The world of sport has changed beyond recognition from a decade or two ago. It is difficult to believe that just over 10 years ago Rugby Union was an amateur sport. When you look at sport today it is an entertainment extravaganza, and more and more technology has been brought in to enhance the experience for the audience.
There is no doubt that AV brings spectators closer to an event. They are able to experience the sights and sounds that more clearly, whilst feeling the exhilaration of the live environment. In addition, slow motion replays and on-screen statistics make for a richer, more “in-touch” experience.
In this article we’ll take a look at the ways in which AV equipment is enhancing different sports. We will look at the sports screens, the meeting and conference rooms, and the boardrooms. Where better to start this piece than the recent opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, from Glasgow, featuring a rather impressive screen.
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014
With over 5,000 athletes from 71 different nations and territories taking part, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games should need no introduction. The opening ceremony for this year’s event took place on the 23rd of July and featured amazing AV screen technology.
The LED screen deployed had a total cover area of 55m2, which equates to a 15.3m width by 3.6 m height. The high resolution was achieved with an 8mm pitch. With these specifications, it was possible for audience to witness a truly spectacular backdrop to the ceremony. The SMD technology of the LEDs also meant wide viewing angles, without any compromise in terms of brightness or clarity. The content beamed onto the screen was managed with the aid of a web based CMS and Canvas designer.
The screens deployed within and outside the grounds for games played a pivotal role in drawing and keeping the attention of spectators. Audio and visual technology was without a doubt a major contributor to the games.
The Modern Cricket Ground
The cricket grounds we have today are far removed from what they used to be in the past. AV technology has done a great deal to help transform the way the game is watched, and played. With stakes getting higher, the need for technology has continued to increase.
The best cricket grounds in the industry today have interface-less and touch-less interactivity, wireless gateway and presentation systems, laser technology and curved screen technology.
The laser technology is vital these days to ensure that specific levels of the turf wickets are maintained across the ground.
Curved screens are becoming more popular, as they have the ability to provide a more vivid experience for spectators within the ground, irrespective of where they are seated.
From T20 to Test matches technology contributes to umpire decisions and the viewing experience both at the ground and on TV at home. Crickets is fast becoming a pioneer in sport, as it strives to attract a more diverse audience.
Wimbledon Tennis Club Centre Court
The Wimbledon Centre Court is arguably the most iconic tennis ground in the world. It has seen its fair share of AV technology introduced and upgraded over the years.
Apart from the large screen seen on the Aorangi Terrace, there are presently an extra 28 LED displays, accompanied by top of the line production and distribution systems.
The court has a full colour LED scoreboards, as well as smaller sized indicators for ball speed. 7 years ago, the traditional flip dot displays, previously synonymous with the ground, were upgraded to full colour LED in line with the introduction of the Hawkeye technology. Originally, the displays were fitted with the O-lite 612 system, but with the enlargement of the display in 2013, the displays were upgraded with the new C8 technology from Barco.
The viewer back home may only see the displays showing the scoreboard or replaying Hawkeye content but for people in the court, there is a lot of video content to be enjoyed between matches.
Over the years, the quality of such content has improved thanks to newer AV technology.
This year, nine new Electronic Information Displays were deployed to replace the standard flip dot boards in the front of the Centre Court, as well as at other strategic locations around the entire complex.
Wembley Football stadium
Wembley is the home of football in England, and therefore it is not surprising the amount of work that has gone into ensuring that the spectators have a fantastic experience.
The main attraction, apart from the football, are the two large LED video displays on both ends of the stadium, measuring 8.15m x 23.88m, with a unique concave design. With a resolution of 528 pixels x 1560 pixels in a 15HD pixel layout, few football grounds around the world can offer a better viewing experience.
To further improve on the experience for matches played at night, a 44 arc 8-core LED lighting system, featuring the COB LED floodlight was introduced this year at the stadium. This new technology offers efficient and versatile solid-state lighting, guaranteed to allow Wembley Stadium enjoy the ambience.
Wembley Stadium also houses four state of the art meeting and conference rooms. Namely: The Bobby Moore Room, The Great Hall, The Atrium and The Wembley Suite. Depending on the occasion and hall chosen, these can comfortably take between 300 and 3250 guests. All of the halls are fitted with state of the art technology that allows one-touch control of AV, including lighting and sounds.
These are some of the examples of how AV technology is helping shape sports around the world. The spectators expect a lot from their sport outings, and, thankfully, the AV technology giants are always well poised to meet and surpass these expectations.