon Command Center and see the RGB Spectrum Galileo processor as it looked at the Expo. Visit the site at www.expo.usa.canon.com to learn more.

While touring the virtual expo, be sure to visit all of the other pavilions where Canon demonstrated technologies from medical imaging to color printing to virtual reality. Truly at Canon Expo 2015 it was possible to SEE IMPOSSIBLE.

Dec 19, 2003

RGB Spectrum's Advanced Display Processor Is Enlisted for Real Time Monitoring of the U.S. Border

RGB Spectrum has been awarded a contract by the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection to provide advanced visualization technologies to enhance U.S. border security. Tony Spica Jr., Vice President of Sales for RGB Spectrum explained, "The mission critical situation room is designed to integrate real time monitoring from video surveillance with a variety of other media to provide a comprehensive situational awareness picture to Border Patrol agents. A key criteria in the room specification was the ability to display many different input signals on one large screen and be able to manipulate these images so that agents zero in on specific areas and data as the situation dictates. The display system was also required to provide high resolution output quality and support HDTV."

"RGB Spectrum's SuperView 3000 multiple window display processor was chosen for the situation room display system. The SuperView 3000 processor supports all the signal types needed, RGB computer, composite video, and S-Video, and provides high quality DVI output. The SuperView switches amongst all inputs and displays them in windows on a single screen. Operators have the flexibility to manipulate these windows so they can tailor the display configuration. The SuperView also has the versatility to support other signal formats down the road as their display needs grow."

The SuperView processor receives a variety of computer and video feeds. Computer inputs include seismic, infrared, and magnetic sensor data, visible and infrared surveillance video from remote-controlled cameras digitized by PCs, PowerPoint presentations, and pre-recorded DVR video streams. It also receives video inputs from a PictureTel video teleconferencing system, VCR and DVD evidence video, HDTV "off air" broadcast, digital satellite broadcast, and local television.

The SuperView processor combines these multiple inputs and outputs them to an HDTV-ready Sony 50-inch KE-50 XBR 900 plasma display in the unit's 16:9 aspect ratio and 1024x768 native resolution. Situation room personnel operate the SuperView processor with a dedicated PC running RGB Spectrum's Virtual Control Panel (VCP) Windows-based GUI application. Personnel use VCP to customize display settings, position and size display windows, select pre-set display configurations, and choose input sources.

Spica continued, "SuperView offers flexible window manipulation capability. Display windows can be any size, from a small thumbnail to full screen, and the windows can be moved around anywhere. This is a powerful capability enabling personnel to enlarge a window and to focus on a particular area."

For more information on the Department of Homeland Security, visit www.dhs.gov and for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, visit www.cbp.gov.

The SuperView™ 3000RT combines multiple computer and video inputs on a single screen, allowing personnel to monitor in real time. The SuperView displays up to 12 video and computer windows on a single screen. Inputs can be NTSC or PAL composite, component, or S-Video, and high resolution RGB with up to 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution. All SuperView windowed inputs can be independently positioned, scaled from icon size to full screen, overlaid with computer graphics, and overlapped with other display windows. Additionally, the user can pan and zoom within each video image to focus on a particular area of interest.

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 DGx™ digital recording system, 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 http://www.rgb.com.

Jul 14, 2017

San Antonio Regional Operations Center Relies on Flexible Video Wall

The new Bexar Metro 9-1-1 Regional Operations Center (REOC) unifies the emergency operations of three Texas counties in one cutting-edge facility. The new call center is connected with an EOC and NOC utilizing two RGB Spectrum Galileo display processors, MultiPoint® Enterprise control room manager, and an Opto™ fiber optic matrix switcher.

Built to accommodate 104 operator consoles, the 13,878-square-foot Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) call center handles 9-1-1 operations formerly managed across 25 different locations. A large array of video displays at the front of the room provides vital visual data and call analytics. The main display area contains a total of 88 Planar 55-inch LCD displays, configured as a central 4x14 video wall with a 4x4 wall on each side. Flanking the main display area are two more arrays of six Samsung 75-inch LCD displays.

The Galileo display processor provides the flexibility to show the PSAP’s vital array of 43 inputs, including PCs, cable TV tuners and IP cameras, on any or all of the 104 displays. The Opto 160 switcher handles the task of routing the diverse mix of sources to any output.

Display presets are recalled via touchscreens at two supervisor stations and two additional stations in the EOC and NOC. MultiPoint Enterprise is used for keyboard/mouse control of 26 source PCs also allowing the operator to preview each source before routing it to the desired destination.

