With 705 members, the European Parliament (EP) represents the second-largest democratic electorate in the world. With headquarters in Strasbourg, France, the plenary session and committee meetings take place in Brussels, Belgium. In Brussels, the Parliament gathers in a traditional chamber, similar to a large conference room, with over 100 seats. The Parliament utilizes this chamber roughly twenty times each year for sessions, which last two to four days. During the sessions, the members gather with the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, politicians and spokespersons to discuss legislation.
In the EP, there are 24 official languages. There are thus dedicated interpreters responsible for interpreting proceedings simultaneously into all of the official languages of the European Union.
The Visualization Challenge
The Brussels chamber presently includes 24 interpreter booths to support the translation of the official languages. The interpreter’s booths are nestled in the back of the chamber. This creates a visualization challenge. The interpreters need to clearly see the speakers and the presented materials to accurately interpret for others.
The interpreters have integrated cameras for a close-up visualization of the podium and presenters while remaining within the interpreter’s booth. Still, the interpreters need the power to switch sources for simplified viewing of cameras and presentation content inside the session. The interpreters also need a solution with minimal latency and with clean and instant switching. This helps ensure that they don’t overlook any single detail.
The new solution thus required instant switching between sources to eliminate interruptions in interpreting the sessions. Additionally, the Parliament required a cost-effective and intuitive control interface for simplified and seamless switching.
Incorporating the Solution
The Parliament integrated IDK Corporations’ SDVoE-based AV-over-IP product, the IP-NINJAR P-Series to provide simplified single switching and flexibility throughout the chambers. Each interpreter has their own display. This allows them to switch between four sources, including a chamber view, presentation view or media view and speaker view. Moreover, the speaker’s view enables the interpreters to support their interpretation by closely lip-reading the speaker. The sources are distributed to each of the 19 booths, including two interpreters and two displays in each booth. The initial project phase included over 800 endpoints.
The second phase heavily focused on the interconnection and control interface. IDK developed a four-button selector that enables seamless switching between the four sources available to interpreters. The team programmed each button for simplified and instantaneous switching. The solution thus eliminated the traditional freeze frame and black screens between switching. The final solution includes over 1000 endpoints. According to SDVoE, the project at the Parliament emerged as one of the most extensive AV-over-IP integrations worldwide.
The IP-NINJAR provides low power consumption with a smaller footprint by eliminating the need for an internal fan. The IP-NINJAR also fits seamlessly under the interpreters’ booths. Additionally, it provides a reliable, low-latency solution for transmitting and receiving audiovisual content through Parliament chambers. The IP-NINJAR is available with both fiber-optic and Cat6A connectors for users to choose from depending on extension distance needs, existing infrastructure or network switch configuration.
IDK Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer with headquarters in Kanagawa Japan. It has its sales, fulfillment, service and support operations in the USA, Europe and Asia. IDK states that it is not only committed to creating and developing quality AV equipment, but also committed to the planet and environment.
Benefits of SDVoE Technology
SDVoE says it reaches beyond existing standards to provide substantial benefits for the Parliament. These include:
- A complete ecosystem: SDVoE Alliance members are manufacturers with expertise in signal distribution, display manufacture, IT infrastructure, chip design and AV software. The integrator has dozens of partners to align with and products to choose from.
- A flexible yet simple software platform: The SDVoE API allows rapid development of highly specialized software, custom-tailored to the needs of a vast array of end users.
- A full OSI stack solution: SDVoE offers the simplicity of a complete top to bottom solution, fully encompassing infrastructure, transport, processing and a simple control layer.
SDVoE Alliance is of course, the Canada-based nonprofit consortium of technology providers collaborating to standardize the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments.