Climate Pledge Arena

Climate Pledge Arena

Making a Splash With Unforgettable Fan Experience as Kraken Is Released for the First Time at New Arena

After the announcement that Seattle would be home to the newest club in the NHL, Climate Pledge Arena teamed up with Diversified to deliver arena sports and entertainment technologies, including ice projection technology, that amplify the excitement and fan experience as the Kraken was released to a city of new fans. “This was an extremely fun project to work on because they truly had a clean slate,” Mike Meglathery, Diversified project manager, commented. “There was a lot of brainstorming and throwing ideas around, but it got down to building as much flexibility as possible to leave room for future growth.” 

Determined to bring their ambitions to fruition, Kraken production staff and Diversified teamed up to immerse fans in the on-ice action—delivering not only the production control room, audio and AV throughout the arena but also the engaging and fan-favorite ice-projection technologies. 

The entire experience is driven by the production control room, which is based on 1080p 60-fps workflows—its core a Ross Acuity 3M/E switcher with XPression graphics and XPression Clips server. Adder’s Infinity Series enables KVM anywhere in the facility on the production team’s converged network. Productions are anchored by a total of twenty in-venue cameras to deliver excitement from every angle. Outside the control room, Diversified delivered all of the facility’s sound and audio technology, cloud-based IPTV systems throughout the arena and exterior plaza and outdoor displays to keep fans engaged as they move about the venue.  

Still, the undisputed fan favorite is the pregame ice projection technology that builds excitement and anticipation before puck drop. While systems integrations present their typical challenges including working around other trades, supply chain delays and condensed timelines, finishing the ice-projection system added a new layer of complexity since the testing had to be completed with the arena in total darkness.  

Using Barco’s 45,000-ANSI-lumen projectors and the two dual-sided, triangular-shaped videoboards, fans are immersed in an ominous and electrifying pregame intro, bringing them from the depths of the ocean to the heights of the Seattle skyline before revealing a larger-than-life Kraken wall projection via the 16’x9’ projectors as the players take the ice and the game begins. 

IN THE MEDIA

Sports Video Group (SVG) News 

Ice-Projection Pregame 


Sinclair Broadcast Group – Bally Sports

Sinclair Broadcast Group: Bally Sports

Preparing for the Future with New, IP-based Media Operations Center to Support RSNs

After successfully rebranding 21 Fox RSNs acquired from Disney to Bally Sports—which alone was among the largest undertakings in the history of the RSN business—Sinclair Broadcast Group faced the added challenge of building a backend technical infrastructure to support the needs of its 19 Bally Sports RSNs as well as YES Network and Marquee Sports Network. Partnering with Encompass Digital Media to house the new media operations center in its Atlanta HQ, Sinclair turned to Diversified to help design and build the 25,000-sq.-ft., native end-to-end SMPTE ST 2110 facility.

While the logistical challenges of transitioning so many RSNs to a new IP-based media operations center in just a few short months would be complex under normal circumstances, conducting this multi-network, multi-venue transformation across the country during a pandemic presented larger and unprecedented hurdles. Still, Diversified was able to leverage talent from its Intelligent Technology, Media Production, Media Workflow and Emerging Technology teams to provide a well-rounded solution from all angles.

The primary operating area is the multichannel monitoring room, where operators monitor feeds coming into master control. Around the outside of this room are 52 live-event pods (40 fully equipped, with room to expand to 12 more in the future). Inside the central equipment room are 84 racks of gear, a much smaller footprint than what would have been needed for HD-SDI, including 104 playout servers (10 UHD) controlled by ADC automation and orchestration and leveraging a red and blue spine-and-leaf IP network. A software-defined media platform manages 71 channels of IP decoding and 24 channels of encoding with video control. Among other key gear are 52 network processors for multiformat conversion and multiviewers; two fully redundant C-band transmission chains with encoders, muxes and control; primary PTP sync with backup; and compliance recording.

Diversified pushed hard to have an organized, efficient project approach that allowed the team to identify blockers that could prevent them from meeting critical deadlines. The company’s approach and collaboration with its vendor partners and clients made this project a resounding success for all.





