Breedlove with the router
HUNSTVILLE, ALA. — American Airlines Center in Dallas recently upgraded its routing infrastructure with a variety of PESA products. Installed last summer, the new system is built around a PESA Cheetah 288x288 digital video routing switcher and includes PESA’s new Touch72 LCD router control panel.
On game day, there are close to 100 technical employees on site at the 20,000-seat venue. Beyond its live in-house video presentations, the AAC has a number of video-related responsibilities, including providing live feeds of game coverage to NBA and NHL officials via high-speed fiber networks.
While the AAC has access to multiple cameras from the broadcast feed, it tends to use footage from its six-camera setup for in-house video presentations. Inside the venue, four HD cameras capture the action, including one handheld on each end of the basketball court or hockey rink and two cameras with 72x lenses operated from the stands. There are also two handheld SD cameras (upconverted to HD) outside in AT&T Plaza to cover concerts and other pre-game activities.
Three control rooms produce its in-house video presentations. The primary control room handles all cameras and live video for the arena, including game action shown on 72x30-foot screens on either side of the arena and four HD video screens hung in the center. The secondary control room manages all live switching to the AT&T Plaza, an area outside the arena that features large HD video screens and often hosts pre-game concerts. Located in the press area, the third control room is tasked with graphics for the main screens and other displays throughout the facility.
According to Randy Breedlove, manager of broadcast services, the American Airlines Center had been relying on multiple routing platforms to service the entire facility. “It became obvious to us that we needed to get all of this consolidated, and we needed to get into the embedded digital audio realm.”
The Cheetah 288x288 frame is currently populated at about 128x128. Half of the connections are equipped with embedded audio. Beyond the main stereo announce audio for the facility, embedded audio provides access to additional audio sources through the same coax connection.
Breedlove said his engineers were initially drawn to PESA because of its PERC3000 router control solution with Cattrax software for system setup, maintenance and monitoring.
The new routing system was also an opportunity to upgrade to LCD router control panels with PESA’s Touch72 LCD, which features 72 programmable LCD push button switches in a two RU configuration, along with a color touch-screen display. Each push button can be configured as a source, destination, level or salvo. Up to 16 characters and individual background colors can be used to identify each switch, and names are dynamically updated on each affected LCD switch as the system configuration is changed.
The AAC has already installed one Touch72 LCD, and Breedlove said three more will be installed in early 2014.