It’s a nightmare for any venue: minutes before a major event, the stadium scoreboard goes black. It’s easy for fans and attendees to brush off and even snark at a mistake like this. However, for people who build out broadcast and production systems, the reaction is more grounded.
Mistakes like this can happen anywhere, even at one of the best-staffed and engineered facilities in the world. So, how do you prepare for something like this? What happens when a system goes down? What’s your plan?
There are a couple of things you can do to prepare, according to an article from communications technology solutions provider for AV/IT integration and live events CTI:
- Make A Plan
It sounds obvious, but the time to prepare is -before- things go wrong. “Start at your sign and work your way backward,” says CTI’s John Kvatek. Formerly University of Central Florida’s Associate Athletics Director, Multimedia and Creative, Kvatek adds, “If something fails, and it takes your board down, what can you do? You need to work through the whole chain.” It’s easy to switch out a camera. But if the switch or video router goes down? Can you fall back on a physical patch panel? Find out before you need to!
- Protect Your System From Power Anomalies!
Check your gear to see if it’s plugged into an Uninterruptible Power Supply, or UPS. If it’s not, get one. Even minor power fluctuations can cause your gear to bluescreen and reboot. A complex system might require every component to be restarted in the right order, and that can drastically increase your downtime. The best way to prevent that is by preventing lightning, blackouts, and brownouts from taking down your system in the first place. Plug everything into a UPS!
- Have Spares On Hand
Data centers often have a hot spare drive in the server and a rack of extra drives ready to replace them. “If you have the budget, notes Kvatek, “configure critical components, and air gap them. Don’t leave them plugged in or on the network. Store them on a shelf, so they’re ready for an emergency.”
Read the full article over on their website here