A control room is the nerve center of any broadcast or streaming facility. It is where all of the action happens, with operators monitoring audio feeds and video streams as they come in. With so many different broadcasting or streaming facilities, it’s impossible to cover every aspect you might need to consider when redesigning your control room.
1. Create a Safe Environment
While it’s not often thought of as a control room design consideration, safety is a significant factor that can significantly affect the productivity of your control room operators. For instance, noise levels can be a huge factor in a control room’s design, as too much noise can make it difficult for operators to focus on their tasks. If a room is too loud, there’s a risk of operator fatigue due to extended periods spent trying to concentrate in that environment. Since most of the time spent in a control room is focused on monitoring audio, operators should be able to work in a room where they won’t have to raise their voices to be heard constantly.
2. Be Mindful of Ergonomics
Operator comfort is essential in any environment, especially in a control room where operators will likely spend most of their day seated in front of a computer. For instance, you’ll want to ensure enough space between operators to avoid unnecessary distractions. This is especially important in an environment where people work in pairs. Regarding furniture and ergonomic considerations, you’ll want to ensure the furniture is sturdy. In this area, you’re better off buying used furniture that has been adequately maintained and refurbished than purchasing new furniture made of cheaper materials. The chairs you choose should be supportive, have good lumbar support, and adjustable armrests to accommodate operators of different heights.
3. Maximize Your Visibility
Visibility is a huge factor in any control room environment, especially when working with live and video feeds. When redesigning your control room, you should consider what you want your operators to be able to see. You’ll want to ensure you have plenty of natural light in the room from windows and skylights. This will help to reduce eye strain and make it easier for operators to see the screens in front of them. The layout of the room will also play a role in its visibility. By strategically placing equipment and furniture, you can ensure that operators have the best visibility possible.
4. Provide Remote Operator Capabilities
In today’s world, many broadcast facilities are relying more and more on remote operators. While this is often a cost-saving measure, it can also make it much easier to staff shifts, especially when hiring may be limited. When designing your control room, consider the types of remote operators you might need to work in the room. You may want to build capabilities to allow operators to connect to your facility over a virtual private network (VPN) or a cloud-based system like a Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services server. Additionally, you might want to incorporate modern communication systems like IP or wireless headsets that allow operators to communicate directly with each other.
5. Layout Design
With all the design elements you need to account for when redesigning your control room, it can easily get lost in the details. You can get a general overview of the design process by looking at a control room layout design. With a layout design, you can see the room’s overall layout before diving into the details of each element. This layout design can include the room’s overall dimensions, the placement of doors, the location of the seating, and any other design elements that will affect the room’s layout. With this layout design, you’ll be able to see the big picture before getting lost in the details.
When redesigning your control room, it’s essential to consider the elements listed above. Each element can help you create a space conducive to focusing on the task without being distracted by unnecessary details or elements that could threaten their safety. When you’ve finished redesigning your control room, you’ll have a functional, comfortable, and safe space for your operators to work in.