Helm – Server control

Control and monitor your playout

Video servers are at the centre of broadcast playout, and Helm gives you the tools you need for their on-air control and monitoring.

Helm controls a wide range of servers, from enterprise level systems like Harmonic Spectrum to simple desktop devices. It supports the industry-standard VDCP protocol, so it will work with almost any make of server. Station engineers can use Helm Designer to create panels with the exact control that’s required – either to browse media, to select and cue clips, or simply to stop and start playout.

Working alongside existing automation systems and hardware control panels is no problem. This means Helm can be used for manual intervention, or just to monitor the server’s status, including current clip and timecode.

Helm Designer has tight integration for server devices.  For instance, you can place a “Server Control” or “Server Status” object onto the panel, and directly link it to your chosen server. Also, the “Server Control” object supports the Contour ShuttlePRO jog/shuttle controller, ideal for locating trimming points in a clip.

Case Study: Clip trimming for Harmonic Spectrum™

The process of top and tailing ingested clips is familiar to many. It’s easy to build a Helm panel just for this task, which can be tailored for the exact functions an operator needs.

The Contour ShuttlePRO controller is a great fit for this application, and it makes the job of locating in and out points very direct and fast. When used with Harmonic Spectrum the trimmed points are saved straight back to the clip.  For other systems, Helm can update an SQL database with the new timecodes.

This panel requires an external SDI monitor to view the video. Alternatively, a live video window could be built into the panel, using NewTek NDI™ video.

  • Master control
  • Emergency playout
  • Playout monitoring
  • Clip “shotbox” for live events
  • Clip trimming
  • Ingest management
Supported Devices
  • Harmonic Spectrum
  • Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck
  • Generic VDCP servers
  • Sony 9-pin VTRs
  • Windows VLC Player
  • Display of clip directory for clip selection
  • Clip loading
  • Simple recording
  • Fully customisable transport controls
  • Looped playback (Harmonic)
  • Variable speed playback
  • Jog and shuttle control
  • Dynamic display of timecode, status and clip ID
  • Change of clip can trigger a Helm script