The Mercedes-Benz Arena, home of VfB Stuttgart, is currently turning into one of the most modern and imposing sports facilities in Germany, with space for 60,000 spectators. As part of its modernisation, VfB Stuttgart is now using a combination of IPTV and digital signage as a flexible information system.
Over 105 LCD flatscreens have been installed in the 21 business boxes, in the event boxes, in the Fan-Treff meeting point and in the large SoccerLounge. Initially, a pure IPTV television system was required to transmit the stadium’s internal live broadcast signals and also external television programmes in HD and SD on the displays. In addition, the screens needed to be able to show digital signage, i.e. advertising, information and sponsorship content, as the demands placed on the screen output vary greatly depending on the event.
The VIP boxes allow an even more intensive football experience with the IPTV capabilities. In combination with the digital signage system, individual boxes can receive their own branding and own channels. A unique feature in the Mercedes-Benz Arena is that the VIP guests in the boxes can choose to access TV channels over the digital signage players by using a remote control. The digital signage content which is normally predefined by the signage system can be controlled and switched locally, so that the VIP guests can freely select and display TV and video streams.
On match-free days, these stadium areas and the screens are used for other events; training sessions, conferences and workshops, where a TV connection, live video presentation and digital signage is often required. The television and information system enables several different applications and scenarios, all centrally controllable from several workstations.
The input and network transmission of the television channels and stadium broadcast signals is being undertaken by an IPTV headend from Teracue. Four DVB-to-IP gateways from the DMM-140 series are being used for live streaming of the public broadcasting and private television stations (DVB-C to IP network stream conversion). In total 14 channels are continually available and can be played at any time on LCD screens, as a full screen or as a scaled video window next to other text, image or ticker content. The feed-in of the EnBW-FanTV signal produced in the stadium and the streaming of a further HD TV station is being undertaken by the H.264 encoder hardware ENC-300-HDSDI and ENC-300-DVI/HDMI by Teracue.
To generate and distribute all of the digital signage content, the digital-composer™ by German company Trinity Solutions is used. The LCD screens are connected to the signPlayer PCs via HDMI. A total of 55 signPlayers drive the 105 screens. Data transmission takes place completely through a conventional CAT cable, which is safeguarded against malfunction by an additional link. Extensive video and optical fibre cabling is not necessary.
The installation at VfB Stuttgart was achieved successfully through the close co-operation and partnership of Trinity Solutions and Teracue AG. In Trinity Solutions’ digital-composer™, the playback of HD live streams has been an important part of this installation, so that the digital signage system can also be used as a pure television system – with local and central/peripheral remote control. The connection of the inner-city VfB City-Shop to the IPTV and digital signage system is already planned.
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