Today’s sports facilities are becoming more and more media-intensive. HD displays are almost everywhere – hallways, entries, concessions, suites, even bathrooms. Typical content includes one or more HD live feeds, digital signage, and, in suites, popular cable channels.
At some venues, video is sent to displays over IPTV, but while it’s a “hot” media system, that approach is extremely expensive, and latency times are not predictable from TV to TV, sometimes delaying content for a number of seconds.
For many venues, such as the Louisiana Superdome, AT&T Center(s), Wells Fargo Arena, Chesapeake Energy Arena, and more, RF is the preferred delivery vehicle for HD channels – for many good reasons. First, the outside content is already delivered to the site via RF, either from cable or satellite. So it doesn’t make sense to spent thousands converting the channels to IPTV. It’s already traveled for miles, going a few hundred feet to the TVS is a small step. Secondly, the coax is usually in place, able to carry over a hundred channels of content with little effort. Moreover, the TVs already have HD tuners, so the interface to display HD content is free.
HD Content Sources
Some sites have a contract with the cable provider that distributes a selection of TV channels in open QAM format, so that cable boxes are not required at each TV. Other sites re-broadcast channels from cable or DirecTV receivers as open QAM channels using QMOD-HD HDTV Modulators.
Live HD-SDI Video
Most sites have either their own HD video system, or can get an HD-SDI feed from the company broadcasting the event. That video can be fed to a QMOD-SDI HD-SDI Modulator, inserting the open QAM channel into the RF system.
There are good reasons to distribute some signage content over Ethernet, such a menu boards in concession areas. However, when one message is broadcast to many displays, RF can be a more efficient carrier. As one site manager put it, “The best place for signage players is an enclosed, air-conditioned room, broadcast over RF to standard TVs. The worst place is scattered all over the facility exposed to the elements. It’s hard to service a PC hanging 20 feet in the air.” This application would use the QMOD-HDSC Scaler Modulator. Using the internal scaler, they can format and position the PC signage for broadcast as a widescreen HDTV channel. By broadcasting over RF, any TV can play the signage, multiplying a single player serve any number of locations.
Not only can you send channels to TVs, you can send control as well over the same RF system. With Display Express, managing your TVs is a snap. Web-based software offers simple fill-in-the-blanks setup, scheduling, and control. A small controller at each TV receives the commands over RF for control of TV power, volume, and channels.
As control flows over the existing RF network, there is no additional wiring cost.