The Open: Exterity Enhances Fan Experience with Best-In-Class Video Solutions
Exterity and C3i Group are again distributing secure sports video solutions and connectivity services including to the mobile device zone at The Open major golf tournament event held at Royal Troon in Scotland specifically for media rooms and hospitality village tents allowing journalists and attendees real-time access to live streaming content of a one-of-a-kind digital sports tech experience for those not able to watch play on the historical Scottish course founded in 1878. The 145th Open Championship over the next four-days begins today and features 450 display points throughout the entire course including a 36 meter LED big screen. The Sports Techie community blog chatted with Colin Farquhar, CEO at Exterity, about the British Open technology collaboration required to install and manage the complex sport environment and data for enterprise class IP video solutions and infrastructure, as well as live, on-demand and recorded video, plus their managed media player and network designed for challenging and temporary environments in Europe and worldwide. Can Phil Mickelson stay atop the leaderboard day two after shooting a majors record tying 63 day one? Follow media outlets powered by the collaboration between Exterity and C3i to find out.
Exterity and C3I Group Reinforce Partnership
The importance of golf video streams for the press and spectators is paramount to The Open’s success at Royal Troon so hiring Farquhar and his team at Exterity in addition to StreamForce channel program Premier partner C3i for protocol management, support for on-course infrastructure and the challenges incurred to install and distribute video streaming services for golf tournaments (scale, connectivity, picture quality etc.) from an experienced technologically savvy Scotsman makes good business sense. He played as a wee lad but finds it hard to carve out time to practice and play golf lately.
Jason Hall, Managing Director at C3i Group said: “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. In addition, as an Exterity StreamForce channel program Premier partner, we have consistently received valuable support over the years, enabling us to continue to deliver the best of IP video to our clients.”
Together, the companies first installed a video streaming system for The Open in 2010. Their five year agreement runs through 2021. Both companies will extend their collaboration to provide the The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) with best in class IP video solutions and connectivity during large-scale tournaments such as The Open in Scotland, the upcoming Walker Cup in Los Angeles from September 9-10 and various amateur golf tournaments.
Royal Troon Temporary Media And Hospitality Installation
Increase demand in recent years for broadcast quality content feeds that are constantly monitored and checked at tournaments required an updated system deployed for The Open providing digital coverage to all media and hospitality suites as well enabling those inside patrons pavilion the ability to view golfing performances.
This combination of over 400 displays, the 36m LED video wall in the media center and set-top boxes for live streaming needs around the course delivers real-time feeds to on-site broadcasters, such as BBC, ESPN and TV Asahi, a truly impressive technological IP feat.
The Open will add coverage from NBC and Sky Sports in 2016, enabling each on-site broadcaster to stream live feeds from European Tour Productions, the official world video feed provider, alongside each broadcaster’s content, social feeds and statistical graphics throughout the event.
Should the weather take a turn for the worse or a terror situation happen, the Exterity system is setup to deliver health and safety messages to ensure that critical information can be disseminated quickly.
Colin Farquhar, CEO at Exterity, said: “Video coverage has become an integral part of the fan experience during live events, and we’re proud to be working with C3i Group to ensure high quality video streaming at events of the calibre of The Open or The Walker Cup. As an Exterity StreamForce program Premier partner, C3i Group has consistently shown an impressive capacity to easily and seamlessly deploy temporary installations for large-scale and complex events. We are already extending our collaboration by providing an on-site managed service alongside the C3i Group team to ensure that the delivery of the solution remains seamless and to the utmost standard. This way, fans will feel even more immersed in the golfing action.”
Since 2001, Exterity has been designing, developing and manufacturing technically innovative products that deliver networked video and digital signage over IP to some of the leading organizations across the globe. Exterity solutions enable the distribution of HD quality TV and video over enterprise IP networks to an unlimited number of end points, supporting large volumes of content and receiving devices without compromising system performance or availability.
- Deployed in over 40 countries
- Robust, scalable IPTV and digital signage solutions for organizations of any size and across any sector
- Unique industry-leading features and market specific application
Headquartered in Scotland UK, they extend their global reach through offices in Atlanta, London, Paris, Munich, Melbourne, Dubai, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. Localized knowledge and expertise is enhanced through the Exterity StreamForce program of credible, technically innovative partners, plus an extensive network of in-country resellers and distributors.
ABOUT C3i GROUP:
C3i Group operates a fully-managed hub service of digital communication across the globe, which controls many simultaneously moving elements including Audio Visual, I.T, Network Infrastructure, Production and Broadcast services. Their powerful, multilayered service comes from the four branches of our evolving C3i Group: C3i Events, C3i Productions, C3i Hires and C3i Tech.
Sports Techie, Farquhar discussed how the golf industry is embracing video, the signage elements provided by partner C3i and the scale needed to get all devices connected via IP. Video conversion happens via transcode through the wireless infrastructure solution. Video distribution requirements across platforms in a network environment that is closed prevents content hacking because of encryption and security tech. He mentioned this is the largest installation of its type to mobile devices over the closed wireless network.
First, installation, configuration and setup occurred over the past several weeks and months making sure video streams are reliable by testing across the entire Royal Troon course. Next, daily monitoring and support happened in anticipation of requests for additional displays, poor weather issues and other troubleshooting needs. Finally, post-event, Farquhar and his highly skilled employees with lots of media and event experiences, breakdown The Open and plan for next year.
Because of the recent explosion of virtual reality and augmented reality through mobile devices and TV, Farquhar told me to look for the integration of those technologies at the event as soon as next year.
Those of you at the event that play fantasy golf will enjoy the media zone scale, hospitality suites infrastructure and real-time scoring updates on your smartphone apps.
My son is one-fourth Scottish and just played his first round of putt-putt mini golf, perhaps one day we can attend The Open together.
Media members, premium and VIP ticket holders, and broadcasters, if you have a request for a channel change or other video related necessities, Exterity and C3i are ready to serve you at The Open.
See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.
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