Ross Video tech halo effect on fans



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Ross Video at Coliseum MENA Image: Deepraj Sandhar & Ross Video

Deepraj Sandhar is in the role of Regional Sales Manager at Ross Video. He has worked in the media production industry for 20 years and started his career in post-production. Sandhar then moved into the broadcast sector, working with enterprise customers across the MENA region and holding a variety of roles including workflow consultancy, system architecture and account management.
 

Ross Video

Ross Video Limited is a privately-held Canadian company that designs and manufactures equipment for live event and video production. Ross delivers dependable technology and services that power exceptional live video productions seen by billions of viewers around the world every day. Ross Video’s goal is to make it easy for customers to create compelling news, weather and sports broadcasts, engaging material for sports stadium screens, legislative assemblies, entertainment shows and rock concerts, and inspiring content for houses of worship.

Ross Video delivers the world’s widest range of products and services for augmented reality (AR) and virtual sets, mobile live-event solutions, real-time motion graphics, robotic camera systems, social-media management, production switchers, routers, infrastructure products, video servers, newsroom systems, terminal equipment, and more.

In an exclusive talk with ‘Coliseum’, Deepraj Sandhar , Regional Manager – Middle East, Pakistan and Regional Africa, Ross Video, UAE, dishes out details of how Ross Video’s cutting-edge Unified Venue Control Solution consists of a powerful yet easy to use set of video production tools which is a kind of one-stop shop where a single button is used to carry out multiple tasks and helps streamline things. He also presents an interesting case study of Principality Stadium refresh and also highlights how LED displays play a pivotal role in enhancing the fan’s in-venue experience.
 

Who we are?

Informed Deepraj Sandhar, “We are Ross Video. We have about 1,000 employees and we are based in Canada but we have a global footprint and working on multiple different projects in different areas.”
 

What we do?

Ross Video is providing tools for:

  • News studios;
  • Sports studios;
  • Arenas; and
  • Mosques.

 
He puts in, “Ross Video is doing a lot of different things. Historically, we come from a traditional market and are combining the tools we provide and also the services. We are providing a live AV production system to many of the different sectors.”
 

The sports and live events team

Talking about sports and live events, Sandhar termed it as a “Very interesting market and what is an esports arena, a National Hockey League (NHL) arena, a National Football League (NFL) arena, an ice hockey arena. All of these live events and all of these customers are looking for the same trend and that’s a trend which we picked up on in the last four or five years.”

He further added that the same tools that are present in the core market are now being taken by the above venues at the same time as well -“So, what are the trends that we see for all of these different venues? We are talking about a venue experience.”
 

Venue experience

  • Bigger screens;
  • Grow fan base;
  • New revenue streams;
  • Entertainment hub;
  • Better content;
  • More data;
  • Fan engagement; and
  • Fan zones.

 
Sandhar stated that venue operators while trying to get fans into the stadium pull out all stops to ensure that spectators get the best of in-venue fan experience and are “wowed” by that experience – “It could be leading up to the event, during the event and after the event. So, how does one actually do that? Ross Video ensures that content is being delivered to them so it could be filling the LEDs with data, with graphics, during the game or during the event, during replays like in football replays of the actual game at the same time as well.”
 

The ‘wow’ effect

When fans savor an out-of-the-world in-venue experience, they spread the word that attending an event/match in a particular venue is bang for the buck – “It is very similar to cinema experience. People go to watch cinema because they are getting that experience which they cannot experience back home.”

Sandhar pointed out that venues today want to give crème de la crème facilities as well as offerings to fans – “The trend has come from North America. We have seen this trend in NFL stadiums and that trend has been moving through from America, into Europe, Middle East, and so on and so forth.”
 

LED factor

LED displays play an important role to sweep off feet today’s tech savvy fans. The all-encompassing fan engagement happens between the exterior and the main seating bowl as LED displays are present at every aspect of the event experience.

The 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London (UK) is one arena which provides fans with an exhilarating experience. It believes in the fan-first approach and the main seating bowl where the event takes place is equipped with LED screens to create the desired gameday experience as Sandhar stated, “The stadium reinforces the fact that a venue should be multipurpose. The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium also addresses the NFL market so they need to ensure that they can change the venue based on the customer base coming in at the same time as well.”

He further pointed out that the HyperX Arena in Las Vegas (US) will always remain an esports arena – “They are focusing on their core market. Fans make it a point to come back to the arena to watch a live esports event as they are left ‘wowed’ by all these LEDs and game data coming in.”
 

Case study

 

Principality Stadium

Ross Video’s Unified Venue Control Solution is featured as a key part of the Principality Stadium refresh.

He provided, “The Principality Stadium is in Wales (UK) and is an existing stadium. The above trend of getting people into the venue also applies for Principality Stadium as well. It sits in the heart of the City and they may have this halo effect when they are working with the local community or competing with the local community – getting people into the stadium.”

