Helm – Router Control

Integrated Router Control for SDI, IP and NDI®

Powerful, Flexible Router Control

Routing sits at the heart of broadcast and video workflows, from ingest through production to playout. Helm panels provide full function router control for a range of applications. From simple crosspoint switching through to complex time-of-day automation, Helm can handle it.

Helm panel users can lock and unlock router destinations, stopping them from being accidentally switched. In addition, source and destination names are automatically retrieved from the router and displayed on panel buttons.

Operators can control up to eight levels independently on each router. This is ideal for breakaway switching, where audio and video must be switched separately.

Built with Helm Designer

Router control panels are built using Helm Designer, which includes several special purpose controls for routers. For example, the Router Bus control presents a set of source buttons, and can be linked with Output Selector controls for building X-Y panels. Source selection can be immediate or can require an arm-and-take process.

With Helm, each router can have a Group Map defined. This allows sources and destinations to be arranged into named groups. These groups can then be used to restrict sources and destinations available on a panel, or to simplify control of large routers by using Helm’s Group Selector controls. Group Maps and source and destination names can also be uploaded from text files if needed.

Web-Based router control

Helm panels can also work with Rascular’s RouteMaster system for more powerful router control , including tie-lines, stacked routers and numerous protocol emulations. Adding WebCentre to the system gives an ideal solution for Web-based router control.

Routemaster offers a WebSocket-based control protocol, designed for router control from the browser. Helm Designer can deploy panels directly to WebCentre, where they can be accessed by authorised users on PCs, Macs, Linux systems and mobile devices. WebCentre’s role-based security means that panels can be restricted to particular users.

Case Study:
Facility-wide web-based router control

Our customer needed to provide control panels for a large Blackmagic VideoHub router to a range of users across their facility. Hardware control panels were too inflexible and would take up space at each operator’s workstation. Therefore we installed a Web-based system using Helm, RouteMaster and WebCentre. Customer engineers design the panels with Helm Designer, and them deploy them to WebCentre. WebCentre’s user authentication and role-based restrictions means users can only access the panels necessary for their tasks, which they access from a standard web browser.

Thanks to Helm’s flexible scripting, engineers can design custom salvos for special tasks, and the web-based panels mean there’s no need to deploy panels to each workstation – ideal for any fast-changing environment.

  • Clip ingest
  • Master control
  • Live event control
  • OB truck router control
  • Production and post-production
  • Crosspoint control and tallying
  • Router source/destination name retrieval
  • Lock and protect
  • Named groups of sources and destinations
  • Can support routers up to 2048×2048
  • Router salvo support
  • Router Bus and Output Selector controls in Helm Designer
  • Fully scriptable
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Supported Devices

Helm controls routers using the following common protocols. If your brand of router isn’t listed, we can still probably control it. If there’s another router protocol that you’d like use, please just get in touch.

  • Blackmagic Videohub
  • Evertz/Quartz Type 1
  • GVG Jupiter ASCII
  • GVG Native
  • Harris LRC
  • Harris/Leitch Passthru
  • Kramer 2000 and 3000
  • NVision NV9000
  • NVision Compact Router
  • Nevion Sublime MRP
  • Nevion Compact NCB
  • PESA P1N
  • Pro-Bel SW-P-02 General Switcher
  • Pro-Bel SW-P-08 General Remote
  • Sierra Aspen
  • Utah Scientific RCP3