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The Star is a hub of cultural and public life in Singapore, hosting prestigious events and a large shopping center. Nine of the 15 floors make up the cult event center Star Performing Arts Center, or Star PAC for short. The building, which opened in 2013, can boast an A'Design Award, a world-class design prize.

After four years of construction, the $400 million facility now boasts a 5,000-seat theater, a multi-purpose hall, and numerous event spaces, including the prestigious rooftop lounge. The latest technology has been used in each individual component to provide visitors with an extraordinary experience.

Of central importance is the highly flexible and powerful broadcast system - equipped with the latest HD cameras from Sony (both fixed and mobile camera robots), Sony 4ME switchers, Geevs servers, Final Cut Pro workstations for post-production and Miranda routers, supported by a 128-channel sound studio for audio recording. This equipment gives the event center the ability to carry out film, TV and sound services for every application: from digital signage transmission to in-building screens to web streaming and DVD recordings to TV broadcasts of concerts.

The request

The responsible integrator BES (Broadcast Engineering Services) wanted to fully exploit the potential of the video infrastructure by increasing flexibility and performance. To achieve this, BES envisaged a system that would give users easy access to the equipment in the central technical room from their workstations in the control room, the recording studio and the editing suites. Complete and transparent usability should be available to all users, free from visual and audible interference or data flow restrictions.

With the vast number of high-speed servers for digital signage and video transmission, as well as video recorders and many other devices, high bandwidths are required that support interference-free connections and allow for delay-free switching. Cutting corners in the system would lead to visible limitations and would therefore be unacceptable.

The solution

BES chose the IHSE Draco tera enterprise KVM matrix switch to ensure the highest level of switching between the numerous devices in the technical room and the operator stations within the building. An IP-based solution was not an option due to the requirement for unadulterated, interference-free video connectivity and the large number of source formats (single and dual head video, audio signals and the necessary return channel for USB interaction).

An 80-port Draco tera switch currently connects 37 AV sources to 20 workstations and video processing devices. With the help of the associated Flex-Port technology, each port can be dynamically configured as an input or output, which makes future system expansion easy; after all, the company is constantly growing and more broadcast tasks are being added.

From their workstations, the production staff can immediately access any server, view the audiovisual content and broadcast it: within the building, on the Internet or as a live broadcast via the TV distribution system. From the editing rooms, the editors can access the post-production computers hundreds of meters away as if they were in the same room.

Due to the immense size of the complex - 38,000 m2 and nine floors - the data often has to travel distances that are far longer than the usual 140 m maximum length of copper cable for HD video signals. Here, BES benefited from the Draco tera system's ability to operate a mix of Cat X and fiber optic cables, allowing workstations up to 1 km away to be connected to the switch via multi-mode fiber optic cables.

The use

Such a flexible and adaptable installation of this size would not have been possible without the use of a high-speed switch of the caliber of a Draco tera. The media professionals require the highest standard of functionality, efficiency and flexibility with constantly changing requirements that must be met quickly.

Star PAC is on track to become one of the premier venues for events in the Asia Pacific world. The upgrade and expansion capabilities of the Draco tera KVM switch not only simplify and save future investments when new AV formats need to be integrated, but also ensure that the center can maintain its technological cutting edge and provide a first-class service to broadcasters, performers, sound engineers and audiences alike.