The SIMStation Software is a browser-based program. Does this mean that I have to be online to run the SIMStation Software?
No, you don´t have to be online because the SIMStation Software includes its own SIMStation Network and runs completely autonomously. This protects you from unauthorised access from outside the SIMStation Network and guarantees that there will occur no conflicts with your home network. Web technology also offers the most advanced features for the needs of AV-based simulation.
SIMStation is generally designed to be operated from within the LAN (Local Network) of a simulation centre. Live-Streaming of video and audio with low latency is therefore only possible from within the LAN. The SIMStation system can theoretically also be accessed via Internet. Streaming video to the Internet requires the implementation of different streaming technology and different streaming server hardware. But customers should consider that the institutional IT department therefore must allow extern access to the network and open its firewalls. This usually violates respective IT policies.
It is quite possible that there will be spatial, architectural, or infrastructural changes in my simulation center soon. Is it therefore useful to integrate a SIMStation system in my simulation center right now?
Yes. One of the key advantages of SIMStation is the high flexibility of its simulation systems. Also, the extended and most complex product lines – as the SIMStation Enterprise – are very easy to dismantle, rebuilt and integrate into new spatial, structural, or technical conditions. Thanks to the modular principle of the SIMStation product lines, the AV simulation system can be easily adapted and expanded. Just Plug-and-Simulate.
I want to purchase a SIMStation System – Where can I find a responsible contact person?
SIMStation is based in Vienna but operates globally, so there are no local limits. With the help of a network of international distributors we provide our customers with convincing AV simulation systems all over the world. So please feel free to contact us any time or take a look into our International Page where all our distributors are listed. Maybe you already can find your location there.
SIMStation is Vienna based – what if I need help or support in another faraway country?
That is no problem at all. We have integrated the possibility of remote access on all our installations (per TeamViewer) and can therefore in case of problems take over the whole SIMStation system immediately. Additionally, if you need help with the operation of the SIMStation Software – you may not have been able to attend the software tutorial provided as standard – we can also arrange an online instruction where we introduce you step by step to the SIMStation software and its functions.
Following the installation of the medical equipment in my new simulation center, I now want to start with the implementation of an AV system. How long will it take before I get a SIMStation system?
This depends on your needs and objectives and what type of SIMStation system best meets them.
The ultra-mobile SIMStation Essential can for example be delivered within 2 weeks, a SIMStation Pro (basic version), also a system “out-of-the-box”, is fully ready within 5 weeks. A SIMStation Enterprise is a very complex simulation system and highly customizable to the requirements of larger simulation centers or universities. The delivery time of a SIMStation Enterprise depends to the exact ideas and plans of the user and therefore cannot be generalized.
Basically, we highly recommend that you involve SIMStation as early as possible in your project plans. Our team consists of experienced architects, technicians and engineers that can help you with all the technical and constructional needs! The early involvement of our team can therefore significantly shorten the duration of implementation.
I am planning a specific AV simulation project. What information may be relevant for a first initial consultation?
How many rooms (simulation, control, transmission and debriefing rooms) are planned?
What are the architectural conditions (separate floors, spatial arrangement, accessibility, etc.)?
Are there also simulations in outdoor areas planned?
Should the simulation system be mobile? Will the mobile system be used only inside your institute or also outside?
Does the installation time of a mobile system play an important role for you?
Does the simulation system need to be expandable?
Is there already an idea about the number of network sockets?
Are there any concrete ideas regarding the type (PTZ ...) and number of cameras used?
Which microphone system (radio microphones/room microphones) is required?
How can the fastening and flexibility of components be realized – suspended ceilings/reinforced concrete ceilings/cage systems?
Are there any special requirements for cabling/room acoustics/illumination?
What number and what size of monitors shall be used?
Is there a need for an elevated control station – how many levels should it cover?
Is there a need for darkening options – manual blinds/shades, dark color (anthracite painted walls)?
Is there a preference of semi-transparent mirror or perforated grid in front of the pane?
What size of screen fits to the spatial conditions?
Which device should be used – TV panel, projector, or smart board?
Which existing devices – media control, speakers, and screens – shall be integrated?
OA, VoP, VtT? What do these abbreviations mean?
OA stands for “Overhead Announcement”: This is a term often used in simulation scenarios and describes the possibility for trainers to speak directly from the control room into the simulation room. The trainer uses therefore a specific microphone and gives instructions to or answers for the learners. Thanks to the SIMStation Software you can choose if you want to record and/or transmit these announcements or not.
