When the Kyiv Underground Railway System wanted to update its 44-year-old passenger communication system, they turned to Kramer for a solution that would provide high-resolution video in every car and withstand the rigours of the Underground environment. With more than 1.5 million passengers daily, the Underground saw an opportunity for advertising and easier information dissemination, but they needed just the right product combinations to make it a reality.
“They needed a video network, primarily for advertisement purposes, but they also wanted to provide station information inside the train cars,” said Serge Dmitrenko, Chief of the Kramer Technical Support team in Russia. “They intended to use hardware made locally in Kyiv but were unable to get the required signal quality underground. So, they began searching for a branded solution.” As the officials at the Underground searched for their ideal products, they established requirements that would ensure the highest quality signal for difficult-to-reproduce items like text and graphics. The requirements included computer XGA resolution at the same level and quality in every car, along with small product dimensions and performance stability for optimum use in the noisy environment of the subway which is filled with electrical interference. In addition, the Kyiv Underground team wanted a quick production response and permanent technical support in the city speaking the native language.
“These features were not unique by themselves, but combined, they are a very rare find with a single manufacturer,” Dmitrenko noted. “We addressed their needs with a number of product trials and unique solutions. We also provided detailed attention to their market, with the project support they needed.” Kramer was selected to provide line amplifiers and high-resolution XGA distribution amplifiers for the project. The result: more than 2,000 Kramer machines run on the Underground Railway. The Product Network The Underground installed 15-inch LCD PC monitors in each of the five cars of 110 trains, plus 20 spare cars, for a total of 570 cars with monitor access. The Underground provides source material that includes text on the monitors with station names and transition station information, as well as alarm messages. It also showcases advertisement blocks throughout the day and beautiful, calm pictures during the remaining times. The VP-300N high-resolution distribution amplifiers were selected for their video bandwidth, which exceeds 400 MHz, ensuring that the machines remain transparent even at high-resolution graphics modes such as UXGA. The amplifiers accept one input, provide correct buffering and isolation, and then distribute the signal to the two or three monitors in the train cars.