Sinclair Broadcast Group – Tennis Channel

Sinclair Broadcast Group: Tennis Channel

Serving Up Full SMPTE 2110 IP-Based Infrastructure as Tennis Channel Moves to New Facility

Building a new facility—especially in the middle of a pandemic—certainly has its own set of challenges but add in a complete infrastructure upgrade, and it could be a “break point” for any transition. When the Tennis Channel wanted to move to Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Santa Monica operations center, the network partnered with Diversified to help deliver a cutting-edge network solution leveraging a full SMPTE 2110 IP infrastructure.

“This is a state-of-the-art facility,” says Bob Whyley, SVP, production/executive producer, Tennis Channel. “Where we were [vs.] where we are now is black and white. Our first live show was a month after [the building opened], and we never would’ve been able to do that in our old building.”

To bring the new system to life by December 2021, it was critical for the Diversified team to work in perfect stride with over a dozen vendors and partners, as well as various technical groups from Tennis Channel and Sinclair.

Working against an aggressive timeline, Diversified’s team of engineers, subject matter experts and installation technicians, stood up a total of 5 studios, 3 production control rooms, 11 edit suites, 4 voice over rooms, 2 audio control rooms, a master control room, an executive control room and a central equipment room containing 24 fully populated equipment racks.

“We’re honored that Sinclair and Tennis Channel put their trust in our team and we were prepared to move mountains to hit our goal on-air date,” says Eugene Tuzkov, project manager at Diversified. “This was a significant achievement against a timeline which some thought to be potentially unrealistic considering the complexity of this new technology.”

“Rolling out new technology is naturally always accompanied with challenges, and then add supply chain issues, new and constantly evolving Covid protocols, staffing and various other issues due to the pandemic, and we had our work cut out for us,” adds Chris Smart, senior design engineer at Diversified. “Success here would not have been possible without a strong team and great support from our vendors.”

At the heart of the new design is an Imagine Communications IP-based infrastructure featuring Selenio Network Processors, Versio playout platform and Magellan SDN Orchestrator. Supporting the Imagine system on the production side is EVS for replay capabilities, Calrec for audio, graphics by VizRT and Grass Valley production control switchers. Mission critical monitor walls across the facility are powered by Embrionix, while AVID and Telestream complete the cast of major 2110 players.

While the new facility is a milestone of technological advancement for the Tennis Channel, they remain focused on continuing to improve, adding enhanced workflows for an increasing number of remote productions.





Rogers Sports & Media – Sportsnet

Rogers Sports & Media – Sportsnet

Sportsnet Studios Reimagines the Viewer Experience to Bring Fans Even Closer

When Rogers Sports & Media (RSM) wanted to build new studios that would enable Sportsnet to completely reimagine their approach to traditional hockey broadcast, production and distribution, they turned to Diversified’s team of experts for the consultation and design of two new production control rooms that would drive two new cutting-edge IP-based sports broadcast studios.

Together, Diversified’s Media and Entertainment (M&E) and Toronto-based engineering teams partnered with the RSM Technical Design team to build out the infrastructure, video processing and routing, and display technology based on the SMPTE 2110 IP-routing standard, using an Evertz IP routing to create a futureproof broadcast hub.

“There was no debate [on whether to go IP],” says Pierre Fortin, Vice President, Technology Media and Innovation, Rogers Sports & Media. “The only debate was how to go about it. Do you go multi-vendor and do all that integration yourself, or do you go for a more end-to-end solution stack?”

Ultimately, the new design has brought all of Sportsnet’s hockey operations under the same roof as the rest of its productions, making it one of the largest and most advanced end-to-end IP-based production facilities in North America. Even amid a challenging timeline, a pandemic and global supply chain issues, Diversified leveraged their expertise and resources to keep the project moving, ultimately delivering the completed spaces on time and on budget.

“The timetable for this was very aggressive, and we didn’t have the luxury of making mistakes along the way,” adds Fortin. “We wanted to lean on people who had done this before, so we worked with Diversified as our integrator, and they worked out great.”

In addition to the IP infrastructure, Diversified helped outfit the impressive new broadcast studios with Samsung 1.5mm pixel pitch LED displays in various sizes and configurations along with Samsung large format LCD in 75″ and 98″ sizes including:

  • Two-sided column wrapped LED wall
  • Two curved anchor desk LED displays
  • 50′ wide concave curved LED wall, floor to ceiling
  • Seven 75″ and two 98″ displays, portrait mounted
  • Thirteen additional LED walls between both studios
  • HDR capable systems with two Barco videowall processing engines

“The Sportsnet Studios are for Canada’s sports fans, first and foremost. The investment made in these studios is representative of the way Sportsnet is adapting everything we do to better serve today’s sports fan in the ways they want,” said Bart Yabsley, President, Sportsnet.

