So I had a need to build a box that could support the various virtual conferences / hybrid events we cover. In the past events that need it more than a couple computers we used to have to gather many different types of Apple computers together such as MacBooks, iMacs etc. We found this to be a very inefficient and unreliable way to host these conferences as this would mean we would have to set up and wire all these computers at the venue and deal with the signal routing which wasn’t always ideal with different types of Apple computers and there different types of connections such as thunderbolt 2, thunderbolt 3, etc. Another one of the main things we had to figure out is as we added more and more computers the table of mouses and keyboards became unreasonable for one operator to control.
The solution we came up with was not necessarily the most cost effective but wasn’t going to break the bank. The original idea was to have one case that could have 6 to 8 computers with pre-wired audio and video inputs and outputs as well as having one to two keyboard and mouse to control all these computers to make it easier on one operator. This box also had to support any audio and video Signal paths that may come up for event such as mix minus, IFB, individual video return feeds etc.
Each computer has the following list the components for video and audio:
Blackmagic UpDownCross HD - For video send and conversion
Blackmagic UltraStudio Recorder - For video return
Behringer UMC22 - For audio send and return
OREI 1X2 HDMI Splitter - For KVM & monitor output
All Other Equipment:
1x Behringer XR18
1x Blackmagic Videohub 40x40 6G
2x HDMI 4 Port KVM Switch - With custom Arduino OSC programming to work with Companion
1x Blackmagic MultiView 4 - To see multiple computers at once
1x Blackmagic Web Presenter HD
1x Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio HD Mini
1x Cyberpower 1500va 1u UPS