“The ability to have multiple supervisor control stations is a key feature, providing access to sources and allowing supervisors to manipulate the wall and change presets as needed,” said Art Salinas, Technologies Manager with Alterman Technologies, the integration company that installed the Bexar REOC system designed by the consultant firm of Technical Design Services, Inc.

With the Bexar Metro 9-1-1 REOC online, PSAP operators are pleased with the flexibility of the video wall technology. “It’s a great system with no real limitations,” Salinas observed. “The client has been pleased with the capability to control and preview the content before it goes onto the wall. As of now, they have about 30 display presets. They could have all 40 sources on the wall if they wanted.”

As operators become more familiar with the system and how to use the flexibility provided by the technology, additional presets will be set up to encompass new configurations. The technology is already in place to support that evolution.

Nov 25, 2013

Secure Monitoring of Power Generation Facilities

A large, international electricity and gas company that provides power to millions of people across the United States depends on an East Coast monitoring complex to secure their power generation and distribution facilities. As part of the state-of-the-art system designed and installed by Alliance System Integrators, RGB Spectrum’s OmniWall 32 Display Processors work with its MultiPoint® Control Room Management System (MCMS) to enable the integration of multiple security platforms.

The facility operates on a 24/7 basis. Operators monitor alarms and respond to access breaches, security threats, and other potentially problematic situations. The two hundred sites monitored here include power generating stations, operating yards, liquid natural gas plants, electrical substations and the company’s corporate headquarters. “Our client needed a system with the highest level of responsiveness across multiple systems with full keyboard and mouse control” observed Tony Damico, a Senior Systems Engineer with Alliance Systems. “RGB Spectrum’s MCMS and OmniWall Display Processors provide an outstanding level of functionality and reliability, and uncompressed visuals result in pixel perfect image quality.”

The main control room contains two identical monitoring systems for redundancy. Each side of the room has an MCMS system that includes three control stations, each with seven local monitors, plus a shared 2 x 4 video wall. An OmniWall processor enables the real-time routing of video feeds from security subsystems or news broadcasts to any display device in the room. This set-up is mirrored on the other side of the room, with a second OmniWall processor and MCMS, for a total of six control stations. The complete redundancy built into the installation ensures that, if necessary, either half of the room can operate the full monitoring system.

MCMS integrates all displays under a single unified interface accessible at each control station. The intuitive GUI allows operators to access information from any source computer in the system. KlickSimple™ technology enables each array of control station monitors to function as one continuous display, controlled by a single keyboard and mouse. MCMS enables a collaborative work environment through a user-configurable system of permissions and priorities. Operators can request and take control of specific system resources while a supervisor can immediately assume full control over the system to coordinate response.

The primary advantage of the MCMS is its ability to seamlessly integrate disparate security systems, without time-consuming and expensive custom software. In this installation, MCMS consolidates control of a Verint video management system (VMS), which integrates over 2500 camera feeds; an Amag access control system, which monitors 2000 card readers; and 100 Videofied motion detection systems, which monitor access to critical areas.

Each side of the room has a total of 22 computers which process incoming video streams from the security systems. Eleven of the computers are installed with a VMS client station that accesses analog video camera feeds over the IP network. Six computers are dedicated to the access control system. Another receives signals from the motion detection systems. The remaining four computers function as operator workstations and provide access to alarm reporting forms, email and other applications. An identical set of 22 computers are used with the equipment on the other side of the room. Every computer is installed with an External Desktop Adapter (EDA), a hardware device that enables remote access to source computers without requiring software installation. These allow the MCMS to provide operators with highly secure KVM control of the computers and immediate access to visuals.

When the security system detects a potential breach, operators use a combination of audible alarms and video streams to determine the necessary response. An IP audio system extracts audio from incoming video streams and feeds the audio into a switch, which consolidates them into a single output. A squawk box located at every control station receives this signal and gives off different tones depending on the type of alarm sounded. Operators are trained to recognize and respond to these alarms, and use the MCMS interface to access and display information to determine how to respond.

For example, the motion detection systems generate approximately 1000 alarms/week. When an alarm sounds, an operator can access a 10 second video clip of the alarming location. Most of these are false alarms; viewing the video clip allows operators to determine whether the alarm was triggered by an animal, wind, etc. and helps operators dismiss the alarm in 80 percent of the cases.