VoP = “Voice of Patient”: The VoP is also a specific audio channel from the control room into the simulation room. This time the trainer´s voice is transmitted via a loudspeaker close to the patient. This enables direct instructions to the simulation patient and allows therefore dialogues with the patient to be conducted much more realistically.
VtT = “Voice to Trainer”: A toggle switch on the OA microphone allows trainers in the control room to speak instructions to in-ear headsets of other trainers in the simulation room – inaudibly to the learners. This is often necessary to design simulation scenarios as realistic as possible and to guide the trainees in a certain direction.
Can I use my own cameras for the SIMStation System?
Due to the excellent quality and suitable software SIMStation supports only Axis cameras.
I want to have some additional AXIS cameras for the SIMStation system. Is it possible to buy them by myself?
In general, we highly recommend buying AXIS cameras from SIMStation. First, there is rarely a monetary advantage of buying them on your own. This is because we get bulk discounts of ordering those cameras and those discounts we pass to our clients on.
Even more important is that because of that bulk ordering we usually can find completely customer-oriented solutions in the case of repair; solutions which are outside of any warranty policies by the manufacturer itself.
And finally, the use of every AXIS camera is only intended and recommended for very certain situations, so we can help you to pick exactly the equipment you really need.
Good point, but I still want to buy the AXIS cameras by myself.
Please notice that every camera needs to be configured and licensed by us. That causes licensing costs which are normally fully included when you buy a camera by SIMStation. With all SIMStation Enterprise systems there is a fixed amount number of concurrent useable cameras included. All the used cameras are of AXIS, the only brand we support. However, if you choose to buy an additional AXIS camera by yourself, we recommend a model which is already integrated in your SIMStation system. If you still want to use another one, please contact us so we can give you the advice if that chosen camera could be compatible in general.
The PTZ IP-Camera (model AXIS V5914 or V5915) is displayed offline/black in the SIMStation Recording Software. It used to work in the past. The camera and power supply seems to work (PTZ motors are working during initialization after the power reset). So, is the camera broken?
No, unfortunately those AXIS models have a bug in handling a 180° rotated video stream. It simply shows up as offline/black screen. Please just open Stage Designer, select that PTZ IP-Camera in an already included room (tab) and press the 180° rotate button. The camera video should now show up again.
The 180° rotate button of the PTZ IP-Camera (model AXIS V5914 or V5915) in Stage Designer is deactivated. What can I do?
Newer versions of the SIMStation Recording Software have deactivated the 180° rotate button by configuration to avoid the issue mentioned in the previous FAQ.
Fair enough, but I need to rotate the PTZ IP-Camera, because else the view is upside down. What can I do?
We can rotate the image permanently via the settings of the PTZ IP-Camera itself. Please contact us and we will happy to do that for you.
We bought AXIS cameras from SIMStation. I am activating the “Rescan cameras” button, but the system does not find them. What is the problem?
We need to add and license those cameras into the SIMStation Software configuration for you. The “rescan cameras” feature looks just for already known cameras.
Why is the use of wireless cameras not recommended by SIMStation?
SIMStation supports AXIS camera, and the application is therefore perfectly compatible with AXIS wireless cameras. We do not recommend Wi-Fi cameras in general because of the unreliability of Wi-Fi technology itself:
Wi-Fi connection adds more delay to the video signal.
Wi-Fi only works only well in optimal environments. Other Wi-Fi networks, or building conditions (such as metal doors, metal walls or ceilings) influence the functionality of Wi-Fi.
Furthermore, it must be considered that also a Wi-Fi camera needs a power connection, so they need a power cable. For use without a power cable, Wi-Fi cameras must be operated by an external battery. Wired cameras have only one cable which transports power and data at the same time: the most comfortable and reliable solution.
For above reasons, we recommend using Wi-Fi cameras at most as a complementary equipment for special situations, but not as the standard equipment for all simulations.
SIMStation Enterprise: Can I provide my existing (virtualized) server environment for SIMStation Servers?
Yes, it is possible to use your existing virtualized server environment for SIMStation Servers. Due to the nature of the application und high functionality (latency sensitive, high-bandwidth, AV-over-IP, …) the server environment needs to fulfil the system requirements of SIMStation. A detailed list of the respective requirements can be found here.
SIMStation Enterprise: Can I provide my existing network environment for SIMStation?
It depends on the circumstances. SIMStation Enterprise needs separate VLANs, or even better: separate physical switches for
DANTE audio traffic and
video & control data traffic.
