Technology Spotlight: Remote Control Systems
2010 NAB Show Review
While the use of remote control systems has been around for many years, until recently, the systems were limited to providing or monitoring contact closures and taking voltage samples. While that level of control has been sufficient for many years, there were shortcomings, mainly that much of the interface effort between the device and remote control system required direct wiring or use of a custom interface.
Newer remote control systems have added remote capabilities (that is remotely accessing the remote control via IP or some other means). The systems have also grown to be complete facility controllers. The transmitter, antenna and front door are the basics. Via SNMP, serial (via application programming interfaces) and other communications protocols, remote control systems – including those from Statmon, Audemat, Burk, Davicom and Broadcast Tools – are now full facility controllers with oversight of UPS systems, power generators, HVAC systems and more.
These established communication and interface standards have been used in equipment in other industries, but is now spreading to the broadcast environment. In addition to tighter integration, the remote control systems are smarter and have powerful automation trees, allowing the systems to make more decisions on their own with appropriate flexibility to ensure the proper course of action is taken.
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