In partnership with the NBA's Orlando Magic, Harris has completed work on a technology showcase like no other in the sports venue arena. The broadcast equipment supplier has provided design and installation work as well as a significant amount of its broadcast technology at the new Amway Center, which opened its doors for the first time on Oct. 1.
The facility's innovative AV infrastructure, designed and implemented by Harris engineers, features a unique convergence of IP and broadcast technology that provides the Magic with an entirely new content production workflow and fans with an exceptional, multimedia event experience.
Representing one of the most technologically advanced arenas in North America, the Amway Center offers fans extraordinary access to event coverage both inside and outside the arena via HD screens as well as dramatic lighting and sounds.
Alex Martins, president of the Orlando Magic, said the new arena sets the standard for fan engagement in sports and entertainment venues. "We took on this technical challenge with confidence because of our relationship with Harris."
The mostly Harris system (including its Nexio servers, HD routers, Centrio and IP Multiviewers, template-based Inscriber graphics systems and modular gear) features a HD video production and distribution and IPTV system, integrated with a multichannel digital signage network. This allows the Magic to address more than 1,100 individual screens located throughout the arena with tailored content. Displays can be driven to show high-impact replays and highlights, venue messaging, out-of-home advertising, or any combination of the three. In addition, the system enables advertisers to have their names displayed on every screen in the facility at the same time, providing exclusive marketing opportunities.
The network that drives all technology in the Center is managed via a Harris-built control room featuring more than 800 broadcast devices. Approximately 75 miles away, employees at Harris headquarters monitor the network 24/7 via a Network Operations Center — similar to the one that manages the nation's air traffic control system.
The comprehensive production and distribution system includes all of the components the Magic needs to present event action on scoreboards, television monitors and digital signage throughout the arena, in the front lobby and even in the parking garage entrances. The low latency of the Harris system enables content on the screens to be changed during the event and updated to the network with no interruption to the screen information/graphics or live action. For the first time, every fan in the arena will experience broadcast of the action in real time — with no delays and no waiting.
As all the digital signs are connected, important safety messages and clear directions — for example in the event of an evacuation — can be easily broadcast throughout the Amway Center.
The network has been designed so that in the future fans can receive applications via their mobile devices that will allow them to access a wide array of game- and league-related information and video highlights.