The Snow Centre
World-class indoor ski park wows visitors with live action from its real-snow slopes plus news and sports using scalable Exterity building IPTV solution
The Snow Centre is the UK’s latest real-snow indoor ski park. Drawing 250,000 visitors in its first year of operation, it was quickly endorsed by leading snow sport governing bodies, including the British Association for Snow Sport Instructors and UK Snow Sport. The venue offers a huge 160-metre main slope and the UK’s largest indoor lesson slope surrounded by floor-to-ceiling panoramas of the Austrian Alps, all less than 30 miles from London in Hemel Hempstead.
Built on a natural hill rather than scaffolding, The Snow Centre uses a snow-cat grooming machine just like an outdoor venue, and can build big snow ramps for freestyle competition and training. Not only does it sport the latest in snow cannons for a pristine surface every day, but the building itself is high-tech, with a living sedum roof. Based on a drought-resistant ground cover, this roof reduces cooling costs and makes it one of the most environmentally-friendly public venues in England.
“The Snow Centre is the culmination of a dream that started here over thirty years ago: to provide a world-class indoor skiing experience. We offer several unique features, among them the ability to support a snow load comparable to outdoor venues to enable larger ramps and obstacles, our high-tech green building, and a snow shop that lets customers try the gear out on the slopes before buying. We needed a TV and video system that would match the venue’s innovation and enable us to create an exciting experience for visitors wherever they might be in the facility.”
An Exterity end-to-end IPTV solution delivers high-quality live-action TV plus news and sports programming throughout the venue to keep visitors engaged and excited. Head end devices inject camera feeds from slopes and TV channels onto the network as standard MPEG streams and shown around the venue so spectators can feel part of the action. AvediaPlayer Media Players enable any number of LCD displays to connect to network, meaning the solution is scalable and future-proof.
“The Snow Centre installation illustrates how Exterity can help sports venues keep visitors engaged no matter where they are or what they’re doing. It shows how TV and video can really boost the visitor experience to help ensure they have a great day out and want to return soon.”
Today, the first thing that greets visitors in the Centre’s spacious entrance foyer is a large 57” LCD screen displaying live action from the slopes inside to wow visitors right from the start. Another 9,40-inch screens display skiing action plus live coverage from sports and news channels in the various café and leisure areas throughout the facility. These screens also furnish recorded content that promotes upcoming events, such as competitions, as well as advertising for local businesses, which generates additional revenue for the Centre.
“The Exterity system gives us the ability to wow visitors wherever they go in the facility, reproducing the excitement and atmosphere of an alpine resort only a short jaunt from London,” says Surrey. “The Snow Centre installation illustrates how Exterity can help sports venues keep visitors engaged no matter where they are or what they’re doing,” says Colin Farquhar, CEO of Exterity. “It shows how TV and video can really boost the visitor experience to help ensure they have a great day out and want to return soon.”