Avid qualifies the Leostream Connection Broker

Avid qualifies the Leostream Connection Broker

If you’re planning on taking advantage of Media Composer’s virtual machine option but are worried about managing who’s connected to what and where, we have good news: Avid have qualified the Leostream Connection Broker.

For the uninitiated, Leostream is a vendor- and protocol-agnostic management tool that’s designed to simplify the management of access to virtual machines. It allows systems administrators to manage and monitor which end users are using which desktops to connect to which virtual resources, all from a single point, whether you’re using a single hypervisor or multiple ones.

According to Leostream, this Avid qualification means you can allow users to:
– Create pools of available VM resources.
– Terminate cloud-hosted instances when users log out.
– Manage the power state of VMs and user access.
– Maintain user access logs and monitor who uses which VMs.
– Maintain usage statistics for pools of machines.
– Provision new VMware virtual machine pools from templates or as linked clones from snapshots, or build pools of cloud-hosted machines from images available in the cloud platforms.
– Manage user roles and session control levels.

Why choose Leostream?

We’ve been working with Leostream for several years, and have found it to be the most secure option for brokering virtual machines. It’ll also handle mixed environments with ease – we like to pair it with Amulet Hotkey cards to ensure facilities can broker their physical workstations and virtual machines using the same system.

“If you have a mixed estate – perhaps you have a server in a data centre running virtual machines that you use for your offline, and then users switch to using a high powered workstation in your machine room for the online edit – the combination of Amulet Hotkey and Leostream ensures that any end user client device can be pointed at any virtual or physical machine at any time,” explains our Systems Integration Engineer, Matt Ward. Leostream allows you to manage connections to on-premise virtual machines and standalone machines, as well as cloud-based VM systems, creating a truly flexible hybrid system accessible from anywhere on your network.

“We’re one of the few post integrators who have experience deploying Leostream at scale, and we find that it’s more secure than other options – it’s also been deployed in a huge number of critical enterprise environments, so there’s plenty of evidence that it can provide the availability, reliability and – with the right help – simplicity that we know our post clients need so that they can stay focused on delivering the end result.”

To find out more about managing virtual Avid machines with Leostream, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


Amulet Hotkey fix temporal dithering for latest macOS

Amulet Hotkey fix temporal dithering for latest macOS

If you’re using Amulet Hotkey for KVM over IP, be warned that installing the latest version of macOS on your endpoints automatically re-enables temporal dithering.

This vastly increases the amount of information you’re forced to handle over IP and, as a result, will have a negative impact on the quality of your image.

Happily, Amulet Hotkey are already aware of the issue, and have released a kernel extension that allows you to disable temporal dithering at the driver level, regardless of which version of macOS you’re running. (If you’re running an earlier version of macOS or OS X, the fix should already be in place – contact us if you find this isn’t the case.)

The usual caveats apply: the fix will only work with Amulet hardware and software, not with that from third parties; the kext itself is not available publicly – in a delightfully cloak-and-dagger scenario, you need to get in touch with our team on the details below, and they’ll send you a temporary download link and instructions for how to install it.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


Meet the experts: Matt Ward

Meet the experts: Matt Ward

After stints at London’s Metropolis, Strongroom Studios and Air Studios, engineer Matt Ward joined the root6 audio team five years ago. He’s a fully paid up member of the AES, IEEE, SMPTE and IET, and is your go-to for any questions about acoustics, speaker alignment and audio over IP. 

“I started off as a bench engineer, but then I was recruited by Metropolis Studios and spent the best part of five years as part of the engineering team for their studios, while also helping people out in the mastering and DVD authoring facilities. After that, I was the technical manager of Strongroom Studios until they bought out Air and set up Air Post, which is now part of the Splice Group. So I was the technical manager at Strongroom, I was the lead engineer as they moved into video and audio for post, and I led the technical build for their custom post facility.”

Bringing together Atmos and Auro

“The first big build I got involved in at Jigsaw24 was the ITV move from Quay Street to MediaCityUK. Over the years I’ve also built a lot of digital cinema QC environments, and in the last year I’ve built four Atmos rooms. I was also involved in building one of the very few dual purpose Atmos and Auro cinemas in the world, which involved a lot of custom configuration to get them both through the same speakers. I tend to specialise in acoustic measurements and audio facilities, and I do their builds from the ground up, including all the wiring and system configuration.”

It’s time to accept shared storage

“I know as audio guys we’re all meant to hate shared storage because it doesn’t work, but things are changing. Products like the DDP range really do work and, alongside network audio, are really making people’s workflows much better. We’ve just installed the DDP platform for two of the market leaders in audio post-production, and they both love it.”

Evolving networked audio

“I think people are only just getting to grips with what you can do with networked audio. There’s room there for very complex audio systems, but you need a certain amount of experience to take advantage of the technology like that, and not just use the most primitive functions. But people are really interested in getting there – I was at AES earlier in the year, and I would say 50% of the conversations going on at the show were about networked audio. It’s a massive growth area.”

Getting over IP

“Outside of audio, I do a lot of datacentre integration for our production customers, taking care of the network topology of the 40Gb, 50Gb and 100Gb connections they need. I’m particularly involved in the big KVM over IP installations we do with Amulet Hotkey and Leostream connection brokering. So if you know anyone with questions about speaker alignment, fibre multiplexing or remote collaborative working, send them my way.”

Want to know more about how Matt can help you? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Who are Amulet Hotkey?

Who are Amulet Hotkey?

