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!






Verisk Analytics

Verisk Analytics 

Placing Standardized Technology in Non-Standard Applications for Enhanced Associate Engagement

Verisk Analytics, a risk assessment firm based in New Jersey, partnered with Diversified to create a multifunctional space that would provide associates both a collaborative and relaxing environment with the ability to leverage technology for remote participation and digital annotation. Seeking a space capable of supporting large meetings and town hall presentations as well as video conferencing sessions, the space required the added flexibility to be easily converted into divisible areas at times while functioning as a single, large conference space at others. 

With a relationship spanning several years focused on standardizing solutions across the entire Verisk enterprise, this time, the goal was to incorporate those standards into essentially a non-standard space. Diversified worked with the architectural and IT teams to identify a unified solution that seamlessly blurred the line between standardization and customization.    

To support the flexible room configurations, Diversified utilized technology built into the ceilings to ensure tabletops were clear and ready to move with ease. Diversified limited advanced control and functional capability to certain areas when the space was divided and locked down but gave users a simple to use, intuitive Skype interface for everyday use. The combine-mode user controls with password protection were given to certified and trained “power users” to ensure no accidental changes occurred. Finally, the inclusion of a portable annotation cart system allowed for ultimate flexibility. 

The completion of the project resulted in one large innovation center with four distinct breakout areas including a game room, collaboration areas and training rooms. Interactive rolling whiteboards were placed throughout the space as well and the rooms can be easily combined for larger town hall sessions. 

 In the end, the completed space provided a flexible, fun and collaborative environment leveraging established standards to ensure a comfortable and intuitive user experience.




Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy 

Emergency Operations Training Center Doubles as Academic Program and Working EOC

For more than 100 years, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) has been preparing students for careers on land and sea. Their new Clean Harbors Emergency Operation Training Center (EOC) serves as an education center, a fully functional EOC and an event space to host events like Pan-Mass with more than 5,000 annual participants. MMA’s goal for the EOC was to create a multi-functional space capable of monitoring and managing any type of weather-related issue or natural disaster situation where multiple agencies are involved—a space that required the ability to share multiple sources of critical data to any display around the room, including a 2×4 video wall that sits front and center.  

The project consists of four spaces: the EOC, a master control room, the JIC (Joint Information Center conference room) and the ICP (Incident Command Post). There are also six huddle-type tables around the room enabling different agencies to easily interact. Due to an air conditioning unit installed over the main rack and a drain system to divert any potential water leaking into the rack, Diversified ran most of the cabling under the raised floor. The control room’s touch panel access can be controlled by as few as one or two people. Critical information can be shared with the surrounding screens and the video wall for heightened awareness and enhanced incident management. For class use, this provides information for robust discussion, exercises and real-world events. There is a single 55” interactive display mounted on a mobile motorized cart that an instructor can teach and demonstrate from as well as a lectern. A single Shure MXA-910 ceiling mic array within the EOC captures the entire rooms’ audio for either distance learning or a conference call. A Crestron NVX system was installed for its ability to have technology added to it as needed.  

With the ability to map nearly anything including hurricanes, evacuation times, traffic, drone footage, news releases and more, the EOC was designed to continually evolve with changing technology and is optimized for distance learning with the incorporation of cameras, microphones and video.




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.




CBS News Washington Bureau

CBS News Washington Bureau

New Downtown Facility and Tech Upgrades Allow CBS News to Expand its Reach in the Nations Capital

The CBS News Washington Bureau, home to the long running “Face the Nation” sought to upgrade its footprint in the U.S. capital through a land swap that involved developer Tishman Speyer acquiring and combining the lot adjacent to the Bureau’s longstanding location in downtown Washington. As part of the multi-phased construction effort, CBS needed a technology partner to design and build a new facility and tech updgrades that would support its series of live and recorded national and international programs for the next 20 years.

Through an advanced design based on an efficient, hybrid IP core facility and highly networked audio and media file workflows, Diversified collaborated closely with CBS to deliver on time and on budget, helping them avoid potential real estate penalties they would have incurred for having to extend their existing lease.

