Quantum Broadcast Control CenterWhen the Quantum of the Seas started revenue service in November, it also became the first ship with all video content being delivered in high definition, according to L-S-B Broadcast Technologies, in a released statement.

Royal Caribbean International used broadcast controls and monitoring systems from L-S-B for 36 IPTV channels through the company’s VSM system.

“For production, coordination and dissemination of all broadcast content throughout the ship VSM is an integral part of the broadcast infrastructure. During construction Finnish company TV Tools served as responsible system integrator for all broadcast technology on board,” said L-S-B.

At the heart of the onboard media and broadcast technology onboard is the Broadcast Control Centre. This is where the incoming and outgoing signals are controlled, switched and processed. VSM is the overall control system in the broadcast control centre. Signals stemming from 20 satellite receivers, from the event locations or self-produced footage are collected. Further control rooms are in use in the various event locations, also controlled locally by VSM.

Within the Broadcast Control Centre VSM controls is critical equipment including the Riedel MediorNet hardware, video routers (Evertz Xenon 128x128), Multiviewer (Evertz VIP-X), Evertzs signal processing equipment as well as further tools such as AJA KiPro HD-recorders. VSM takes care of crosspoint routing, Tally, tielines, audio-follow-video or Labelling.

At the Broadcast Control Centre audio signals are being routed additionally through a Lawo crystal console, for which VSM has direct access to all parameters, snapshots, as well as signal routing onto the faders. Further on VSM controls several projectors and approximately 26 screens on the ship as well as projector and screen lifts.

Content transmission via transcoders to the 36 on-board IPTV- channels is also managed in the Broadcast Control Centre. 10 to 15 of these 36 channels are reserved to self-produced content. All audio-, video and intercom signals are being distributed on the ship via a Riedel MediorNet network with 30 nodes – currently the biggest fixed MediorNet installation worldwide. 21 video boxes are available throughout the whole ship to directly plug video and audio-equipment into the MediorNet.

The VSM-system employed on the Quantum of the Seas runs on a server cluster ensuring the highest failure safety. By using L-S-B’s Ember+ protocol – available as open source code – a deeper integration with existing hardware is achieved. Via Ember+ VSM talks directly to coolux’s Pandoras Box and AJA’s KiPro HD-recorders.

Control within the Broadcast Control Room is managed via several software-based VSM touch surfaces. In the local control rooms being used for every event location VSM is at place on a TTP10 panel. A compact, all in one vsmPanel client running on a 10,4" touchscreen panel in desktop format that offers the full flexibility of vsmPanel with no need for any additional external PC workstations.

With the use of VSM as the overall control system the ship is able to control the complex system onboard with relatively little hardware used.