Exterity IP video extends fan engagement at The Open
Golf’s oldest championship, The Open, sees golf players and fans gather from around the world to immerse themselves in the sport they love. To accommodate a growing number of enthusiasts and ensure a seamless fan experience around the hospitality villages and easy media monitoring in the media room, The Open and event AV specialist C3i Group worked with Exterity to extend its live coverage of the event.
The Open organisers wanted to stream live footage of the event over newly installed course IP networking, enabling broadcasters to contribute high quality content directly to over 450 displays across the venue. The organisers also wanted to ensure that visitors could see close-ups of the action on big screens in realtime, enabling them to feel immersed in the competition, even when they’re far away from the action.
“We chose Exterity a number of years ago, when we needed a robust IP video solution that adapted to the particular environment of live events. As our clients continue to grow, it was crucial for us that our provider remained ahead of the curve, which is a strong USP for Exterity. In addition, as an Exterity StreamForce channel program Premier partner, we have consistently received valuable support over the years, enabling us to continue to deliver the best of IP video to our clients.”
The Exterity professional IP video system was originally deployed for The Open at St Andrews in 2010 to facilitate streaming of the competition in real-time on a large number of screens. Five years later, the installation extended the reach of the Exterity system to all of the hospitality and media suites at The 144th Open in St Andrews. New for 2016 at Royal Troon was the change to coverage from NBC and Sky, enabling each on-site broadcaster to stream live feeds from European Tour Productions, the official world video feed provider, alongside each broadcaster’s content throughout the event. The system is also used in the TV Compound, so broadcasters can monitor their channels. C3i Group, who specialise in events management for largescale sporting competitions has also been selected as Digital Communications partner to The Open until 2021 and will be working with Exterity to provide the R&A with best in class video solutions.
On working with Exterity for The Open, C3i Group owner Jason Hall commented: “The Open requires months of planning and two months on-site. Streaming a competition of this scale would have been impossible without Exterity. The system provides all off air and on-course channels in a flexible and scalable way, as well as all the control and management features we need, and ensures that everything can be managed centrally by a single administrator. On top of consistently delivering high quality video, the Exterity professional IP video system is easy to set up and robust."
“Video coverage has become an integral part of the fan experience during live events, and we’re proud to be working with C3i Group to ensure high quality video streaming at events of the calibre of The Open or The Walker Cup. As an Exterity StreamForce program Premier partner, C3i Group has consistently shown an impressive capacity to easily and seamlessly deploy temporary installations for large-scale and complex events. We are already extending our collaboration by providing an on-site managed service alongside the C3i Group team to ensure that the delivery of the solution remains seamless and to the utmost standard. This way, fans will feel even more immersed in the golfing action.”
The Exterity IP video solution sits on top of the existing fibre based network, which was installed around the championship courses and enables fans to watch crisp quality video in real-time from any location around the hospitality villages. It also ensures lossless streaming from Exterity AvediaStream Encoders straight to a 36m LED video wall situated in the media center which delivers live feeds to on-site broadcasters.
Leveraging 450 receivers, HD-SDI and HDMI encoders and satellite and Freeview TVgateways as backup, the distribution of content from capture to delivery to every screen is controlled centrally from Exterity’s management system, AvediaServer Director. Broadcast coverage includes feeds from the main broadcasters, which are encoded and distributed through the Exterity IP video system. This enables fans to watch golf news and live commentary during the quieter periods, adding value to the fan experience. The Exterity system is also used to deliver health and safety messages to ensure that information can be disseminated quickly.
In addition, The Open enables visitors to stream content via their mobile devices, opening the door to extended IP video coverage of the competition to multi-screen. To avoid congesting the IP network, The Open is now combining multiple networks, including LAN, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G, extending the reach of the competition by enabling fans to share their views online with accompanying video and broadcast coverage in real-time.
Commenting on his company’s involvement with The Open, Colin Farquhar, CEO at Exterity, said: “Video coverage has become an integral part of the fan experience during live events, and we’re proud to be working with C3i Group to ensure high quality video streaming at events of the calibre of The Open or The Walker Cup. As an Exterity StreamForce program Premier partner, C3i Group has consistently shown an impressive capacity to easily and seamlessly deploy temporary installations for large-scale and complex events. We are already extending our collaboration by providing an on-site managed service alongside the C3i Group team to ensure that the delivery of the solution remains seamless and to the utmost standard. This way, fans will feel even more immersed in the golfing action.”