For the remaining alarms, an operator will check the video feed and make a determination about whether or not a situation is suspicious. If a situation is deemed to be problematic, the operator will notify security guards, the local police department and an in-house investigator who works with the police to resolve the situation. In the event of a serious threat or emergency situation, operators can use the OmniWall processor to scale a video or computer signal source across multiple monitors of the video wall for a shared view by all personnel.

The MCMS provides an extremely effective way to consolidate the monitoring of multiple power generation and distribution facilities. Although sophisticated in design, it is easy to use. It offers an integration platform that simplifies control of all security systems with an intuitive GUI that makes it easy for operators to access critical information.

Tony Damico observed that the performance of the installed system has exceeded the client's expectations. "The system has the power to handle a wide range of inputs, but is streamlined enough to minimize the time required to train operators," he remarked. "RGB Spectrum’s KVM control is extremely responsive, and the MCMS GUI is intuitive, reliable and easy to use. The client became convinced of the robustness of MCMS after trying unsuccessfully to break the GUI for over an hour. If I could offer one word to sum up this installation it would be…brilliant."

About Alliance System Integrators

Alliance System Integrators provides clients with specialized installations of security and communication systems. We evaluate and implement new technologies in response to changing client needs and technological advancements within the industry. Continually building on the deep technical knowledge of our staff, we provide exceptional value for customers, by delivering innovative security solutions with professional integrity. Our pledge is to establish lasting relationships with our customers by exceeding their expectations and gaining their trust through superior performance and knowledge within our industry.

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.

Jul 28, 2004

Tennessee Water Utility Adopts RGB Spectrum's Security Monitoring Technologies to Combat Terrorist Threat

Protecting America's infrastructure from terrorism is a critical objective of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS). DHS has appealed to public entities to implement preemptive safeguarding plans. One area of concern is the public water supply.

Tennessee's largest rural water utility district, Consolidated Utility District of Rutherford County (CUDRC), based in Murfreesboro, has accepted the challenge and is pioneering efforts for the security of the public's water supply against intrusion and contamination. CUDRC took proactive measures by executing an infrastructure security plan using state-of-the-art technology. The core of the plan was the design and construction of a centralized command center operating 24/7 to continuously monitor the utility's water reservoirs, pump stations, flow meters, pressure zones, storage tanks, and distribution lines.

CUDRC contracted with audio-visual system integrator Multi-Media Solutions in Alcoa, Tennessee to design and construct the A/V display system in the new command center. Larry McElroy, General Manager for CUDRC explained, "The goal of the new security and monitoring command center is to enable personnel to know everything occurring system-wide by displaying all of surveillance and data components throughout the entire system on a central video wall."

Mike White, President and CEO of Multi-Media Solutions added, "the challenge was to integrate a myriad of incoming data and visuals of varying types. The system specifications required true real time display of all signals and the ability to manipulate the size and position of these images on the screens. We designed a wall-sized display system composed of three rear projection screens. The left and right screens are 7.5 by 10-foot. The center screen dimension is 9.5 by 12 feet. We incorporated RGB Spectrum's state-of-the-art Quadra™ multi-screen and QuadView® multi-image display processors to give CUDRC staff the ability to view all of the system-wide visuals and data simultaneously on the video wall."

The Quadra receives four high resolution computer inputs from a matrix switcher connected to six computers and four video sources. The Quadra concurrently outputs these four images to four rear screen projectors on the center screen. The Quadra's "wall" function is enabled to display a 2 x 2 array on the screen, creating a massive, composite image. The center wall images consist of a system-wide map, topographic map, or flow chart depicting pumping stations. The most frequently used image is the system-wide map which depicts every reservoir, distribution pipe, valve, pump station, pressure monitoring station, water meter, and service vehicle. The security center's computers continuously receive live status data from transducers throughout the system and GPS transmissions from the service vehicles, which are fed into a computer program that generates easily understood visuals. The Quadra displays the updated visuals for real time monitoring of reservoir levels, flow production, operating pressure, and resource deployment.

The right screen is used to monitor live video surveillance. The system supports up to 32 IP-based video surveillance cameras positioned at critical perimeter detection points at the reservoirs and pump stations. The cameras' signals are converted via MPEG PC-boards to RGB analog signals. The QuadView receives any four of these camera feeds at a time and outputs them to a rear screen projector.

The left screen displays feeds from weather stations and local television broadcasts. Frigid temperatures, high winds, thunderstorms, and tornadoes can damage the water distribution systems, so weather conditions are continuously monitored. The QuadView processor is fed up to four live video signals from satellite and local cable television sources and sends them to the rear screen projector for simultaneous display.

