20 avr. 2023

Keeping things simple – even in the control room!


A new control room platform: it’s not something we release every day. Or every year. So, for Barco CTRL we set the expectation high, building around 3 main topics: simplicity, scalability and security. The coming weeks, we will elaborate on these features of our control room software and hardware platform in a short series of blog posts. First on our list is simplicity.

Describing a powerful and complex system like Barco CTRL as ‘simple’ may be a bit of a stretch. But still, it is one of our main design goals. The objective is to present the user (and the installer) with a system that is straightforward and intuitive to use and maintain, keeping all complexity hidden in the deeper layers. In every design decision, the Barco team always considered the impact on the users first – and always strived for the most straightforward operations.

An intuitive user interface

For the operator, usability is defined by the intuitiveness of the interface. This sounds simpler than it is, because the creators of the system (software developers) are different people than the end users (control room professionals). What might seem very logical to a programmer is in many cases incomprehensible for other people. That is why Barco had many talks with control room professionals, checking the approaches and designs. We designed the user interface to have a modern look, making it really operator friendly. This is how we have made sure the system is easy to get to know and use, so operators know their way around it in no time!

This handles the needs of the operators, but we also consider the system administrators! This user interface is very intuitive to use as well, making their tasks (including daily management, configuration changes, etc.) a lot less tricky to performl!

Making the job manageable

Not only the simplicity of the user interface was tackled, but also ways of working and expectancy. Desk independency for example. Upon login, the operators get their own preferred settings and configurations back. In this way, the users can sit at any desk (even in another building) and work in his or her own familiar environment. And of course: using a single keyboard and mouse!

Next to this desk independency, source diversity is another important topic for Barco CTRL. The system knows any type of source (web sources, AV sources, camera sources, desktop sources, …), which all become available for use on desk and wall.

barco ctrl desk controller simplicity one keyboard and mouse

What’s more, we also managed to keep latency down to an unnoticeable minimum without requiring a full replacement of the current network. While this is a common issue with other virtual systems, Barco CTRL responds as swiftly as you expect from a personal computer. This means users get pixel-perfect content without annoying delays!

One system for desk and wall

Barco CTRL is a platform that is used throughout the control room. It integrates the different facets of the control room operations (desk and wall) into one environment. This also has a big advantage for the system administrators: it’s one system, so updates and upgrades can happen in one go!

Because no control room (or control room operator) is the same, Barco CTRL offers complete monitor flexibility! Most operator positions feature multiple displays, and these can be arranged in any mode: portrait, landscape, or mixed. Barco CTRL welcomes any kind of monitor configuration, giving users the freedom to work the way they feel most comfortable.

Installation becomes a breeze

Setting up a large networked system is often a nightmare. Installers need to juggle with IP-addresses and manually configure the complete system – an error-prone task that can take days to complete. Barco CTRL takes a completely different approach. The installation process is for a large part automated, so it’s a lot less time-consuming. The same goes for servicing, by the way. Replacing a defective hardware component? No problem whatsoever: the same automated experience stays in place!

barco ctrl family controllers sas-050 san-050 ngs-d440 group image

The simplicity of Barco CTRL never compromises its effectivity or performance! The system supports all relevant formats and protocols, and works lightning-fast. Do you want to know more or get a private demo (in person or virtual)? Then get in touch and we’ll make it happen!