Just like anything with VITEC, it has been simple. I think the hardest issue we had was lining up 25 TV displays! The installation was straightforward; we did a parallel project to put in a VITEC channel encoder chassis which created more in-house channels than we previously had. Historically, we could only encode 4 internal channels, and now we can encode 24.
— Brian Himstedt
Vice President of Technology
and Business Analytics, KCR
It has definitely increased traffic in the bar. People can see it as they walk by, so it helps us from a food and beverage consumption standpoint. The other thing is it just makes that bar space more engaging.
— Brian Himstedt
Vice President of Technology
and Business Analytics, KCR
Kansas City Royals Enhance Fan Experience with IPTV-enabled Videowall
The Kansas City Royals have updated their Kauffman Stadium with a 5x5 videowall array in a bar area to augment fan engagement. The IPTV and digital signage system VITEC has been integrated into the videowall, providing high-quality, low-latency streams. The enhancement has reportedly increased footfall in the bar area and elevated the overall game-viewing experience.
Kauffman Stadium – widely known as “The K” – is a cherished Major League Baseball stadium, and home to the Kansas City Royals, World Series champions in 1985 and 2015. The K was built in 1973, and has undergone significant refurbishment throughout its history, including a $250 million renovation in 2009. The purpose-built stadium has featured a VITEC IPTV and digital signage system since 2016, powering more than 450 displays across the stadium, including around the concourse area and in luxury suites.
Major League Sports is competitive in the US market, and the Kansas City Royals are keen to optimise the overall fan experience as much as possible to keep visitors coming back. The Royals are next door to the NFL’s Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium and the city also hosts two-time MLS Cup winning Sporting Kansas City, in the metropolitan area. Sports fans in Kansas City have great teams to support and options for attending live events.
Seeking to liven up a key traffic area at the stadium in a partially outdoor bar space, the KC Royals’ in-house team began assessing the possibility of installing additional displays to enhance the space. “We do compete for people’s discretionary entertainment dollar. A lot of the time, we are trying to figure out what things we can do that will deliver value beyond just the product on the field,” says Brian Himstedt, Vice President of Technology and Business Analytics.
“We want things that are compelling, different, and unique from the norm to what people would expect, which is just to show the broadcast of the game on the TV. Historically we’ve tried to do things with projectors, and we’ve had some smaller TVs in the area.”
KC Royals’ in-house team opted to install a 5x5 videowall array of 55” display zero bezel LCD display panels inside a bar area in “The K.” The team had approximately 6-8 weeks to carry out the project during the off season after budget had been approved. The videowall is integrated into the central VITEC IPTV platform with the addition of a video wall module. This module gives the KC Royals a flexible system to display content and engage with fans in a new and exciting way, allowing it to take advantage of high-quality, low-latency streams. The KC Royals also took the opportunity to install a VITEC channel encoder chassis to expand its ability to encode internal channels at the stadium. The in-house team handles all video and digital signage across the stadium, and the videowall display is managed from the same server using the same IPTV interface that the team was already used to operating.
The familiarity and trust that the KC Royals team had in the reliability of the VITEC system proved invaluable for this installation. “We’ve got a good understanding of the VITEC platform, and we understand how the pieces fit together. We had some strategy discussions with VITEC on how many inputs and we got to where the sweet spot was for us to maximise our return for what we were buying.”
“Just like anything with VITEC, it has been simple. I think the hardest issue we had was lining up 25 TV displays! The installation was straightforward; we did a parallel project to put in a VITEC channel encoder chassis which created more in-house channels than we previously had. Historically, we could only encode 4 internal channels, and now we can encode 24.”
With the large videowall and ability to display multiple streams afforded by the installation, the KC Royals team can show an array of content in a dynamic way to engage fans. “The new display allows us to put up to 10 different pieces of content across that footprint,” adds Brian. “We have live footage of the game displayed from a real time Brian Himstedt, Vice President of Technology and Business Analytics, KCR Just like anything with VITEC, it has been simple. I think the hardest issue we had was lining up 25 TV displays! The installation was straightforward; we did a parallel project to put in a VITEC channel encoder chassis which created more in-house channels than we previously had. Historically, we could only encode 4 internal channels, and now we can encode 24. broadcast feed. We’re also putting up any parallel sporting events going on at the same time – such as NBA, NHL, NFL or other baseball games. We also show a stream of the scoreboard, which you can’t see easily from that bar area. So, that gives the opportunity to show a lot of stats, and show some of the dynamic presentations that happen on the scoreboard. The videowall is also an asset that we position as available footprint for sponsors as we do with our existing IPTV system.” Multiple streams from the MLB can also be used in creative ways, such as showcasing isolated close-up streams of the batter and the pitcher, while also showing other broader angles of the field at the same timeframe for different perspectives.
With the videowall installation complete, anyone who has a ticket for the event is welcome to visit the sports bar. “It has definitely increased traffic in the bar,” adds Brian. “People can see it as they walk by, so it helps us from a food and beverage consumption standpoint. The other thing is it just makes that bar space more engaging. Previously, there was the possibility to look out and see a little bit of the field, and we had some smaller TVs that people could see the game on, but nothing nearly as dynamic as this. It creates a different mood in there, people are more connected to the event out on the field, and there’s more engagement in the bar.”
The KC Royals team also has plans to continually update the content throughout the seasons to ensure that fans remain engaged in the space. Should a sports betting bill be approved in Missouri, there are also plans to provide more statistical content in the bar area to suit this purpose. “We originally got set on one layout that we liked, but we’ll probably update that so that it looks new and fresh from game to game. To do so takes a little bit of refinement – you can get in to tweak one pixel here, one pixel there – then it’s literally one click of a button and the layout changes. Some people that come to games just want places to have a drink and have an entertaining experience with friends. We’re especially keen to attract a younger, more dynamic crowd, and we feel this will help.”
Combining IPTV distribution with powerful digital signage capabilities
- Comprehensive IPTV and digital signage capabilities from a single platform
- Broadcast-quality, low latency HD streaming to any display
- Affordable, rugged, compact, PoE enabled end points with ASIC-based video decoder
- Automatically updating electronic program guide for premium-level luxury suite TVs
- No reoccurring expenses (OPEX) or annual licenses to manage
VITEC’s World-Class IPTV and Digital Signage Platform Powers New Content…
Powering New Content Experiences
VITEC's IPTV and Digital Signage Platform has enabled us to connect every layer of our organization - from our staff, administrators, coaches, players, and fans - with leading-class technology that allows every stream of content to be reliably delivered with low latency, high quality, and create an amazing user experience at each screen.
— John Penhollow
Vice President, Corporate & Technology Partnership
VITEC’s EZ TV IPTV and Digital Signage Platform Delivers Unprecedented User…
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Chief Technology Officer
VITEC IP video extends fan engagement at The Open championship.
“We chose Exterity a number of years ago when we needed a robust IP video solution that adapted to the particular environment of live events. As our clients continue to grow, it was crucial for us that our provider remained ahead of the curve, which is a strong USP for Exterity. Having Sky now delivering the tournament in HD has proved a great opportunity to extend the onsite video capabilities along with new end-to-end HDCP encryption to ensure the security of all content for the rights holder.”
VITEC IP Video Solution Creates Immersive In-Stadium Experience for TSG 1899…
"TSG 1899 Hoffenheim wanted an in-stadium experience to match the high-quality football being played on the pitch. Video is playing a fundamental role in transforming the fan experience during live events, and we are delighted that our IP video solution will deliver high-quality video streaming to many football fans.”