Avid Stays Busy at Reliant Park

The Avid Deko 3000
Reliant Park hosts some of the country's most exciting and fast-paced sports events, ranging from regional favorite, RodeoHouston, to Monster Jam and the Houston Texans NFL team. It's a multi-purpose venue that has been the site of a Super Bowl, Final Four regional playoffs and even an Oprah Winfrey appearance.

My job is to provide all things video for the complex. We're responsible for audio and video production services for all the events that take place here, including feeds to local TV stations for game day events.

It's a highly demanding, high-profile environment, and one where we've got to satisfy a lot of people, particularly our audiences and sponsors.


Audiences expect the best for less in live entertainment amenities. To meet that challenge, three Avid Deko 3000 and four Avid DekoCast graphics systems allow us to provide constant facility-wide views of event information, from a statistics channel to real-time feeds provided by our own HD control rooms, with minute-by-minute detail that lets audience members know what's going on wherever they are. We have eight 16:9 center screens, two large end-zone screens and a multitude of other monitors strategically placed throughout the facility, so leaving your seat never has to mean leaving the action.

Audiences aren't alone in their quest to get a good return on their investment. Sponsors also expect top value for their dollar, particularly since RodeoHouston is one of the largest venues in the United States for fairs and festivals. Fortunately, most of our sponsors maintain their commitments, in part because Deko technology allows us to easily grab and incorporate logos across multiple screens, and respond quickly to sponsor requests.

Employing one DekoCast as a primary and a second as an authoring system, we provide branded display information on performers and schedules, while playing music videos and rodeo news segments with video clips living on the clip server. DekoCast also supplies the statistics channel with constantly updated contestant standings that are easily branded with a logo on the feed.

Our migration to high definition has been a big part of sponsor satisfaction. We're in our last year of a five-year plan to complete our HD makeover, and we've cultivated strong and lasting relationships with local and national news networks as a first-class content provider. Since these networks are all HD now, it's not good enough to just give them SD content anymore.


Beyond the graphics component, we have three Avid HD editing suites that give us maximum flexibility and ease of operation. Avid Symphony, Nitris DX and Media Composer all share an Avid Unity server, while our Avid Digidesign Pro Tools HD rig gives us superb sound capabilities. And to top it off, we're going tapeless, moving from 17 SD video recorders to just four HD tape machines.

The key is not just doing more, but doing it better—from graphics generation supporting data from multiple applications to powerful reboot-free shared storage. With our "no excuses" solution package from Avid, we're able to deliver, no matter what the show or requirement is.

James Davidson has managed video production services for The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and RodeoHouston since 1998. Prior to that, he owned a production company catering to corporate and broadcast clients. He may be contacted atdavidson@rodeohouston.com.

For additional information, contact Avid at 800-949-2843 or visitwww.avid.com.