International SOS South Africa uses new Gefen AV-over-IP system
A Gefen AV-over-IP system has been used by International SOS South Africa to connect 32 display endpoints with a central command centre. International SOS South Africa is the Johannesburg sector of the company, which specialises in medical and travel-security assistance.
South African integration firm Mitech solutions technical director Tom Crosswell designed the system and installed it according to International SOS needs.
“When International SOS proposed the project, every room in their building was an island,” Tom explained.
“Nothing communicated between rooms or endpoints. All content was locally managed, and they weren’t sure of the best way to improve the system for functionality and control.”
The idea of the Gefen HDMI-over-IP solution was suggested to Tom by another integrator who realised that International SOS’ requested legacy approach would result in a great deal of redundancy.
“They needed every room and every display to work from day one to day 10,000,” he said.
“We’ve used Gefen AV-over-IP solutions before and we know the system works flawlessly and is backed by excellent customer service. Full, immediate control of all the displays was also paramount, because employees actually use the displayed information in their daily work.”
The project involved updating content delivery for board rooms with projectors and also more than a dozen 55” LG displays located through employee work areas. The IT sector had difficulty maintaining the common areas before the updates.
Tom said, “The main brief was to make the system work better for them. Now they can easily run the entire system themselves, and every employee has plug-and-play access to displays in conference rooms through pop-up cable cubbies. The biggest change is probably the floorplan-based GUI we created for IT to help them to manage the network. Each endpoint is mapped onto the floor plan, and clicking on the endpoint opens a pop-up to enable immediate control of that display.”
The command centre is the heart of the project and broadcasts content from 12 computers to each display instantly, throughout the building. It has five displays that run constantly while displaying critical information like weather reports, ops or rescues, real-time travel related information which is able to be shared on any display.
Mitech Solutions used two Cisco 48-port switches to connect 33 Gefen EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-RX receivers and 35 Gefen EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-TX transmitters, which are all controlled through a Gefen EXT-CU-LAN Matrix Controller. Other hardware installed includes a QSC amplifier, Epson projectors, several ceiling-mount speakers, and Shure MX310 microphones.
The Gefen EXT-CU-LAN Matrix Controller is a hardware platform designed to manage and control the Gefen family of AV and KVM over IP products in a virtual matrix environment.
The local distributor of Gefen is Amber Technology.