THE AV REVOLUTION
in the events industry
TECHNICAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE MODERN EVENT INDUSTRY
Digitalization and globalization have given rise to new challenges and opportunities within the modern live event industry. The term event covers an array of public gatherings from concerts and festivals to sporting events, trade shows and beyond. There are thousands of events organized or happening around the world every day. It is crucial that technology advances at the same rate as visitor’s expectations and requirements increase. Multiple new ways of sending and receiving information are being developed and deployed in an attempt to create the most reliable and impressive visitor experience possible.
Live video is one of the latest developments in the event industry and has quickly overtaken other forms of live event communication. There are many considerations that go into using live video to communicate with event visitors and using AV distribution to create a state of the art event experience.
The First Challenge - Signal Management with Many Devices
Various mediums can be used to communicate with visitors on site during an event and at many events there are multiple messages that must reach each visitor. Relevant information and advertising needs to be targeted at individuals to provide them information on new products that are available or to update them on event scheduling etc. To achieve this, source and display devices must be connected with one another and centrally controlled in order for a seamless display of information. It is common for many devices in these networks to use different digital formats and in these instances, an all in one solution for connecting, sharing, converting and extending digital signals is required.
The Second Challenge - Signal Transmission over Long Distances without Quality Loss
Furthermore, it is important to consider the physical distances between sources and devices to ensure a solution is selected that can meet the distance requirements without any signal loss or degradation. Modern events attract thousands of visitors from all over the world, therefore a large physical space is required and these larger spaces often require specific technological solutions for signal distribution around the event space.
The Third Challenge - Live Streaming in Modern Events
Live streaming has become one of the most common ways in which individuals interact with an event. No matter the type of event, whether it is watching a sporting event at a stadium, or attending a concert - event information and updates should reach the visitors in real time wherever they are on site. Important information can lose its relevance in seconds so it is necessary it is displayed and shared as soon as it becomes available. In the modern world, multiple messages reach users every second from personal devices and external displays. The greatest challenge, and also opportunity, in the event industry is creating a flexible, prompt and clear way of getting information in real time to visitors that can cut through the “noise” of other messages.
LIVE STREAMING WITH MANY DEVICES
An Olympic stadium is a perfect example of the importance of live streaming in an environment which contains large signal transmission distances and multiple devices. The Olympics attract millions of visitors from all over the world and these large audiences come with an added responsibility on behalf of the organizers to create simple, powerful and reactive systems for providing vital information.
The graphic below shows a single possible installation example in an Olympic stadium. Due to a large amount of activities happening concurrently, the need to control various source and target devices at the same time in multiple locations must be taken into account.
This example details how action from the stadium being filmed with 10 HDBaseT cameras is then live streamed to four places on the site: the lobby, VIP lounge, stadium displays and at the venue entrance. In this example, the signal is sent through a 32x32 matrix situated in a control room. The signals sent through the matrix are in two different formats, HDMI from media players and DVI from PC’s. These signals are then converted by a modular matrix and distributed to further locations to be displayed around the venue.
Signal management in large venues with many devices
THE ADVANTAGES OF THE MODULAR MATRIX
The modular design of Lindy’s Matrix system allows for the greatest performance and flexibility. The Lindy Modular Matrix is available in 8x8, 16x16 and 32x32 variants, allowing you to choose the correct product for your needs. In addition to the switching and splitting functionality of a matrix system Lindy’s Modular Matrix can also be deployed as a converter or an extender for audio and video distribution in events such as concerts, trade shows, festivals, sporting events, etc.
When it comes to efficient signal management with many devices the Modular Matrix is an ideal solution that connects many source and target devices to one another with a central control point. A variety of input and output boards give users a highly flexible and reliable solution for large venue signal management. In addition to these features the Modular Matrix is capable of combining inputs, such as HDMI, DVI, HDBaseT or VGA, and outputs including HDMI, DVI or HDBaseT, with one another.
The Modular Matrix enables signal distribution over large distances within venues like stadiums or exhibition halls without losing the quality of the signal. Users can achieve up to several kilometres of signal distribution at resolutions up to 4K@60Hz by using additional extender systems.
SETTING UP SYSTEMS CORRECTLY IN LARGE VENUES
Correctly designing and deploying a signal management system connected to many devices in a large venue is a difficult task and many scenarios and requirements must be considered by installers. Some of these considerations include, whether the location is indoor or outdoor, how large the venue is, the distances that need to be covered, the location of displays and how the signals are transmitted.
Two of the most important aspects are the following:
1. Layout of the location: When starting the deployment of a signal management system in large venues it is vital to examine the layout of the venue itself. Whether the installation is a brand new install or an existing (retrofit) install considering the placement of wires, access space and existing equipment will provide a useful starting point. The use of signal extension technologies may also be required when dealing with large distances between sources and devices.
2. Choosing the correct equipment: Once installers have the layout of the venue in mind they should then look at how the install itself will function and what equipment would be appropriate for creating a comprehensive solution. The layout of devices, how they are controlled, different video signal types, the resolution of signals, signal distances, signal bandwidth and finally the need for any power or signal redundancies are all important aspects of creating the perfect installation. Extender solutions can reach multiple kilometres and can attach to an enormous number of inputs and outputs to provide complete flexibility. Fibre optic based solutions are used when copper systems cannot cover the required distances, or alternatively Cat.X extenders may be used. Solutions such as modular matrix systems may also have the capability to extend input and output signals for technologies such as HDBaseT, making it perfect for installations that contain multiple sources and displays spanning large distances