User-Definable Bitrates Help NHL’s Montreal Canadiens Score at the Bell Centre

Storied hockey team engages fans with high-quality streaming.
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Storied hockey team engages fans with high-quality streaming.

The storied Montreal Canadiens hockey team has a dynamic power play for digital signage at the Montreal Bell Centre. Matrox Maevex H.264 encoders and decoders provide HD feeds to keep all 21,000 fans engaged.

When the Bell Centre sought a digital facelift, unwieldy light-box advertising was replaced with streamlined dual-monitor digital displays to showcase event and related content. Displays throughout the main concourse broadcast simultaneous streams of game footage along with digital signage driven by Maevex.

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In pilot programs, Pierre-Eric Belzile, vice president, Information and Communication Technology for the Canadiens, found that Maevex was the only AV-over-IP platform capable of synchronizing digital signage distributed via one encoder to multiple displays. Maevex delivers content, including hockey player profiles and advertising, via a Seneca HD2.5 media player housing a quad-output graphics card on a multicast Avaya network. A Maevex encoder is connected to each output to deliver content to decoders serving 100 displays.

Maevex offers low, user-definable bitrates between 100 Kbps and 25 Mbps via its PowerStream software. This ensures content distribution doesn’t stress the building’s IT network, and keeps bandwidth costs down for the Canadiens.

Belzile said the back-end flexibility of Maevex made it a logical choice. “It was even easier to integrate the solution into the Bell Centre’s AV-over-IP multicast Avaya network infrastructure.”

The Canadiens plans to expand the deployment in the arena.

Photography courtesy Club de hockey Canadien Inc.