Signal Distribution Over Ip
IN THE NEW VIENNA STADIUM
THE PROJECT: AV INSTALLATION FOR LIVE STREAMING IN BUSINESS ZONES
The newly opened Allianz Stadium in Vienna has been the home of Rapid Wien football club for over a year. The new stadium is the second largest in the league and is also used for international competitions. The “tube” shape of the building is the most striking architectural feature of the new stadium. Like an oversized bass tube, the cylindrically shaped building is located behind the main stand beside the Rapid Wein Museum and accommodates two spacious hospitality areas for up to 2,000 people. These two hospitality areas can be subdivided into five separate areas including 41 VIP lodges. Aside from game events, these areas are also used for presentations, conferences, roadshows and seminars.
The establishment of multi-functional business areas was a major reason behind the construction of a new stadium. Those interested in the event areas are not just football fans. The backdrop of a football stadium, or better yet a football match, provides an experience and atmosphere which enhances any event. The VIP lodges are venues where business deals are made. It is therefore important for both business zones as well as VIP lodges to create a more subdued business atmosphere alongside the thrilling stadium atmosphere. To achieve this goal, numerous monitors and large screens with perfect audio technology were implemented. In these business zones, invited guests are able to talk amongst themselves but with the stadium atmosphere surrounding them.
The Habegger Company was commissioned to create this environment at the Allianz Stadium. Habegger create digital signage applications, from room design to installation and event management. Manuel Khittl is the person in charge of implementing the new installation in the stadium. A large percentage of the AV installation costs come in the form of business areas and VIP boxes that contain countless displays, video walls and conference solutions. This is apart from advertising boards, lighting control and acoustics.
THE REQUIREMENTS: SEND AV SIGNALS IN REAL TIME TO 81 DISPLAYS OVER THE NETWORK
The AV installation in the business zones include the first level of the building (a larger zone with an area of 1800m2) with 34 screens and a mobile large screen consisting of 9 individual screens. The second floor (a smaller zone with 1000m2) also has 34 monitors and an additional eight screens in the media centre. A further three screens and a screen projector are located on the third floor in the Rekordmeisterbar. A game can be seen live at 81 locations around the venue, this does not include the numerous monitors in the stadium’s VIP boxes.
To achieve this, a complex IP-TV system was installed in which each of the 81 output points are controlled. This worked reliably, but came with a major drawback as latency was present and therefore the streamed experience was not in sync with the actual stadium experience. For example, cheering in the stadium could be heard a few seconds in advance of the video stream due to latency. New solutions had to be sourced that could meet two requirements: one, to send the video signal from the stadium to the screens with minimal latency. Two, pre-installed Cat based network cables had to be used. The company Habegger decided that the 16 x 16 Video Matrix from Lindy, when combined with video signal extenders, would be the perfect solution to transmit HDMI signals in real time over the network. Manuel Khittl, project manager at Habegger, commented on the decision to choose this solution: “We have had many good experiences with Lindy in the past. However, we previously focused on the Lindy range of cables, adapters and smaller products. For the Allianz Stadium in Vienna, we decided on an AV Matrix system from Lindy. We had no experience with the hardware before. For us, it was a leap of faith which has paid off”.
„For the Allianz Stadium in Vienna, we decided on an AV Matrix system from Lindy.“
Manuel Khittl, Habegger
THE SOLUTION: CENTRAL CONTROL WITH THE MODULAR 16x16 MATRIX
The AV Matrix from Lindy allows up to 16 signal inputs to be combined with up to 16 signal outputs. Inputs and outputs can also be configured to use different formats. The AV matrix converts the lossless signals in real time and sends any input to any output. Two modules, each with 8 AV ports, are installed for input signals and output signals. This makes it possible to switch an 8 port HDBaseT module and an 8 port DVI module as a signal input to two 8 port HDMI modules as a signal output. Since these modules are hot-swappable, they can be swapped during operation with another module. Two redundant power supplies are installed in order to guarantee continuous operation even if one power supply fails. Only HDMI modules were used for the installation in the Allianz Stadium. The final product is a 16 x 16 HDMI Matrix system which can switch 4K video signals in real time. This matrix is controlled via RS232, web interface, telnet or an IR remote control.
Signal Management for VIP lodges with Modular 16x16 Matrix
The next challenge that must be overcome is the long distances between video sources and displays. The aim here was to use existing network infrastructure in order to avoid additional costs and time consuming installation. Habegger decided to use HDMI over Ethernet Extender products from Lindy. These extenders incorporate a transmitter that converts the HDMI signal to a network capable format at the signal source, then sends it via the network cable to the receiver, which in turn outputs an HDMI signal. Most extenders rely on separate cables that are not part of the network, which has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that 4K resolutions without any quality loss can be transmitted over long distances without any interference. The disadvantage is that only 1:1 solutions can be implemented and the cables can’t be used for any other data stream other than the intended signal transmission.
HDMI over Ethernet Extenders from Lindy, as the name suggests, work in a different way. The HDMI signal from the transmitter is converted and sent via Cat.6 network cable that is part of the already existing network. The signal then goes through an existing IT network to the receiver where it is converted back into an HDMI signal. Switches that support the broadcast protocol pass the HDMI signal further along the network. The need for this kind of extender was decided by the infrastructure of the building. The previous IP network, which was originally also used for image signals, could be retained as a signal carrier in order to avoid costly cable installation. With the HDMI over Ethernet Extender from Lindy, an existing IP network could be used without the latency problems of IP-based transmission.
There are many more advantages to using broadcast based extenders over IP-based transmission such as; while IP-based requires a 1:1 transmission, Lindy Extenders in broadcast mode allow 1:n output signals. In the actual on site installation, an HDMI over Ethernet transmitter is connected directly to the AV matrix and feeds the image signal into the network. This allows for multiple screens to be connected with an HDMI over Ethernet receiver, which is then connected directly to the transmitter via a patch cable to create a simultaneous image output from a single transmitter. Unlike an IP based solution, HDMI over Ethernet works in real time despite the use of compression. Currently, ten different signals are fed in and nine different signals are output. These nine signals are sent via nine HDMI over Ethernet transmitters to over 80 HDMI over Ethernet receivers around the network.
During the installation Habegger experienced a power failure, which caused the AV systems to fail. Since the digital signage installation is non-essential, there was no UPS backup or emergency power. As the complete configuration of the hardware was done by Lindy in the run-up, it was reassuring to see that even in an uncontrolled situation after restoring the voltage, all AV components resumed operation without any errors or adjustments. Due to the use of these solutions, the Allianz Stadium of SK Rapid has a modern, centrally managed AV installation with real-time video signal transmission. The system is robust, easy to use, scalable and can be used with the existing network infrastructure. For Habegger, using Lindy products on such a prestigious project has made the installation a complete success.
- 1x Lindy Modular AV Matrix 16x16
- 2x 8 Port HDMI 4K UHD Input Module
- 2x 8 Port HDMI 4K UHD Output Module
- HDMI Extender
- 80 HDMI over Ethernet Extender & Distribution System (pair sets with transmitter and receiver)
- Extender Module
- 80 HDMI over Ethernet Receiver
- 9 HDMI over Ethernet Transmitter
- Rackmount Switches
- 81 x Displays