Florida Citrus Sports (FCS), primary tenant for the newly remodeled Camping World Stadium (CWS) in Orlando Florida, was looking to bring multimedia content to more than 300 stadium TV screens. The stadium, home to many prestigious college bowl games including the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, previously dedicated the TVs to displaying video from the in-house camera system. Orlando based LiveEvent TV received the contract and installed the West Pond FlexStream media system to meet the goals set forth by FCS. The stadium’s TVs now display video with graphics including scoreboard data, logos, and advertisements. West Pond’s solution was installed within a few weeks and has been engaging fans, generating incremental revenue from new and existing sponsors ever since.
The West Pond FlexStream media system enables multi-media features on traditional coax cable TV networks. Unlike IP based systems, CAT5 wiring and expensive per TV media processors are not required. Instead, the FlexStream system performs the video processing at the headend before it is distributed over the coax wire network. The coax wire network then distributes the media as a TV channel to one, many or all TVs.
<>Display controls, such as power on/off, channel, volume, etc. are also possible using the same coax wire network. This highly scalable system provides all the features of a TCP/IP networked display solution, without the added cost of new IP infrastructure and expensive media devices at each display.
As a first step, Camping World Stadium was looking to create two FlexStream media channels; the primary would utilize the house video from game cameras, the secondary would capture the output of a PC displaying games statistics. Every TV in the stadium would be tuned to one of these two FlexStream media channels. At the headend, prior to distribution, the FlexStream media system would encapsulate the HD video with rich HTML5 media. The resulting composite screen is encoded into a TV channel and added to the house clear QAM cable TV network where it can be received by any of the 300 plus stadium TVs.
Live Event TV was tasked with installing the hardware and adding the customer’s graphics into the FlexStream HTML5 template. “It was a simple and intuitive process to integrate Camping World Stadium’s on-screen content into the FlexStream media system” said Dave Mailey of LETV. Once configured, the stadium personnel had the option to make future content modifications themselves. The HTML5 template chosen by CWS integrates real time data from the house scoreboard, provides locations for team and stadium graphics, and supports a vertical bar for displaying a sequence of sponsor messages. The entire head end solution is provided in a compact 1U rack mounted system.
The West Pond FlexStream media system headend functionality was provided by the West Pond MX-400ST. This system was factory configured with the following options:
- FlexStream MX-400ST media system software
- Dual HD-SDI inputs for live video feeds
- RS-232 input to interface with the OES ICS9000 scoreboard
- Single Frequency Agile US Cable TV QAM Modulator
- Single Frequency ATSC tuner, used to scan the cable network for open frequencies and monitor output
Camping World Stadium has an existing clear QAM cable TV network. The new FlexStream channels must coexist on the network without disturbing the existing channel lineup. The RF connections were made and the MX-400ST scanned the current cable TV network for open frequencies. Once the open frequencies were identified, the MX-400ST self-configured to create new channels using one of the available frequencies. Test channels were generated by default and were immediately visible on the front panel and tunable on the stadium TVs. The HD-SDI connections are plug-and-play. Once connected the video was immediately passed through to the TVs. Lastly, the scoreboard was connected to the RS-232 inputs so that the data can be used by the FlexStream HTML5 template. Testing was performed and last minute tweaks were made to the graphics, but the system operated autonomously once the event was started.
Stadium management is already discussing wrapping additional channels with more social media content, integrating statistics, weather, time and other template features. In addition, both the marketing and security personnel want the ability to individually target specific displays with custom content and manage those displays (power/channel/volume) remotely.
The implementation of West Pond’s FlexStream media system seamlessly integrated with the existing CWS coax based video infrastructure. Florida Citrus Sports has used the technology to increase fan engagement and generate new revenue at several events including the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
“We are impressed with the simplicity, reliability and value of the West Pond FlexStream solution and how it enhances the fan experience here at the stadium.”
– Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports (operator of Camping World Stadium)
”We were very impressed with West Pond’s products. They installed quickly and easily and our client could not be happier with the outcome.”
– Gary Bonner, President of LiveEvent TV (installer of the solution, hired by Florida Citrus Sports)