With HD Upgrade On the Horizon, Philips Arena Installs Multidefinition Ross Video Switcher

One of the busiest arenas in the country, Atlanta’s Philips Arena is making strides to improve the experience for the 1.6 million fans who pass through its turnstiles each year. The venue — home to the NBA’s Hawks and the WNBA’s Dream and host to concert tours, collegiate sports, and more — recently purchased a Ross Video 3M/E Vision production switcher to manage the arena scoreboard and display systems.

The Ross Video production switcher enables the venue to maintain its SD workflow for the time being.

The Ross Video production switcher enables the venue to maintain its SD workflow before upgrading to HD.

“We are in the process of overhauling our entire production system and made the decision to begin by updating the core video-production components,” says David Schindler, director of video production, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. “We needed a multidefinition product for our production switcher that was powerful yet simple to use and felt that Ross Vision provided the intuitive operation and flexibility that we were looking for to help make the game-day experience the best it can be for our fans.”

Philips Arena, named for the technology supplier, opened in 1999 with a Philips DD35 production switcher to run the arena’s SD show. Needing to replace the aging switcher before fully transitioning to HD, the video-production team selected Ross Video’s Vision switcher. The multidefinition switcher enables the team to maintain its SD workflow for the time being and upgrade to HD in the future.

The switcher’s AUX Keys and multiscreen-production capabilities simplify the task of scoreboard and multiple-display management with custom control macros and device controls that allow complicated tasks to be performed with a single button push. According to Ross Video, the switcher is uniquely suited for arena applications.

“It’s not sports production: it’s arena and game-day production,” says Steve Romain, director, global sports marketing and business development, Ross Video. “We understand that sports productions, game-day productions, news productions, and mobile productions are all different, and, specifically [for] the game-day people, the workflow is totally different from what it would be in a truck or in a news studio. We’ve recognized that, and we have feature sets and have put things into the workflow that just are specifically for that market area.”

Philips Arena considered several switchers before deciding on the Ross Video Vision switcher at the 2012 NAB Show. Alpha Video handled the integration of the switcher over the summer, adding a new Evertz multiviewer and monitor wall.

“[We] thought it was the most intuitive switcher and really the best bang for your buck of all the switchers that we compared,” says Schindler. “It’s been going great; we’re doing things that we couldn’t do before with our old switcher.”

Although the control room remains SD, the Philips Arena team hopes to upgrade the remainder of the equipment to HD in the next few years. The venue seats 18,729 for basketball and, in 2009, became the first existing NBA arena to achieve LEED certification.

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