The state-of-the-art technology, data capabilities and increased in-broadcast versatility allows the NHL on Sportsnet team to create unprecedented interactive, immersive and innovative content—including virtual and augmented reality offerings—that bring fans into the game day excitement from anywhere.



See it in Action!






Microsoft Esports

Microsoft

Collaborative Approach To Esports Production Services Amplifies Tournaments & Fan Experience

Microsoft is known for creating immersive and engaging gaming and live event experiences, like esports competitions, where Gamers form teams and battle using best-in-class gaming tools and devices. To amplify these events, they decided to broadcast monthly esports tournaments with fans joining in-studio and online.

Microsoft engaged Diversified’s Emerging Technology and Solutions (ET&S) team to develop the program and transitioned to Diversified’s Global Services team to implement. Drawing on a breadth of experience in broadcast and production, Global Services handles the acquisition and management of the talent and crew necessary to meet the event goals, as well as definition and execution of the overall production plan. Diversified then implements the production and live broadcast, the social media campaign, in-broadcast chat moderation, and Gamer prizing. A post-event report for each broadcast provides Microsoft with performance metrics, a synopsis of the event and key highlights.

Preparation for the series of events included a complete technical audit and proof of performance qualification of the esports & gaming studio at the flagship Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Diversified performed remediation of problem areas to bring the studio to an optimal state. Now esports competitions are recorded in the updated studio and live broadcast to Microsoft and their partner channels with subsequent Simulive broadcasts over multiple weeks.

Diversified’s ET&S and Global Services practices position Microsoft and its partners for successful esports events which result in stunning experiences for their record-breaking audiences.




NBCUniversal – KBLR

NBCUniversal – KBLR

Cutting-edge, Virtualized Production Architecture Enables Remotely Hosted Studio Operations

Diversified was engaged by NBCUniversal (NBCU) to re-imagine and design, through consultative thought leadership, the creation of a scalable, virtualized, real-time production environment to support remotely hosted studio operations across several stations, beginning with KBLR, its Telemundo station in Las Vegas. KBLR is the first NBCU-owned TV station to have its news and production infrastructure hosted remotely in a client-owned data center, located in Dallas, TX. Along with developing multiple design iterations and proof-of-concept evaluations before implementation, Diversified led an initial business review with the client, assessing the benefits of building a virtualized infrastructure over a traditional TV station design.

The IP-based facility in Las Vegas is almost completely driven by equipment housed at the data center in Dallas, significantly reducing the physical footprint of production equipment. This allowed facility engineers to design and build a smaller Central Equipment Room (CER) and redirect project capital into base content production capabilities, e.g. larger newsroom and live elements, greater studio sets and technology, etc. This “private cloud” or “production cloud” design also allows the station to locally manipulate production elements using the same applications and workflows as with on-prem solutions, with commands performed by the hardware in Dallas. Station staff and studio-based talent work locally, while the hardware 1,200 miles away operates over a national fiber network connecting KBLR to the SMPTE 2110-compliant infrastructure. The virtualized facility enables all production operations and functions then transmits the composited video back to KBLR using ultra-low-latency JPEG2000 compression.

Diversified streamlined the operations and technology of the live TV production process, virtualizing and centralizing the core infrastructure. This provides a scalable “core and edge” design, allowing an off-prem, light footprint solution for an entire media facility. Diversified projected overall technical start-up costs for NBCU by building this common core and edge technology stack, of which the client has complete control. This has facilitated the creation of a proven model that can scale to more stations for NBCU, and is applicable to all other station group owners that desire similar technical, operational and functional enhancements.




