Today, a variety of fields including transportation, security, firefighting, weather forecast, medical service, electric power and communication build and operate a control service system in an aim to rapidly detect problems arisen in sites and systems and take appropriate measures accordingly. The control service system serves as a central hub collecting and sharing all kinds of video images ranging from CCTV images and analysis/statistics screens to information and video images of related organizations, public TV and the Internet.
Operation of a control system entails the configuration of a video display environment in common. It consists of a large display exclusively designed for a video wall in which several or scores of large LCD and DLP screens are arranged and video display equipment for displaying PC screens in the situation room and various images collected. The existing environment required the installation of various Matrix Switchers and Wall Controllers according to kind of video images including RGB, DVI and Video, and, when necessary, video distributors, scalers and amplifiers were added. In the hardwire method, each equipment should be connected by video cables one by one, and distance restriction (20 to 30 cm) caused by signal attenuation led to the additional installation of optical converters and optical add equipment for remote transmission, which rapidly increased costs. It is IP Walls that was devised to solve the problems.
New alternative of video walls: IP Wall
In the video control service environment, IP Wall refers to a video wall system in which a variety of video images and data are transmitted through an exclusive codec for integrated control, displayed on a large display and shared based on network. With the installation of an integrated server and simple software, IP Wall can replace the existing complicate configuration, flexibly deal with the addition and extension of terminals by using the conventional network as transmission infrastructure, and share videos with related and cooperation organizations on the basis of network without restriction of distance and space.
With the digital method of video transmission, IP Wall provides clear video quality, gets rid of degradation occurring when video quality changes, has low risks of failures and is easy to maintain because only simple appliances are required. In conclusion, IP Wall increases the quality of the video control service without restriction of distance and space and makes dramatic improvements in economic feasibility, simplicity, extension and maintenance by transforming the infrastructure of the system into IP-based one.
Functions of IP Wall
IP Wall can receive videos from various video equipment including PCs, CCTVs, TVs and mobile devices in real time via network without video cables. All the images can be displayed on a large multi screen, a video wall, consisting of many monitors with due regard to users’ needs and distributed to network-linked users. Based on network video transmission technology, IP Wall does not involve cable construction, and through a codec designed exclusively for integrated control, it can offer functions of the existing display equipment and sharing devices as well by solving problems with conventional equipment such as buffering delays, PC usage and I/O of massive graphic signals .
The core of IP Wall lies in software technology. IP Wall should have an exclusive codec optimized for a massive multi display environment, and external compatibility must be achieved without troubles by supporting standard data formats. In terms of encoding, it should support full frame through SE encoding, and enable real-time processing of videos with CPU usage not exceeding up to 5 percent.
With regards to SW encoding, there is a huge gap in technology between a leading company in the market and some of its rivals which claim to be network-based video products. Their SW encoding performances are not good enough that they use hardware encoders or adopt a hybrid method where a portion of network inputs are allowed in hardwire products, which makes it hard to tell that they are network-based video products in a real sense.
Cases of application
Canal control center
The situation room in question is a control center serving as a CCTV control center carrying out comprehensive roles of controlling the operation of a canal, including floodgate and water flow control, flood forecast and water control, monitoring for crime prevention and preventing disasters. To this end, it is required to provide excellent video quality and display full-HD or higher-resolution GIS application suited for a high-resolution, massive display in the situation room. However, the wall controller based on hardwire method, which was considered to be introduced at first, had color blurring occurring due to signal attenuation of existing RGB cables resulting from a space between PCs and the video wall, receiving complaints from the customer. After the installation of IP Wall, a distinct difference in video quality was confirmed compared to the conventional video wall, and eventually the customer decided to introduce IP Wall.
ViewFlex system adopted in the situation room enabled the IP Wall server to directly receive and display not only PC monitors but also a diversity of programs and multimedia contents such as GIS applications and web applications, PPT files and video files. Agent software installed on PC monitors reproduced video memory images and transmitted them to the ViewFlex server. ViewFlex enabled videos on a triple monitor to be directly displayed on the video wall based on the functions of the agent software such as minimization of PC resource usage and multi monitor support. The new system fundamentally blocked off color blurring by replacing the entire video transmission section with network-based one, which brought a considerable improvement to video quality.
On top of an automatic function of video scaling which compares original video images and displayed ones, ViewFlex system could correct quality of video images designated by users, achieving readability on screens even when there were extreme changes in aspect ratio and image sizes.
Comprehensive situation room of integrated security control company
The situation room in question is a comprehensive control center where about 100 control agents monitor all around the country around the clock. They control telephone lines, wireless servers, internet lines and hotline signals using a variety of medium including smartphones, two-way radios and PCs, and give orders to local blue masters and patrol cars. If the conventional hardwire method was applied, the construction of kilometers of video cables, upon consideration of the size of the situation room, and various equipment including distributors and amplifiers would be required. For solving this, the IP-based video wall was considered to be introduced. However, the application of IP Wall to the existing internal network facilities linked directly to the overseas headquarters of the multinational company would entail problems with network security and traffic load. Moreover, a possible risk was noted that the installment and operation of the agent software in PCs with low-specification XP operating systems might cause performance degradation.
In this regard, the company set out to search out a product excellent enough to meet requirements for network security, self-protection and minimization of PC load and network traffic. After the video equipment team, the IT team and the security team comprehensively reviewed and verified the security, performance and stability of ViewFlex, it was eventually chosen as a video solution for the comprehensive situation room.
The embedded-based appliance server client of the ViewFlex restored a system to a normal state anytime with the one-touch recovery button whenever the system was damaged by mistake or on purpose. The access to the video transmission system, which an algorithm of national accreditation passwords was applied to, added security to video data. The network ports configured in the server received video images from agents existing in different bandwidths. ViewFlex also guaranteed network security by blocking off all accesses except its video traffic.
ViewFlex was as efficient as the users couldn’t notice the operation of the program even while ViewFlex agent was operating thanks to the minimized PC resource usage equivalent to a computer virus. The minimized video data traffic secured stable and reliable system operation based on the existing network infrastructure composed of 10/100 MBPS switching hub.
CCTV integrated control center of a local government
The CCTV control center of a gu, or borough, connects about 400 CCTVs installed across the district and enables monitoring agents to control them in one spot around the clock. At the first stage, the center went through difficulties in operating the system because the system operation company went bankrupt. To keep running the control center, the local government reselected a new operator according to an urgent need. Against the backdrop, reliability and economic feasibility emerged as significant elements of a product.
The conventional design concept was to install multi monitor severs in parallel and connect display devices to each servers. Even though the basic function of the video wall is to enlarge and shrink video images regardless of borders of monitors, the enlarging and shrinking was limited within four sides of displays, some of which could be dealt with only by purchasing additional severs. Accordingly, concern was raised that there would be major obstacles to the operation and extension of the system.
The district office selected ViewFlex as a video solution able to extend, contract, move and display a number of video images at the same time regardless of borders of displays by enabling the I/O of giga-pixel images per second via IP Wall and integrating a large-size video wall into a single display.
ViewFlex enabled users to display, extend, contract and move videos by configuring a total of 14 full HD displays as a single screen including 12 central displays and 2 TVs in left and right sides. Without expensive, exclusive video tile equipment, ViewFlex’s graphic output engine enabled an atypical shape of a video wall as well as a rectangular one, which helped the users experience the consistent video wall usage without financial burden.
Via ViewFlex’s multi monitor, dual monitors linked to operating agents’ PCs received video images and data through separate channels, and, with regard to remote control, respective monitors ran separately at the same time. Consequently, those in charge could display any images they wanted to do on the video wall anytime.