The wall-size display system uses six Christie Digital Systems DS-30 rear-projection DLP projectors, four in the 2 x 2 array center screen and one each in the left and right screens. The Quadra and QuadView processors output to these projectors in their native 1280 x 1024 resolution. Command center operators select desired inputs, switch image feeds, and control the display configurations for all three screens using a simple pre-programmed touch- screen controller situated on the main console.

White continued, "The Quadra and QuadView processors give CUDRC personnel the powerful display versatility they needed in this mission-critical environment. Personnel can view any visual and data point system-wide in real-time. Operators can resize, zoom, and pan any image for greater detail and to focus on a particular area. The processors deliver exceptional image quality with sharp, crisp display of the high resolution graphics."

According to McElroy, "The district's entire distribution system can be monitored and controlled, and coordinated by a single person. Our personnel have the ability to assess and respond to critical situations and needs as they arise. We can respond to system defects, disruptions, damage, and incidents more quickly and effectively. If an intrusion is detected, the center operator can immediately turn off the pumps to prevent potentially contaminated water from being distributed. The center's innovative display capabilities gives us a quantum leap in preparedness, situational awareness, resource coordination efficiency, and response capability."

Consolidated Utility District of Rutherford County is the largest utility district in Tennessee. For more information, call 615-225-3310 or visit www.cudrc.com.

Multi-Media Solutions is a premier designer and integrators of audio-visual technology solutions for commercial, industrial, educational, and government markets. For more information, call 800-968-7907 or visit www.m-media.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 DGx™ 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 http://www.rgb.com.

Apr 8, 2008

Using a Videowall to Control an Underwater ROV

Most people think of a videowall as an array of projectors displaying imagery in large venues, often public spaces serving multiple viewers. Today, video wall processors are also finding use as multi-monitor display systems serving a single operator. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary instances of this is the control of undersea remotely piloted vehicles or ROVs. Here the objective is the delivery of critical information to a single decision-maker, the ROV operator or a small team of operators. Hence the displays are likely to be flat panel monitors rather than projectors and the total display space measured in a few square feet rather than the dozens or hundreds of square feet of traditional video walls.

The monitor array may be considered to comprise the "display real estate" available to the operator. Even where individual images never span more than a single monitor, the advantage of a display wall processor is that it offers unified control far more efficiently than if the task were relegated to separate processors feeding individual monitors.

Underwater vehicles are used for a variety of missions, including the laying of cable and pipelines. To pilot an undersea ROV effectively requires the processing of information from a variety of sensors and data sources. Data must be delivered in a logical and efficient manner to the operator to facilitate decision making. Advanced subsea control systems improve the ability of operators to operate remote vehicles under a variety of operating conditions which can affect vehicle stability and visual systems.

In the info rich environment of an ROV control center a videowall processor is a major component of the overall control system, providing for the visualization, navigation and analysis of data. This is where "the rubber meets the road". The control interface allows the user to determine what information is displayed, and where and at what scale on the monitors. The display processor needs to be flexible enough to change according to the situation, allowing information sources to be selected and positioned according to their relevance in a given situation as well as to accommodate the preferences of individual operators or teams.

What makes for an optimal multiple screen processor for ROV control? Real-time display of inputs, without dropped frames or time lag is essential in highly dynamic situations. Another consideration is reliability. So is flexibility in display. RGB Spectrum is proud that its MediaWall multi-image display system meets the requirements for such mission critical systems.

Feb 29, 2016

Video-Centric Security Operations Centers (SOCs)

An Architecture to Accommodate Change

On TV, Security Operations Centers (SOCs) look impressive, like in CBS’s popular crime series, NCIS. In practice, SOCs are often a mishmash of legacy systems. As security needs evolve, the ability to leverage existing systems cost-effectively while integrating newer ones is a challenge, especially in a world of shrinking budgets.

While custom software solutions exist to bridge disparate security systems and provide a unified system of control, they are typically costly and challenging to deploy. They also tend to require buy-in from the IT department, which is often wary about adding new systems onto the corporate network. Worse, these solutions may become outdated as new security systems become available but cannot be integrated.

A more useful solution would enable security operators to leverage existing assets while integrating new systems as security needs evolve. This requires an architecture that can accommodate change, one based on a common denominator between legacy and new systems. That common denominator exists – it is video. Virtually every legacy and contemporary system that finds its way into a SOC delivers its information visually, via video output. These video outputs typically live on a dedicated monitor, with separate controls. But do they need to be self-standing, tethered to their own displays? What if they could instead be aggregated, switched, controlled and displayed?