The 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium, known since 2016 as the Principality Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the national stadium of Wales (UK). Located in Cardiff, it is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has also held Wales’s national football team games.
 

Project goals (the challenges)

Sandhar further provided that when Ross Video took up the Principality Stadium project -technology refresh – “We discussed in details as to what tech bells and whistles they wanted in the stadium.”

  • Stadium should be equipped with technology ready for 4K production;
  • Taking a leaf out of the stadia of North America and providing fans with an enchanting experience;
  • Filling up the venue with LEDs as it provides fans a compelling experience; and
  • Contents being pushed to those LEDs should be of very high quality so that people watching the game on their phones or on their television sets are awestruck;

 
He informed, “Ross Video has made it possible that fans get different camera angles, replays, game data, and football data coming in. The same type of production is also now happening inside of the stadium. So, even though fans are inside the stadium, they can look at the main LED, and they will get the same type of broadcast quality production they would have at home. Since they are inside the facility, they are also enjoying the other additional elements at the same time as well.”

  • Time challenge – “As far as time is concerned, it was a big challenge. Another challenge was the graphics. So, we also created all of the graphics and all of the high-end graphics for them at the same time as well and the different components.

 

The Unified Venue Solution

From massive LED video walls, field signage and 360-degree fascia boards to concourse displays and lighting systems, Ross Video’s Unified Venue Control System ties these elements together to ensure a seamless and more immersive gameday experience for fans and spectators.
 
Three key takeaways sought by Principality Stadium from a Unified Venue Solution perspective:

  • Production control reins in Principality Stadium hands – “So, production is when you are watching the game, whether you are watching an esports game or a game of cricket or football, when you see something in the live event, you want to see the replay, automatically you look at the main screen and you are getting a high quality replay. So, if it’s a game shot in esports, you want to see the kill points and you want to see the different aspects and the spectator points. If it’s football, you want to see the replay of that goal at different angles at the same time. You want to see data coming in about that person, it’s an esports event, you want to see the data of the team. So, that’s your production control;”
  • “Then is the LED display which is all the content going through the LED, not so much rated to the game but the ancillary staff, and also venue control as well. So, in the production control we have the whole team sitting in there, all of the game feeds are coming in and all of the goals are being locked. At any point, the Director then can choose any camera angle and push fans back into the main event where they see all the replays come in and this is going way beyond what they were doing previously which is just playing an instant replay. And this has been made possible by Ross Video. The Director can now also choose different camera angles and push it to multiple different venues and certain different LEDs at the same time as well. So, what the fan is seeing on the LED in the venue is matching with the same production which they would have seen at home but the edge is that they are enjoying the venue experience at the same time.”
  • LED display control – “The critical point is the LED display control. So, we as Ross have all the technology to power graphics to the LED but we as Ross also create all these graphics. We push all the content to the LEDs and to the ribbons at the same time as well. So, we can manage if you are looking to adding sponsorship, information inside the LEDs, content to LEDs, all that is done through our one system. There is no need for multiple teams and multiple systems.”;
  • Actual data – “There are different set of people for an esports event or a football event. Accordingly, we change the system and all the graphics get updated automatically. Especially in esports, when you are actually plugging into the game data, so as the esports game is happening, we are getting data from the game in terms of stats, analysis, we are automatically taking that data and putting it on to the screen. And again if the person is watching the event, he is being informed in real time about what’s happening while they are engaged in multiple areas at the same time as well.”

 

Venue control

Venue control is a pertinent issue. It’s great to have plush lighting system, great graphic system, video system, excellent audio system in a stadium -“What Ross Video facilitates is custom interface. And all at the press of a button by the Director, that button can trigger the lights, the graphics and the audio at the same time. It is not a case of people jumping around and trying to fix the lights or the audio. It is a very streamlined exercise. We have a unified system which will control the whole venue.”

Sandhar summed up by stating that the HyperX Arena in Las Vegas is probably the “Most fan-engaging venue we have because that has a lot of LEDs, a lot of lighting, a lot of audio, and we are even controlling the smoke machine with one button at the same time and when someone wins, the smoke machines are being triggered, the glister machine is being triggered, everything is being triggered by our system simultaneously.”

He asserted that its “great” having such futuristic technology in place but if one can’t make use of that technology, “It is just sitting dead inside the backroom. So, we make sure we are providing technology, services, graphics, but also the key thing is that operationally, it is easy to use.”

With TV coverage of live sporting events becoming increasingly sophisticated, sports teams and stadia are working through the sweat of their brows to lure people to come out of their comfortable couches and into the venue.

Of late, LED video displays in a stadium are adding to the fan experience helping to engage them from the moment they arrive at the stadium. LED technology is connecting with and engaging viewers wherever they are in and around the stadium. Earlier, the focus was on the event itself but today the focus is on the overall fan experience. And it is Ross Video’s seamless technology which is helping arenas like the Principality Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium carve a special place in the minds of the fans.

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on venues business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports and entertainment venue executives and professionals creating better and more profitable venues.

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