Systems integration firm BeckTV recently worked with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens to complete a new control room within M&T Bank Stadium for centralized production of RavensVision in-game content and promos distributed across the two main video boards; all ribbons, corner boards, and concourse video boards; and all concourse and suite displays. BeckTV served as system integrator for the control room project, which is a major component of an ongoing three-year, $120 million facility investment designed to improve the in-stadium fan experience.
"The Ravens have always been on the forefront of experimenting with and adopting new technology," said Jay O'Brien, vice president of broadcasting and game day productions for the Baltimore Ravens. "The solutions we've deployed within our new control room enhance our creativity and effectively eliminate any technical control barriers. With much-improved speed and flexibility in presenting video, graphics, game stats, NFL scores and highlights, and fantasy stats, we can provide our fans with a rich viewing experience."
The new control room at M&T Bank Stadium supports new 4K UHD video displays that doubled the width of the stadium's previous standard HD boards and equal the highest resolution and clearest picture of any stadium video display in the United States. With a game day team that likewise has doubled in size, the production team for the Ravens takes full advantage of additional cameras and camera locations, updated replay and graphics systems, and additional engineering stations to enrich the on-screen product.
"With our great video displays, we needed to power them with great equipment," O'Brien said. "In designing a state-of-the-art control room, we required a company that could suggest the right product and then work with us to integrate the technology. It was also imperative that the company install and support our systems through game day, allowing us to focus on content rather than hardware issues. BeckTV's engineers offered expert knowledge and worked tirelessly on the project, and we could see they were invested not only in the installation, but in the quality of show our fans experience."
The control room project included Ross Acuity switchers and graphics systems, Sony 4K cameras, Panasonic 4K outdoor PTZ cameras, Wave Central wireless cameras, an Evertz 4K Dreamcatcher replay system representing the largest 4K IP deployment at launch, and Evertz EXE IP routing and multiviewer systems that represented one of the first EXE router deployments supporting 100 percent of the live production with full discrete video/audio routing and embedding/de-embedding capabilities.
Together, these systems give the production team complete control in driving content and marketing throughout the entire stadium. A major benefit for fans is the team's ability to show many different unique views of a play—typically two or three replays after a big play and six or seven different angles following a touchdown.
"We want the fan experience at our stadium to be the best a person can have while enjoying a Ravens game,” O'Brien said. "We are proud that we provide more replays than broadcast TV and offer unique camera angles that fans can see only at our stadium. These elements engage our fans, foster team spirit, and help us maintain one of the NFL's best home-field advantages."
"Our 'product' at BeckTV is building systems that are highly capable, flexible, and reliable," said Peter Dernbach, director of engineering, at BeckTV. "We're pleased that the Ravens saw this commitment, as well as our experience and history, and chose BeckTV to help them achieve their goals."