MotionRocket’s Launchpad Powers Largest LED Display in High School Sports

When the 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games travel to Houston next month, youth athletes from across the United States will convene at Turner Stadium in Humble, TX, to compete in track and field. To support the largest U.S. amateur multi-sport event, the Junior Olympics organizing committee recently unveiled the largest high-school-stadium video board in the country.

The 960-square-foot HorizonPro video display board at Turner Stadium will serve the Humble Independent School District. MotionRocket, based in St. Petersburg, FL, was selected to power the Turner Stadium video board. The company deployed Launchpad, a media clip server and character generator designed specifically to provide content for LED displays in sports venues.

“We’re sort of a kind of one-size-fits-all solution,” says MotionRocket co-founder Mark Carman. “We can go into existing venues or run new venues… the system can run big video walls or scorers tables or perimeter fascia, and it does all the live video capturing, plus the real time data, and all the sports stats — everything that you possibly could need.”

According to the company, a video operator can control multiple displays and screens with one installation of the Launchpad software. The software is scalable and flexible, and because it can support various codecs (.WMV, .MPG, .AVI, .MOV, .JPG, .BMP, .PNG, and .MP3 audio), Launchpad can be integrated into an existing workflow.

“[Launchpad] is fundamentally very easy to use,” says Carman. “Its interface is very intuitive. It takes only about 10 or 15 minutes to really sit down and have a full grasp of what it can do. Of course, under the hood it’s a lot more flexible and powerful than most people realize, but that’s the beauty of the interface. It’s simplified to expedite training and reduce the cost of training personnel.”

Turner Stadium’s new video board, installed by Houston-based Spectrum Scoreboards, is 30% bigger than the previous largest screen, located in Rhodes Stadium in Katy, TX. Turner Stadium will be one of five venues used for the 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games, which will take place July 24 to Aug. 5.

On The Horizon
MotionRocket entered the marketplace in 2008 with the creation of Launchpad, and since then, the software has been installed in more than 20 venues.  In addition to the video display at Turner Stadium, the company was recently selected to drive the LED displays for the Memphis Liberty Bowl, and has several other bids in the works.

“It’s nice to know that the system’s flexible enough that somebody like Spectrum [Scoreboards] can call us up and say, ‘We want one of your servers,’ and I just go, ‘OK,’ and then I find out after the fact that it’s driving the largest LED screen in high school [sports] in the country,” says Carman. “It’s kind of like, if you sell drills, you don’t necessarily need to know what you’re building with it. You just build a really nice drill. That’s pretty much where we are.”

Next Up for MotionRocket
Continuing to expand its sports-solution repertoire, MotionRocket recently unveiled SceneDeck, a Website that allows users to create and customize high-definition 3D graphics for their video displays. While only a few weeks old, Carman sees SceneDeck as the next logical step for LaunchPad users.

“We were seeing a large surge of Division 1 [and] Division 2 schools, [and] minor league ballparks getting LED [screens that] couldn’t afford the existing software solutions, and so we created Launchpad to target that new niche,” says Carman. “Well, the next big problem was people now have all this equipment, they have no idea how to make good looking content.”

SceneDeck, powered by Vizrt, provides users with a simplified template system, price-per-clip model, and multiple file-format options.  Although SceneDeck is a service of MotionRocket, any existing clip server can accommodate clips created using SceneDeck. Carman reports that several schools and conferences have visited the site and begun to build their own graphics.

“We’re definitely trying to spread the word, getting more people involved,” says Carman, “because it’s one of those organic things where, the more people that get involved, it [will] ramp up exponentially from there.”

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