Chase Center

Chase Center

For Warriors Fans, the Game-time Experience is Golden with an IP-based Video Production Control Room

Home of the Golden State Warriors, Chase Center is a world-class sports and entertainment venue providing incredible fan experiences with more than 64 LED video displays including the star of the arena—a massive center-hung scoreboard with almost 10,000 sq. ft. of surface LED space—the largest center-hung display in the NBA. The entire video display package, prominently scattered throughout the arena, places a strong emphasis on giving fans all the information they could want from who is in the game to video replays and common stats—information that is fed from a one-of-a-kind, all-IP video production control room, built and integrated by Diversified based on a state-of-the-art design created in collaboration with WJHW.

The control room is split-level with the primary level dedicated to the scoreboard and other video operations, while the other feeds the exterior video board and acts as a back up to the primary. What’s even more interesting is that it is one of the first video control rooms with an all-IP video infrastructure. The control rooms are currently producing content in 1080p and the arena’s audio and video are already benefiting from the SMPTE ST-2110 standards suite for live production bandwidth and flexibility.

By leveraging a room design from WJHW, and working closely with valued partners to include Imagine Communications, Ross, Sony and Samsung, the Diversified team utilized their collective technology offerings in IP-based deployments to create a bespoke, flexible IP solution that not only satisfies the needs of today but also tomorrow. Through networked platforms and routing on a COTS Arista switch under the control of Imagine, Diversified was able to create an HDR-compatible, SMPTE 2110-compliant control room. This solution allows Chase Center to expand in the future as 4K and HDR workflows become more viable and the overall broadcast market’s interoperability capabilities mature.

Now ready for their next big season, the Warriors have been outfitted with an arena that brings broadcast-worthy event production in-house to the 18,000 fans in the venue, achieving their goal of exciting and engaging crowds with experiences they just can’t get at home.

IN THE MEDIA

Sports Video Group News

Sound & Communications




City of Atlanta

City of Atlanta

HD Production and Master Control PlayOut
for Mission Critical Facility

The City of Atlanta sought to become a premier Government Access Channel and program provider with full HD production and master control playout (upgrade from analog and SD blended system).

Each phase of the project was under a strict deadline due to the City closing for the winter holidays. Upfront design, construction coordination, system implementation planning and program management were vital to the success of the project. Technology provided includes:

  • At the heart the production system contains a 32×32 Evertz Router for all HD signal source switching.
  • Ensemble processing and distribution handles the necessary production workflow requirements for distribution, audio extraction, embedding, and processing.
  • Sixteen (16) Panasonic HD PTZ Series cameras were chosen for their zoom range and ability to provide quality video in low light situations.
  • Panasonic 410 Production Switcher and Camera Controller to allow for camera selection, for their ease of set up, use and control from one central remote panel.

The City of Atlanta’s facility now boasts a state-of-the-art automated play-out and web-streaming services. The system provides the client remote access for programming insertions such as local weather, closings, and other various “time critical” public information.




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Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s Hospital

Building Unique, Empowering Experiences for Physically Challenged Children and their Families

Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) wanted to create a compelling visual experience as part of its lobby renovation. The hospital requested a large video wall with interactive capabilities, with the goal of creating a unique experience to empower emotionally and physically challenged children while building memories for families and guests.

Working with the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) Digital Media Center, which created the interactive content, Diversified’s Digital Media Group (DMG) served as the project’s IT and mechanical integrator. DMG applied its expertise in implementing digital environments to UConn’s vision and system components for experiential design and offered guidance on AV technology and other services not typically within the University’s capabilities.

After reviewing DMG’s preliminary designs, LED was selected over LCD as the optimal technology choice as it would allow for a more cohesive visual presentation. DMG then built a proof-of-concept system at UConn, setting up a large-format high brightness video projector to replicate the size of the hospital display. Over the span of several months, DMG’s team worked closely with UConn’s Digital Media Center to determine optimal position for cameras and sensors to achieve the best interactive experience. In addition, DMG provided a small-scale LED display for character modeling.

For the final 17 by 15-foot display, DMG selected Barco C-5 LED tile for its robustness, built-in redundancy, and fan-less design, which was appropriate for the hospital environment. The impressive screen featured a 30-meter curve and 5.5mm pitch for an immersive and visually stimulating image. No one is left out of the experience—in addition to utilizing motion sensing technology, the interactive system was also designed to allow children with physical limitations to interact via a tablet application.

Children, families and guests visiting BCH can now enjoy a uniquely creative and visually compelling interactive experience. In addition, BCH has the capability to use the video wall for messaging, presentations and video simulcasts.