Roughly a year later, CBS decided to move the origination of “CBS Evening News”to Washington, resulting in a requirement for a new studio set within the recently opened Bureau. The facility’s infrastructure had to be expanded and a new graphics processing platform needed to be implemented to support the large number of video walls included in the revised set design.

The new graphics system is based on a VizRT Multiplay Graphics Platform and supports a showpiece studio featuring more than 40 million LED pixels spread across 17 video walls that typically display topical videos and graphics as well as stylized Washington backdrops. The existing Evertz ATP solution was expanded to provide the additional video signal path connectivity between Washington and New York.

Using its institutional knowledge from the previous phase, paired with the engineering expertise the multiple vendor partners are known for, Diversified was able to complete the project within an aggressive timeline and meet all of the high-level facility and tech updgrades CBS had put forward.




National Geographic

National Geographic, Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

Simple IT Infrastructure Provides Reliable Connectivity for Oceans of Fun and Exploration

The National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is an immersive exploration of the oceans. Located in Times Square, the Encounter exhibit makes use of technology and reliable IT infrastructure to give visitors the virtual ocean experience. The exhibit was developed and produced by the creative minds at SPE Partners, and a team of Oscar, Emmy, Grammy award winning artists along with technical consulting provided by Diversified.

National Geographic engaged Diversified early in the construction phase and worked in collaboration with SPE Partners through the design, build, and manage methodology. Diversified subject matter experts, key SPE Partner stakeholders and vendor partners met with Ocean Odyssey retail, physical security, social media and show team representatives to fully understand all of the business and functional requirements for the network. Diversified designed a complete wired and wireless network architecture, UCaaS solution, and end-to-end cyber security platform, ensuring clear segmentation and coverage based on the client’s needs. This included coordination with service providers to deliver adequate bandwidth and redundancy to meet the client’s requirements.

In order to deliver the network infrastructure more quickly so that all applications and trades could be online and connected, Diversified built the network infrastructure well before the exhibit construction was completed. This included staging the equipment and creating the cloud configurations prior to implementation which allowed for a physical plug-n-play network installation. The Diversified team stayed involved to help on-board all vendors and ensure proper go-live execution for the client.

Given the scope and scale of this exhibit, all parties agreed it was essential to implement ongoing support so the client could concentrate on client satisfaction. As a result, Diversified partnered with SPE Partners to provide a remote managed service to proactively manage their UCaaS, network, and cyber security solutions. This has proven to drive increased reliability and free their associates to focus on running the attraction, taking comfort in knowing their guests will have a great experience both walking through the exhibit and leveraging connectivity around them.




Little Caesar’s Arena

Little Caesar’s Arena

New Technology Aids in the Comeback of Hallmark American City Through Enhanced Fan Experiences

The in-stadium fan experience is not what it used to be. Sports Stadiums are continually looking to upgrade their cameras, broadcast control room, switchers, scoreboards, graphics systems, and overall workflow.

After nearly four decades at Joe Louis Arena, the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings began playing home games at the state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena, also home to the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. The arena is considered the cornerstone of The District Detroit, a 50-block sports and entertainment district that is contributing to the city’s comeback with new retail, office and residential developments.

As its canvas, the arena features one of the world’s largest, seamless center-hung videoboard systems boasting more than 5,100 square feet of video display content. Still, to take advantage of the seamlessness that the videoboard provides, the production team needed a state-of-the-art broadcast control room as well.

The 1080p broadcast control room, located on the arena’s club level and integrated by Diversified, features a Grass Valley Karrera production switcher, Evertz Magnum router and two DreamCatcher replay servers, and three ChyronHego graphics servers. The Diversified team built a secondary control-room space in the arena’s “gondola” area, which is suspended over the rink/floor, for the game-day entertainment director, the Daktronics operators, the lighting director, and the DJ.

The control room not only services the in-game show, pre-game and post-game shows but will be able to support the whole District Detroit. In addition to the centerhung videoboard, the entertainment-services team creates content for 45 large LED displays throughout the venue, including two 360-degree ribbon displays, 15 additional ribbon displays, seven exterior displays (including a 900-sq.-ft. Chevrolet Plaza display), and much more.

A step up from the Red Wings’ previous facility, Little Caesars Arena creates an unforgettable fan experience that is sure to wow visitors for years to come.