Sports and AV technology go hand in hand. Fans want to be thoroughly entertained in and out of their seats, and the high-quality audio-visual experience they often find at home increases the expectations for stadium TV. For AV Inspire Director Simon Howes, it was his customer’s great RTI home entertainment and control experience that led AV Inspire to completing a commercial project for him as well: the Bromley Football Club (F.C.).
The owners wanted to outfit the Bromley FC’s new sports bar, Broomfields, as well as a training room, with 4K flatscreen displays that could receive a host of IP-distributed content, from live match feeds to cable channels to digital signage. There was just one setback: Simon Howes was invited mid-development of the project. The displays were already set to be installed and cabling had already been pulled – one Cat-6 cable to each display location.
“I was limited in what I could do and how I could control it,” says Simon. He needed a video distribution system that could be installed fast, with minimal infrastructure, would support 4K, and could be easily controlled. As Simon Howes puts it, he was thrown into the deep end to make things work.
Simon Howes reached out to his trusted distributor, Invision UK. They immediately recommended the RTI Video over IP platform. It allows integrators to distribute 4K UHD video over a 1GB network switch with ease. This flexible system can be installed in minutes, scaled to a virtually unlimited number of endpoints, and controlled natively within the RTI control environment. In fact, after a few short video tutorials on the RTI website, Simon Howes felt ready to proceed.
“Although I had never deployed a Video over IP solution before, I’ve been installing RTI control systems for 15 years,” says Simon. “I trusted Invision’s advice and was extremely confident in RTI.”
RTI Video over IP takes advantage of the existing network infrastructure to cost-effectively distribute crystal-clear video to displays across installations of any size. It’s designed so that integrators can deliver the benefits of video over IP without the need for a deep understanding of networking or the need to manually assign IP addresses. At the heart of the RTI Video over IP platform is the VIP-UHD-CTRL Control Module, which is programmed using the RTI Integration Designer platform – now available in version 11 – to integrate with IR, RS-232, or TCP/IP control, and a wizard-based interface for fast and automated system configuration.
At Bromley FC, Simon Howes configured the facility’s 21 Samsung displays (ranging in sizes from 55in up to 85in) and five Clevertouch interactive displays into 14 zones, with each display connected to an RTI VIP-UHD-RX 4K Video over IP receiver. Sources, each transmitted via an RTI VIP-UHD-TX 4K Video over IP transmitter, include three Sky+ HD set top boxes, three HD IP camera feeds, and two PCs that host the FC’s sponsorship content. VIP transmits signals using visually lossless compression technology to deliver HDMI, bi-directional IR, RS-232 and USB/KVM up to lengths of 100m over standard network architecture. The FC uses a Luxul XMS 52-port gigabit PoE+ network switch, and the RTI system transmits video over the project’s 90m runs flawlessly. The system terminates at one central rack.
For the user, the Video over IP system conveniently displays everything on an RTI touchpanel, remote, or a mobile app. In this case, Bromley FC didn’t want multiple controllers, choosing instead to use RTI’s iPad app, which is completely customisable. Using one of three iPad Airs that reside in the main office and at each of the indoor and outdoor bars, the staff can see a video preview, making it easy to align any source with any display and control each display via IP.
As the project came together and revealed the powerful benefits of the Video over IP solution, together with RTI’s intuitive control, the owner decided to expand the system to an outdoor bar, adding three more displays. For Simon Howes, it was as simple as installing three more receivers and a Luxul PoE+ network switch at a remote location to create a fibre link to the main system.
“The client is blown away with how simple it was and how well it’s controlled,” says Simon. “With RTI Video over IP, it came together quickly and beautifully.”
“The outdoor area wasn’t even on the map. It almost feels like the owner looked around at the various spaces within the facility to see where he could add more,” says Peter Alloway, Head of UK Business Development – UK, Invision.
List of RTI products used:
1x XP-8v Control Processor
1x RTiPanel License
1x RTI VIP-UHD-CTRL Video over IP Control Module
7x RTI VIP VIP-UHD-TX 4K Video over IP Transmitter
26x RTI VIP UHD VIP-UHD-RX 4K Video over IP Receiver
3x RTI ESC-2+ Ethernet to Serial Converter
10x RTI VIRSA MOUSE IR Emitter
2x RTI RM-4VIP2 Rack-Mount Kit for VIP-UHD-TX/RX
4 x RTI IRC-SM12V Stereo to mono 12V IR cable