Today it is possible to use a video-centric approach to integrate disparate systems over baseband video or IP (LAN/WAN), present operators with a common user interface, and offer shared control using keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) technology. For collaborative work environments, this allows multiple operators to share control of systems with a new level of simplicity using a single keyboard and mouse.

A video-centric control room system architecture can offer a number of benefits, including a growth strategy that can leverage existing systems while allowing for new systems to be brought online and integrated more easily. The benefits of a modern video-centric system are significant:

  • Collaboration – real-time signal processing allows all operators to view video and graphic feeds simultaneously with no encoding delay or degradation.
  • Simplicity – advanced features that are simple-to-use empowers employees of all skill levels.
  • Economical – fast integration and ease of use results in cost savings for installation and upgrades as well as reducing operator training time.

Another advantage of a video-centric system involves the CIO’s ease of mind. Frequently, unified systems require the scrutiny of the IT department’s security team, who are justifiably concerned about bringing new systems onto the networks they supervise. With a video-centric system, the integration can utilize an “air gap” technique which separates operator stations from the systems they control as well as keeping systems separate from each other, thus reducing the possibility of infection by malware or other viruses.

For multi-user environments, a video-centric architecture can offer sophisticated arbitration features to allow operators to share control of system resources. Administrators can configure the system to restrict operator access levels and, if desired, a hierarchical level of control favoring local or remote supervisors.

A well designed SOC provides operators with a unified graphical control interface. Through live thumbnail representations of the video output from source systems, operators can view a visual representation of each system and then dynamically scale the output of that video to any display in the SOC that any authorized operator can control. Display possibilities include any video output from any system in a scalable window on any monitor or any video wall, at any size or resolution.

This video-centric approach to the modern SOC delivers a much higher level of support for collaborative decision-making, ideal for a wide range of mission-critical applications. It allows real security operations professionals to enjoy the same efficiencies and decision support technologies depicted for years by the actors who play them on TV.

For more information on RGB Spectrum’s video-centric security solution, contact us at (510) 814-7000 or email sales@rgb.com.

Jan 22, 2018

Zio AV-over-IP Products Deliver Optimum Data Security with Sophisticated Encryption

Protecting sensitive information is essential for government, military, and commercial enterprises. RGB Spectrum's innovative Zio® AV-over-IP solution provides superior AV data security. The Zio architecture ensures that no unauthorized user can view the IP streams. Zio products utilize sophisticated encryption delivering full data security from origination to every interconnected Zio destination device during transmission.

The Zio Encryption Advantage

Zio architecture utilizes standards-based packetization for secure transmission on IP networks and compatibility with IP switches. It deploys the same conventional encryption technology adopted for government, financial, and other applications. Zio's devices encrypt the IP streams to ensure that if the stream is intercepted, it cannot be decoded or viewed.

How Zio's AV- over- IP Encryption Works

Zio's advanced AV-over-IP architecture offers two optional encryption methods to choose from: RGB Encryption and HDCP, which is prevalent with broadcast media. For both methods, encryption originates with Zio encoders. Video and audio signals are fed into the Zio encoder which then encrypts the video and audio separately for maximum security.

Zio's encryption ciphers encrypt and decrypt IP data in blocks using cryptographic keys. These symmetric ciphers use the same key for encrypting and decrypting, so both the Zio encoder and decoders must know, and use, the same "secret key". The encrypted IP data can only be decrypted with these "secret keys".

Zio's advanced encryption process deploys the latest Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Authenticated Key Exchange (AKE). AKE is a key exchange protocol which authenticates all of the devices involved and exchanges the session key amongst these devices. RGB Encryption executes a 256-key cipher, HDCP encryption executes a 128-key cipher. The RGB Encryption cipher protects classified information up to the highest "Top Secret" level. The HDCP cipher protects classified information up to the next lower "Secret" level.

Management of the entire encrypted AV-over-IP system is simple using Zio's intuitive GUI. This elegant, easy-to-use interface provides unified control of all elements in the entire Zio architecture, which can also include third-party devices, such as codecs and IP cameras. The Zio GUI controls and reports the encryption setting and status of each Zio encoder, decoder and multiviewer in the system.

RGB Spectrum's leading-edge Zio AV-over-IP system delivers sophisticated IP data security, so your organization can rest easy with the assurance that its sensitive data is protected every step of the way.