KVM or ‘PC over IP’ workflows have long been the norm in business, but now they’re finding their way into creative facilities because they give you the ability to position a keyboard, monitor, mouse and Wacom anywhere in Northern Europe and use your workstation with no lag or dropped frames.

Editors and artists can access workstations from anywhere – on set, an OB facility, an international office – using a standard IP connection and any keyboard, display and mouse that’s to hand, without losing any of the power of their usual workstation.

So who are Amulet Hotkey?

Amulet Hotkey are the leading provider of KVM over IP solutions. Their hardware runs on the popular, trusted Teradici chip set (the closest thing to an industry standard for KVM over IP), and can be added to systems using an internal card or an external, rack mounted solution.

Why are they so popular?

Low cost Amulet Hotkey’s solutions are typically between 50% and 60% of the cost of rival solutions.

End to end security We recommend Amulet Hotkey to film customers because all data is AES encrypted on the network and uses 4096-bit public key cryptography.

Work over any network Amulet Hotkey’s solutions are particularly popular in post because, unlike other solutions, they’ll work over any network and don’t require a dedicated 1Gb connection, and will scale down to work with a standard internet connection.

No single point of failure This reduces the risk of costly downtime or data loss.

Teradici support Teradici’s chip set is used in many KVM over IP solutions, so if you’ve built up your KVM setup piecemeal using kit from multiple manufacturers, it’ll all play nicely with an Amulet Hotkey solution.

What does a typical setup look like?

There are two Amulet Hotkey options: external rackmount solutions, or internal cards.

The rack mounted chassis, the DXiP, can house up to 12 Amulet Hotkey cards, each of which can connect one or more artists to their workstation via a zero client – a lightweight endpoint that connects the end user’s keyboard, mouse and display to the network. No software or drivers are required on the host workstation, and the card will support all major workstations and operating systems.

Alternatively, a number of half and full width internal PCIe cards are available. You’ll need to install one of these cards in your host workstation, and then connect directly to your target zero client. There are a number of zero client options available, some with support for dual screen monitoring, others with support for four or, if you’re really keen on screens, six.

Why should you choose us?

Jigsaw24 and root6 have installed more KVM over IP setups into the film industry than any other reseller, and have in-house expertise in configuration and support for these solutions, so can provide setup and ongoing support for your Amulet Hotkey solution, rather than just selling you hardware.

We also offer free trials to anyone who thinks KVM over IP is right for their organisation. To arrange yours, get in touch with our team on the details below.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Amulet Hotkey promise next gen of PCoIP cards will use new Tera2 chipset

Amulet Hotkey promise next gen of PCoIP cards will use new Tera2 chipset

More and more facilities are relying on KVM over IP to perform post tasks – a system whereby editors can remote into any workstation from anywhere, over just a standard IP connection, using any keyboard, display and mouse.

Amulet Hotkey’s leading KVM solution runs on the popular, trusted Teradici standard (the nearest thing to an industry standard for KVM over IP), and can be added to your systems using an internal card or an external rack mounted solution. It’s long been popular in areas like finance, but has rapidly gained traction in post circles where there’s a demand for remote editing because its public key encryption system means it’s the most secure way to extend your clients’ desktops when you’re under NDA or having to meet strict intellectual property standards.

Already using Amulet? It’s about to get even better…

To keep up with the demands of post customers, Amulet Hotkey have announced that they’ll be releasing updated versions of their DXR-H4 external cards (for new readers, that’s the card that allows your remote computer to connect to the workstation back at base).

The updated version will use the latest ‘Tera2′ chipset from Teradici, giving them access to a feature set which includes support for monitors over 24″ and adding support for quad screens at 1920×1200 and dual screen setups at 2560×1600. Software stability updates for use with Media Composer and Smoke on Linux have been rolled out.

The other great news is that mixed racks of Tera1 and Tera2 cards will be able to work together, so there’s no pressure to instantly replace all of your existing Amulet gear.

Not heard of Amulet Hotkey before? Here’s why they’re good… 

Any network will do While some KVM over IP solutions require a dedicated 1Gb connection, Amulet Hotkey delivers workable results over any network – in tests, our engineers were able to connect to and work on a workstation using Media Composer over a standard home internet connection. In other tests, users in Amsterdam have been able to remote into workstations in London with no noticeable impact on performance.

Industry standard encryption If you need to comply with FACT and MPAA regulations, Amulet Hotkey is your best bet. They are the only KVM over IP solution proven to use AES128/256 bit encryption.

Industry standard connection brokering No matter how many users you need to support or what level of security you need, Amulet Hotkey solutions can be adapted to fit, either through their own lightweight management console, or with help from the Leostream suite of authentication and management tools.

No single point of failure Amulet’s uniquely simple system architecture means that even a large estate continues to operate if the connection broker server fails.

The closest thing to an industry standard for KVM over IP Amulet Hotkey uses Teradici architecture, the most widely supported architecture for KVM over IP. It’s supported by VMware, Dell, LG, Samsung, and many major monitor manufacturers.

On a per-seat basis, Amulet is the best value of the established KVM over IP systems This point is fairly self-explanatory.

If you need to enable long-distance collaboration and on-location editing without compromising on security, Amulet Hotkey’s DXiP solution allows you to rack mount 12 DXR cards (which can be a mixture of Tera1 and Tera2 cards) into 3U of space, giving you a compact, reliable solution that’ll work over the most basic of networks and give you a range of endpoint options, For more information, get in touch on the details below.

Want to know more about KVM over IP? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.