American soccer is fast becoming one of the favored sports in the country, with Major League Soccer (MLS) reported to have experienced a 27% rise in interest since 2012. For many soccer organizations around the nation, it’s meant the development of new stadiums specifically appointed for teams and their fans. Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota, home to the Minnesota United, is the latest venue designed from ground up with the goal of delivering a vibrant experience fans can’t experience watching at home. The $250 million venue encompasses 346,000 square feet and has a seating capacity for 19,400 fans. Not only is the new stadium an icon for the city of Saint Paul but a dynamic venue boasting the most state-of-the-art video technology available. The centerpiece is a stunning 22’x116’ videoboard on the field that truly captivates fans in their seats.
As the proven platform for a fast-growing number of collegiate and professional sports teams, VITEC's EZ TV IPTV & Digital Signage Solution for Sports Venues was selected to distribute video feeds and signage to screens throughout the stadium. EZ TV along with VITEC’s high performance, hardware-based endpoints were specifically designed for sports franchises to stream high quality live and on-demand video, create dynamic digital signs, and deliver that content to every display over the existing physical and wireless network infrastructure. The platform's network agnostic, modular architecture can easily upgrade existing legacy systems or deploy a turnkey IPTV and signage solution for a new build at a fraction of the cost of traditional digital signage solutions. Sports and entertainment facilities can offer the most advanced fan experience while reducing CAPEX and OPEX.
The dedicated sporting venue solution also offers robust digital signage features including easy to use signage authoring, administration, and analytics tools. Driven by VITEC's high-performance, hardware-based endpoints, operators can turn any screen in the network into a new monetary opportunity, delivering eye-catching digital content with dynamic data and the highest quality IPTV content - all managed from a centralized server. The onboard administration and analytics tools empower organizations by providing them with campaign information vital to pulling in untapped revenue streams.
VITEC's mobile app for iOS and Android devices lets users stream live video in addition to playing IPTV content. The platform's integrated, user-friendly Media Library capabilities enable administrators to tag, edit, organize, store, search, and share media files, further streamlining media processes, from live streaming to recording, archiving, and collaboration. Packing in even more value, the VITEC platform is integrated with Daktronics' Show Control System, one of the top selected control systems used in major sports and entertainment venues. This provides a unique and powerful integrated solution that streamlines game day operations by combining centralized, one button control over all viewing screens, making it easier to deliver a unified visual experience across all visual campaigns, including IPTV and digital signage - intuitively and effortlessly managed.
Benefits of VITEC’s Streaming Solution
- Distributes broadcast-quality, low-latency, synchronized HD streaming of the live game feed and digital signage to every display utilizing affordable 100% hardware-based end-points
- Provides comprehensive IPTV and digital signage capabilities, including management of IPTV channels, in-house feeds, decoder end-points, content security, event schedules and digital signage campaigns, from a single easy to use, operator friendly platform
- Achieves a one of a kind cutting edge fan experience with pristine HD/4K video and low latency streaming that drive revenue opportunities
- Eliminates reoccurring IPTV seat license fees or reoccurring digital signage licenses
- Integrates with leading sports vendor solutions, including Daktronics Show Control System and Appetize food sales and inventory product
How VITEC's Solution Overcame the Challenges and the Results
THE CHALLENGE - While the videoboard delivers the action of the game to fans in the stadium, the team wanted to extend that view to the entire stadium, delivering a high quality, ultra-low latency live feed of the game to more than 200 displays installed in its premium hospitality clubs, retail store, and concessions. Another demand was integrating digital signage capabilities that would help the organization achieve its digital advertising strategy to boost revenue. With such a large number of screens, the team also required an easy to use platform that can be operated by one person, allowing them to power, control, and monitor the status of each screen.
Leveraging the power of VITEC’s EZ TV platform and hardware-based IPTV and signage endpoints available from the company’s extensive family of high-performance appliances, Allianz Field staff can quickly and efficiently distribute, control, and maintain the more than 200 screens within the stadium while also utilizing the solution’s digital signage capabilities to create and display creative content. The cost-effective solution resolved the challenge of delivering high quality, broadcast-grade video feed of the game to every screen with low-latency distribution and flawless synchronization between displays over its IP infrastructure. EZ TV’s built-in digital signage creation tools enabled the organization to achieve a dynamic digital signage strategy where they easily distribute targeted content to specific displays throughout the venue. With integration between VITEC and the Allianz Field Daktronics board Show Control System, the staff is able to trigger updates to signage for each screen during the games from the same Show Control System.
The combined solution makes it effortless and simple for a single operator to change campaigns from pregame, to in-game, halftime, and post-show sponsorships during games. Concession data from Appetize is combined with EZ TV’s sophisticated and automated food menu board capabilities, which will allow the organization to easily create and update every menu board, based on inventory and demand. Suite holders enjoy an enhanced visual experience with access to additional cable channels, real-time updating of the electronic program guide, and video-on-demand content. As result, every fan - no matter where they are in the stadium - is treated to an eye-catching experience.