Control room operator: Skills, Duties, Equipment knowledge



Control room operators are fundamental to many mission-critical environments and play a crucial role in ensuring that AV equipment performs at its very best when it’s needed. But, who are they? What industries do they work in and why exactly are they so important? If you’re secretly asking any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place.

At Dexon, we know how important it is that you have all the information you need about careers in the AV industry. That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to all things control room operators.

In this article, we discuss what a control room operator is, which industries need control room operators, what duties control room operators carry out, the equipment they use, and how you can become a control room operator.

Let's go!

What is a control room operator?

Before we get started, let’s get the basics down. So, what is a control room operator? A control room operator is an AV professional capable of installing, maintaining and managing AV technology. These professionals work in many industries and help businesses run their operations with the help of sophisticated AV technology.

These professionals keep a watchful eye over all the technology at work, ensuring that all systems perform at the expected standard, and redundant systems kick in when not all goes to plan. Control room operators have the power to delegate work, monitor systems and control different parts of their business from one location.

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Which industries need control room operators?

Believe it or not, control room operators work within industries that keep our society running every single day. Here is a quick guide to some of the industries that operators work in:

Transportation

With an industry that has so many moving parts, it's easy to see why control room operators are fundamental to ensuring our buses, planes, and trains all meet our daily needs. With the help of AV equipment, transport control room operators are able to communicate transportation schedules like platform numbers, train times and updates about delays and disruption with total ease. Control room operators are able to coordinate with pilots and drivers, helping them schedule their departures and arrivals with precision.

Transportation

Emergency services

Ambulances, police, and fire services don’t just arrive by chance. Control room operators are a crucial middle man in the organization of emergency services.

Like many mission-critical environments, emergency control rooms are operated by professionals who can coordinate emergency responses with the help of AV technology. Control room operators ensure that first-responders go to the right address with the right equipment for our needs.

Emergency services

Entertainment

AV technology and control room operators are the brains behind many successful entertainment productions. With the help of control room operators, presenters and entertainment hosts are able to stream content on multiple screens, project their voices to large crowds of people and switch between multiple channels at the click of a mouse.

Talented control room professionals who can manage television advertisement scheduling, channel switching, and signals hold up the entertainment industry.

Entertainment

Control room operator job description

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s discuss what control room professionals do day-to-day. Here is a guide to a control room operator’s job description:

Monitoring operations

In many industries like manufacturing and supply chain, operations need constant monitoring to ensure that the business is working to the expected standard. With the help of AV and control room technology, control room operators can have eyes on the whole business from one room.

For example, with a video wall, operators can visualize production numbers and total output whilst streaming CCTV footage from their office, warehouse, or factory. This helps them keep a closer eye on operations and allows them to pick out any faults within the system that is hindering their operations.

Control room operator

Monitoring equipment emissions

When talking about monitoring equipment emissions, there are two things we need to discuss: individual AV equipment power usage and industrial equipment emissions.

Control room operators are able to keep an eye on how much energy equipment like AV technology requires. This helps them notice whether their technology is performing at an optimum rate and allows them to make the necessary changes if they notice that their systems aren’t performing to an economical standard.

In industry, control rooms can have continuous emissions monitoring systems that lookout for a rise in harmful emissions from any part of their business. Control room operators can then quickly identify the root cause of harmful emissions and reduce this where possible.

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Recording and understanding data

As control room operators are able to visualize their company data with the help of AV systems, they can also record their data for further analysis. Doing this helps an organization’s senior management gain a more comprehensive understanding of their business performance such as productivity fluctuations, sales performance, online site traffic, and more.

Recording this data for future reference helps control room operators and businesses gain further insight into their business progression, allowing them to see the true effects of their processes.

Solving problems

Let’s face it, things go wrong, but it's a lot harder to solve issues when you can’t see the problem or access information about it. With the help of control room operators who have eyes on everything at any given time, users can quickly identify problems and solve them with total ease. Being one step ahead of problems at all times helps to speed up company operations and improve overall productivity.

Solving problems

Keeping spaces safe

When you have eyes across your business, it's much easier to prevent disasters before they’ve happened. This is particularly important for manual workplaces that have lots of machinery at play at any given time. With the ability to display CCTV footage from all cameras onto a video wall, operators can quickly respond to any emergencies or prevent safety hazards before anyone is hurt.

Control room operators can also monitor systems performance and quickly identify whether any technological systems are at risk of causing damage or harm to their users.

What kind of equipment does a control room operator have to use?

Depending on the industry that control room operators work in, the type of technology they use can differ. Let’s go through some of the technology that operators might use in their daily lives:

Video walls and processors

Video walls are the next big thing in the AV industry. These walls consist of multiple screens that are capable of streaming different sources of information at the exact same time. You might see a video wall in use in a surveillance control room or in the entertainment industry. Control room operators can use video walls and their processors to control which content is shown on their desired screen, helping them multitask and enhance their visual displays.

DVP508x Video Processor Family

Video wall matrix switches

Control room operators can use matrix switches when they need to seamlessly switch from one source to another. This equipment is particularly important in the entertainment or presentations industry. Matrix switchers allow control room operators to remotely scale up and down, switch between input signals and cross-fade for an engaging visual display.

DMX302x Presentation Matrix Family

Video wall controllers

Video wall controllers are a vital tool for any control room operator who wants total control over their visual display. Similar to processors, controllers work in partnership with a video wall to manage input signals, ensuring you have power over the type of content you steam.

With the help of a controller, control room operators can mitigate the impacts of large screen borders and scale images no matter the screen size.

DXN6800 Video Wall Controller Family

How to become a control room operator?

If all of that sounds exciting to you, you may be wondering how exactly you can become a control room operator. So, we’ve compiled this step-by-step guide to becoming a control room operator:

1.    Get to know the AV industry

Before you do anything, you need to get to know the AV industry. Familiarizing yourself with the type of equipment you might use in a control room is important to giving yourself the industry knowledge you’ll need for interviews and your future career.

Make use of industry news sights and keep up to date with the latest developments in AV to give yourself a fighting chance!

2.    Earn a degree

Depending on the employer, you might need some academic credentials to support your application. It’s important to understand the employer’s expectations before you apply so you know you’re ready for the job.

Useful degrees such as video production or multimedia that have specialist audio and visual engineering modules might give you some useful skills that can help you become a control room operator.

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3.    Find entry-level employment opportunities

Once you’re armed with the right knowledge, you can start finding entry-level employment. Positions such as junior control room operator roles are a great opportunity for you to familiarize yourself with the demands of working as a control room operator. Earning some experience can also help you get used to managing multiple systems at the same time.

4.   Learn how to install and manage different AV technologies

The best control room operators will know the ins and outs of the AV technology they use, so it’s important that you continue refining your skills while working. Prioritize learning how to install and manage different AV systems so you’re ready for a more senior control room position.

There you have it! Your comprehensive guide to all things control room operation. If you’d like to find out more about all things AV, check out the Dexon blog for more information about industry developments and tips and tricks.

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