The Philadelphia Eagles, having been beat by the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LVII, have made major technology upgrades to its home-game venue at Lincoln Financial Field. Nestled within the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, the Lincoln Financial Field is a nearly 20-year-old stadium with a seating capacity of approximately 70,000.
In August 2003, Lincoln Financial Field opened for visitors. Since its grand opening, the Philadelphia Eagles have invested in a number of physical and technology upgrades. The upgrades included seating expansion, two new HD videoboards, upgraded amenities, Wi-Fi, and two new connecting bridges for upper levels. Since the initial upgrades, the Philadelphia Eagles found themselves reevaluating its outdated, legacy AV system. “The system was traditionally serviced by a large HDMI matrix but the system was reaching the end of its life and it was time for us to build a future-proof solution,” says David Sullivan, broadcast and AV engineer for Philadelphia Eagles. Sullivan and his team wanted a solution that was capable of distributing high-definition and 4k video through multiple buildings.
The Visionary PacketAV Matrix Series Solution
Sullivan adds, “We explored an IP-based solution to create a future-proof system. The goal was to leverage a network-based solution, provide greater flexibility and lower our troubleshooting calls. We were led to Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series due to their tight integration with QSC Q-SYS. We were incredibly excited to deploy our first PacketAV Encoder and Decoders in the meeting rooms and training rooms. Although, both are very high-value spaces for us. The football operations primarily use the meeting rooms and training rooms so we required a seamless integration.”
Visionary’s IP video technology provides flexible, scalable and reliable solutions suitable for large-scale installations. An IP-based solution enables the end-user to monitor and control remotely using an IP network as the system’s backbone. “Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series paired with QSC’s Q-SYS platform provides us with a piece of mind that the video is coming into the system and being distributed to the display,” says Sullivan. “With a traditional fixed HDMI matrix solution, you have no monitoring capability unless you’re in the room. Visionary’s IP-based solution enables us to sit in our office in a different zip code and pull up any stream from any room and quality control the signal. We can state with confidence that the video is leaving the decoder and going to the display, or a number of displays.”
The Philadelphia Eagles initial success with Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Visionary led to a significant expansion in the project’s scope. Sullivan explains, “We started with a few training rooms and we’re finalizing a large-scale replacement where we have phased out every single large-frame video matrix and replaced it with Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series. Today, we are utilizing Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series to distribute video through our training facility and stadium.”
Sullivan adds, “We integrated Visionary’s PackeTV AVN series H.264 IPTV Encoders to distribute local video feeds from the scoreboard, production, and television truck to the stadium suites. There are 1,400 HD television endpoints in the stadium complex. The televisions were initially integrated in 2014, therefore, the system had higher latency and lower picture quality. The PackeTV AVN Series H.264 IPTV encoders provided a solution to update our existing infrastructure and provide a solution with lower latency and higher video quality. We were transitioning to 1080p and required an encoder that could handle 1080p. The PackeTV AVN series H.264 IPTV encoders created a reliable solution to distribute time-aligned video between each display in the stadium suites.”
Visionary’s PackeTV IPTV ecosystem, including the PackeTV AVN Series H.264 IPTV Encoder, is a modular, end-to-end solution for any organization. It is designed to deliver and manage real-time and recorded video over virtually any network. The PackeTV AVN Series H.264 IPTV Encoder transforms live video sources into full-screen, full resolution, Internet Protocol Digital Video, compatible with multicast, webcast, and video-on-demand protocols.
Reconfiguring Meeting Spaces with Visionary PacketAV Matrix & Q-SYS
Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series has provided the Philadelphia Eagles with a new level of flexibility. “During COVID-19, we had to relocate and reconfigure the traditional meeting space,” says Sullivan. “We cleared an entire building floor. It was originally cubicles, but we turned the floor into a large meeting room because those individuals were staying at home. We took one encoder from the auditorium and sent it to 10 decoders across different rooms within the building. Traditionally, it would require a large AV integration and a significant investment. With Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series, we could repurpose Ethernet connections and add a few displays to create a new meeting space. Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series, paired with QSC Q-SYS, is the Swiss Army Knife of AV integration.”
Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series provides powerful cinema-quality, ultra-low latency video resolutions while bypassing the constraints of traditional switch matrix distribution systems.
“We were concerned the coaches would notice a difference in quality, compression and latency between the HDMI and IP-based solutions,” notes Sullivan. “The football coaches are using a handheld trigger and they are expecting an immediate response when they press play. Immediately, we realized Visionary’s IP solution paired with a capable network was able to handle this type of bandwidth. Overall, the end user experience has been really great.”
Sullivan calls Visionary’s customer service unparalleled, saying the company quickly addresses issues, which is particularly important in the fast-paced world of the NFL
“We’re wearing many hats, but, if something is broken, we are responsible for getting the system up and running,” Sullivan says. “We’ve found Visionary’s customer support to be incredibly helpful.”
Sullivan adds, “We’re really excited about the future of Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series. The latest addition with Bluetooth-enabled Wall Plate Encoders has been an exciting development for us. We’ve been purchasing a competitor’s Bluetooth-enabled Wall Plate Encoder for years. Today, we are integrating Visionary’s new Wall Plate Encoders as a reliable, future-proof solution.”
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