High Security Correctional Facility Creates Digital In-Cell Workstations with Gefen

In Australia, a high security correctional facility sought to install a computer-based digital educational system, comprised of a keyboard, monitor, mouse and audio capabilities, in each of its 110 inmate cells. To do so, they turned to local Gefen distributor Amber Technology and their network of integrators to design and install a remotely managed network of “in-cell” workstations that would provide inmates with informational content and restricted Internet access. To create a secure, remotely managed network of computers that could route content to any digital workstation in the facility, a team of specialized security integrators developed a system comprised of Gefen Video/KVM over IP EXT-DVIKVM-LAN-LTX Senders &EXT-DVIKVM-LAN-LRX Receivers.

“Our team was asked to create a system that would provide controlled access and content delivery to multiple sites simultaneously, all while using the existing IT infrastructure,” Amber Technology Business Development Manager Michael Shaw said. “The high security nature of the facility significantly limited our installation options, but Gefen’s KVM over IP solution made it possible to create a secure network of 110 in-cell workstations and 110 remotely located computers in an active correctional facility, with minimal disruption.”

The correctional facility needed a system that allowed authorities to control each workstation’s content from a remote location across multiple delivery points, with varied levels of access. While inmates would have access to the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, they would not have access to the computer hardware, which would be located within the management facility. To make this system a reality, they took advantage of Gefen’s powerful and versatile open API to allow third party systems to control and manage the routing and scheduling of inmate workstation access.

“Remote management was a crucial component of the installation. Our team needed to ensure that all components were solid and reliable, and that the authorities have full control over the workstations,” Shaw said. “We were certainly able to achieve that.”

The Gefen EXT-DVIKVM-LAN-LTX Sender converts DVI video, USB, RS-232, and audio from a computer to Internet Protocol (IP) and EXT-DVIKVM-LAN-LRX Receiver converts the IP signal back to video, USB, RS-232, and audio so that it can connect a fully functional workstation to a remotely installed computer, utilizing an existing Local Area Network (LAN). The Sender and Receiver units can be configured to unique IP addresses to allow the control and routing of multiple senders and receivers on the same network. The senders and receivers interface with the correctional facility’s existing LAN using standard CAT-5 or better cables. Local monitoring of video that is being routed to each cell is made possible by the DVI Local Output feature on the Sender unit.

“Our team integrated all of the Gefen components into the facility’s IP network infrastructure. This eliminated the need for new wiring and a separate network. This also guarantees scalability,” Shaw explained. “New computers and workstations can be added at any time by installing additional Gefen Senders and Receivers.”

Network security was also of the utmost importance. “We ensured content and control security by utilizing Gefen’s built-in signal encryption that prevents interception by unauthorized parties,” Shaw emphasized. “Total network security is obviously essential in an application of this type.”

Gefen Video over IP products provide the backbone of a versatile audio, video, and control routing system. Any combination of HDMI, DVI and VGA Senders and Receivers can be used together to create a scalable “Virtual Matrix”, where each Sender can be accessed by multiple receivers, and additional Senders or Receivers can be added to the system at any time. All routing can be monitored and managed over the IP network, using Gefen’s EXT-CU-LAN Matrix Controller, Gefen’s Keyboard Switching software, or with a third party control solution. The EXT-CU-LAN or Gefen’s Syner-G™ Software Suite can be used for quick and trouble-free automatic set up of the system over a Local Area Network.

“The installation was a complete success,” Shaw concluded. “The correctional facility’s authorities are now successfully providing controlled educational and recreational programs for their inmates. Cutting-edge A/V distribution technologies such as this one from Gefen make these constructive and forward-looking projects possible, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”