are one of the products I’m responsible for at Root6 and I love them for their forward looking attitude and the fact they embrace open standards; if you see an SFP hole or a BNC connector you know that it will work with any other manufacturers (unlike Evertz
who re-define the standard and put an X at the start of the product name!).
So – the BarnOne BTF1-07
is the chassis I have in my demo kit and at IBC this year Wiggo and the guys were showing a much wider set of third party control panels they have integrated to work with their cross-point router. So, to make our demo more compelling I bought a BlackMagic VideoHub Smart control panel
and set about making it talk to the BarnOne.
Since I have to rock-up at customers’ facilities to show this gear I figured it’s daft to rely on their networks and so I’ve included a TP-Link travel router
to dish out IP addresses to the panel and the BarnFind; it also allows you to use a wireless laptop to then run the demo. These little gadgets have single WAN and LAN facing ports but rather splendidly the BlackMagic panel has a little ethernet hub inside so you can loop the network connection to the Barnfind.
This screen-grab is from BarnStudio – the config/control software for Barnfind products. It has a discovery protocol so it can find any chassis on the same LAN segment. However – I discovered a couple of gotchas;
- When upgrading the chassis you can either attach a USB stick to the front and the embedded Linux machine will grab the image OR you can use BarnStudio. Initially I couldn’t get either to work!
- Barnstudio just instructs the Linux machine to do an apt-get (or similar) and so it has to be able to see out to the internet; connect the WAN-side of the little router to the workshop network!
- If you do the USB route then the installer checks the signature on the package; again, it needs to get out to the web to verify the cryptographic signature.
- The Blackmagic panel does not have any host-discovery protocol built in and so it seemed only sensible to set the router to always dish out the same MAC/IP address combinations by using the DCHP reserved assignment page in the router. Then assign those number in the BlackMagic config software.
After that it really is very simple – you set the virtual buttons to be whatever sources and destinations you want. You can even reserve some to be macros (which are then just a list of route assignments) – in fact that is how you would do duplex signals; Ethernet etc. You have to assign both the in and out of each SFP (Tx and Rx). You don’t have to have sequential sources or destinations and I can’t honestly see how they could have made it any better!
So – with BNCs 17 & 18 on the front of the Barnfind defined as 3G HD/SDi video in and out and these button assignments on the BM panel I’ve got proper router control. These forty-button panels will be very useful for controlling all the synchronous broadcast signals (HD/SDi, HDMI, MADI etc.) and asynchronous data signals (Ethernet, fibre-channel etc) running through a Barnfind router (and then out and over CWDM fibre?).
The only criticism is that the software matrix takes a second or so to update after panel changes are made; but I can’t honestly see when that would be an issue – this software matrix is tool for the engineer, not the operator.
As an aside they have recently published a very complete integration guide with lots of examples and advice.