It is against best practice to run Dante Audio-over-IP in the same network as other standard TCP applications. Dante is in practice also not compatible with Layer3 (routed networks) as it is self-synchronizing on microseconds (not milliseconds), using dozens of multicast messages on hundreds of different ports. The video & control LAN, however, can run on existing Layer2 or Layer3 infrastructure, if QoS is configured to guarantee enough bandwidth, low latencies, and low jitter.
Can video be displayed on SIMStation Remote Tablets or are they just supporting text-based interaction?
Displaying live video and audio on the SIMStation Remote Tablets works in excellent Wi-Fi environments, but is not recommended in general because of the above-mentioned limitations of Wi-Fi itself.
Replaying recorded video from the SIMStation archive is possible on SIMStation Remote Tablets at any time.
SIMStation Enterprise: Can I use or provide my own computers for the Control Room, Debriefing Room, Media Screen?
Yes, if they fulfil our specifications. Client computers do not need any software installed or any special firewall settings configured. The entire user interface is running in a standard Google Chrome browser interface.
I bought Recording PCs/Debriefing PCs/Media Screen PCs/Tablets and they do not behave software-wise like the known components. What can I do?
A specific configuration is necessary to add those devices into the existing system. Simply contact the SIMStation support team. Please describe the issue in detail and we will tell you exactly what SIMStation system parts we need to access. Please note, that oftentimes most of the system needs to be available exclusively for the support and configuration. That means that during the support most of the system cannot be used by you.
How can I integrate the image of a patient monitor or a third-party video signal into the SIMStation system?
With the SIMStation Patient-Monitor Capture-Device you can convert any video or monitor signal (HDMI, DVI, VGA) to a video stream that can be processed and recorded by the SIMStation Software. Depending on your manikin and the included Patient-Monitor Software, these devices might be installed either in the Simulation or Control Room.
How many cameras or microphones does SIMStation Enterprise support?
There are no limits. Our currently largest installation at University of Texas compasses 86 cameras and 124 microphones and operates flawlessly.
Can I connect my SIMStation Essential with a SIMStation Enterprise system?
SIMStation Essential and SIMStation Enterprise run with a different software and different technology. For customers with existing SIMStation Enterprise installations who also own an additional SIMStation Essential for mobile use, we offer a specific converter software; an application which allows to transfer videos created with SIMStation Essential easily into the SIMStation Enterprise recording archive.
Can I watch a simulation live on screen?
Of course. Every debriefing player is also a transmission player. Normally a debriefing takes place right after the simulation, so we use the same infrastructure for the live broadcast.
Pro tip: You can also send a live broadcast to several players, i.e., to several rooms at the same time.
I am planning a simulation that will take place in several rooms ... Does the SIMStation Software support such a simulation setup?
Yes, of course! With the SIMStation Software you can switch to all available training rooms during a simulation without stopping the recording. A marker is automatically set, which in the debriefing on your SIMStation Remote Tablet shows up exactly, when this room change took place.
If you want to record a scenario that takes place in different rooms at the same time, you can create "virtual room layouts" in Stage Designer with cameras from different rooms and record them simultaneously.
For legal reasons, the recordings may not be stored for longer than 48 hours. How can I be sure/check that the deletion is not forgotten?
Do not worry, the system can be configured to automatically delete the recordings after a desired time. In your archive you can also make settings so that specific recordings are excluded from this automatic rule. This can be very useful, for example, if you want to record a demo simulation for educational purposes.
Many people work in my institution. However, not everyone should have access to all recordings. How do I solve this problem?
The SIMStation Software has a user system designed for all scenarios:
Firstly, the system comprises various inherent user groups to which different access rights can be assigned: technicians, administrators, operators, others.
Furthermore, rights can be assigned based on the specific role in the simulation: trainers, learners, and simulation participants.
And finally, rights can also be assigned directly to registered persons.
What is the difference between a team/skills training and an OSCE simulation?
For which cases you apply these different modes is of course up to you.
But from a technical point of view, a team/skills training refers to a single scenario. The simulation can include (several) room changes, but it is designed as a single scenario.
The OSCE simulation is designed to control, record, and manage several scenarios at the same time (=multi scenario setup). This requires much more complex management options.
I would like to use the recordings for a lecture, give them to my students or upload them to video platforms. Is that possible?
In the archive, the video and audio files are still available separately, but can be played there in the SIMStation Player with all the same functions as in the debriefing. In addition, you have the option to export your recordings in a cross-platform video format (mp4). You can output your annotations list as an Excel file as well.
If you want to use the files for a professional post-production (e.g., educational films), you can make a copy of the raw video and audio tracks easily as zip-file.