Elbphilharmonie Case Study
Exterity IP video solution delivers state-of-the-art content streaming for Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg is the culmination of an ambitious construction project that began in 2007 and was completed in 2016. One of the largest and most acoustically advanced concert venues in the world, it features a Grand Hall that seats over 2,000 people. Due to its size and the variety of concerts it hosts – from acclaimed soloists to world-famous orchestras and operas – Elbphilharmonie relies on experienced staff and professional AV technology to deliver high-quality productions and performances.
With a space that can be reconfigured for a wide range of productions, Elbphilharmonie needed a highly flexible video and signage solution that could easily manage a wide range of content sources. To meet the demands of live events, the system needed a simple-to-manage interface, the ability to serve dynamic content for audiences at pre-show and intermission periods, and to easily handle live video streams to help managers and performers monitor performances in backstage areas.
Elbphilharmonie required a system that could manage and deliver up to 10 Serial Digital Interface (SDI) camera signals used to capture live performances, alongside its on-site CCTV camera streams and digital signage throughout the venue. The system also needed to integrate with the existing coax cabling used in the older part of the building. The wide range of video sources transmitting on-site meant it was impossible to use traditional, analogue video distribution methods, so an IP-based solution was sought.
Deployed by Perfect Media Solutions GmbH (PMS), the Exterity IP video system at Elbphilharmonie provides a unified process for managing the delivery of all video and digital signage content across the venue, via the IP network. This includes live stage performance footage, advertisements, CCTV camera streams, artists’ schedules, as well as 30 broadcast TV channels to more than 120 displays throughout the front of house, concert hall and backstage areas.
The content is tailored to different areas of the venue as required: advertising and ticketing information can be shown on displays during the intermission; visitors arriving after the start of the performance can watch and listen in the foyer while waiting to be seated; artists can view the daily schedule on screens backstage, as well as the live performance itself.
At the heart of the solution is a tight integration between PerfectShow, PMS’s digital signage software, and the Exterity AvediaServer, which is used to manage delivery of IP video from a central point and also record, store and play back video content on demand. The integrated solution also enables different users, including stage managers, to switch video sources streamed to Exterity AvediaPlayer Receivers, which are connected to groups of displays around the building.
In order to stream video content to the original part of the Elbphilharmonie building using coax cabling, IP video signals are converted to DVB-C QAM. This removed the need to deploy new cabling while ensuring a consistent and simply-managed process. The solution also uses Exterity ArtioPortal middleware to access live TV and radio channels, which are streamed throughout the building, and ensures compliance with dynamic rights management and public performance regulations.
“Exterity was chosen because it offers one of the most reliable IPTV solutions on the market, and the company’s open standards technology enables easy integration with other systems, including PerfectShow, PMS’s digital signage software. The unique challenge in this project was the set-up of dynamic rights management to allow operators to set viewing permissions for every user and display throughout the venue. The combination of the Exterity IP video system and PerfectShow made this possible, using an intuitive user interface for the day-to-day actions with a content management backend.”
The Elbphilharmonie IP-based system uses a single user interface for the majority of tasks, providing a seamless way to manage content across the venue, including TV screens in the foyers and ticketing areas. It provides stage managers with a simple, intuitive way to switch between channels to view live scenography camera feeds from backstage and office areas.
“Exterity was chosen because it offers one of the most reliable IPTV solutions on the market, and the company’s open standards technology enables easy integration with other systems, including PerfectShow, PMS’s digital signage software,” said Stefan Pagenkemper, CEO at PMS. “The unique challenge in this project was the set-up of dynamic rights management to allow operators to set viewing permissions for every user and display throughout the venue. The combination of the Exterity IP video system and PerfectShow made this possible, using an intuitive user interface for the day-to-day actions with a content management backend.”
“Stage managers have a difficult role to play in the smooth running of live performances, and we are proud to be helping them leverage technology to manage all areas on performance day. Using our IP video solution, they can easily switch channels to stream live footage backstage and ensure artists arrive on stage at the right time, and that the security cameras work effectively and conform to health and safety legislation. We are very impressed by the work that Elbphilharmonie has done in developing a world-class venue that caters to a wide range of performances, and we are proud that our technology – integrated with the solution from our partner PMS – is supporting this state-of-the-art concert hall."