Grass Valley 4K Gear Plays Key Role at Sacramento Kings’ Golden 1 Center

In addition to Grass Valley 4K gear, the Kings and Xperiel launched a new Photo in the Plaza fan engagement effort

The new half-billion-dollar venue that is home to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings opened last fall as one of the nation’s most advanced facilities for sports, events and entertainment. The Golden 1 Center was designed to cater to the desires of fans and offers an immersive experience based on the latest broadcast and replay capabilities managed by a massive network infrastructure. Grass Valley (a Belden Brand) was instrumental in providing the necessary camera, replay, production switching, routing, multiviewer and signal processing technology to achieve the ambitious goals set by owners.

Partnering with broadcast and systems integrator Diversified, the project team delivered an enhanced fan experience that takes the game-going thrill to the next level. One of the centerpieces of the new facility is a giant 4K/UHD video board that is more than 84 feet long, running nearly the entire distance from baseline to baseline. For attendees, replay is an essential part of the experience and an opportunity for the host facility to impress. To capture and produce the 4K content that drives the board, the Kings evaluated the options and chose Grass Valley because of its integrated solutions, proven reliability and ease of use.

“The most important thing for us was that we were not willing to make any compromise,” says Brian Plumb, senior director of A/V and production for the Sacramento Kings. “We had a pretty specific idea of what we wanted and we met with a few different suppliers to see how we could make it work. Grass Valley understood our vision and had the right components to make it happen. We’ve been thrilled with the way it all turned out.”

The action on the court is captured with six LDX 86 cameras—four of which are equipped with a perpetual GV eLicense for 4K—with one of the cameras providing a reverse-angle feed. Multiple K2 Dynos with the DynoZoom 4K/UHD option and a K2 Summit 3G 4-channel HD/SD server handle replays. All content is punched through the versatile Karrera K-Frame switcher, driving the 4K production, while several NVISION series routers paired with Kaleido multiviewers help to manage and move the content throughout the control room and facility.

Plumb and his team continue to refine the process and are looking at a transition to 2SI 4K, which the Karrera switcher will support, to free up more of the M/Es that are now handling 4K conversion. He is also looking at IP routing in the future to get the benefit of going from 4 wire to 1 wire, and has already begun investigating options for introducing VR into the process.

“Our operators love the easy workflow and file management of the K2 Dynos for replay; we just drop the clips into a common folder and everyone has access. Fans won’t miss any of the action with this replay setup. Everything about this arena is state-of-the-art, so the pressure was on for the broadcast capabilities. With this setup and the support of Grass Valley, we are confident that we’ll have no trouble keeping up with the demands,” added Plumb.

Belden worked in partnership with Grass Valley to supply mission-critical production cabling for the Golden 1 Center. Simple termination helped installation go smoothly to keep the major project on track. A complete broadcast solution, including armored fiber, racks, wire management and custom assemblies, was designed to ensure signal integrity and maximum reliability while providing resistance to cutting and crushing to prevent downtime or unplanned outages.

The Golden 1 Center is home to much more than just the Sacramento Kings games. The owners are positioning it as a premier event center with the capability to offer video presentation for any occasion, from sports and entertainment to business and education.

“The arena market is increasingly competitive, with cities looking for technology that can differentiate their facilities to draw consumers in for events,” says Tony Gaston, strategic account manager for stadiums and venues, Grass Valley. “We remind our customers that it’s important to not only prepare for today, but to look to the future and choose a solution that will grow and respond as needed. Our integrated portfolio makes it easy to upgrade and adapt.”

Kings, Experial Partner to Display Fan Photos at Golden 1 Center Entrance
In other Golden 1 Center technology news, the Kings and Xperiel have launched of a new fan experience and engagement innovation — Photo in the Plaza — for fans during the team’s Sixth Man Celebration at the final home game of the 2016-17 season at Golden 1 Center. Using the Kings + Golden 1 Center app, fans can submit photos to be displayed on the arena’s custom 25 foot vertical video screens at the Grand Entrance.

“Technology allows us to create unique opportunities for our fans and make memorable experiences,” says Kings Chief Technology Officer Ryan Montoya. “By connecting fans to the arena’s advanced features through our app and providing a hyper-personalized way to welcome them to the arena, we’re changing the way teams look at technology, while leaving our fans with an enhanced experience – even before tip-off.”

To participate in “Photo in the Plaza,” fans can take or upload a photo of their choice by visiting the “Fan Zone” section within theKings + Golden 1 Center app. Submitted and approved photos will be placed in a live queue to be displayed on the Golden 1 Center external video screens. As fans arrive in the plaza near the Grand Entrance, their app will serve as a remote control to the arena and trigger advanced BLE beacons. The screens will continuously update with new photos as fans arrive at the arena, welcoming them to the game on Tuesday, April 11. Future Kings games and arena events like concerts and family shows can feature Photo in the Plaza integration.

“There is a density of technology that you can only find in sports arenas and stadiums, like Golden 1 Center. We are moving away from the idea that an app should run only on a mobile device and instead embracing the fact that it can run throughout an entire arena,” said Alex Hertel, CEO of Xperiel. “This thinking puts the Kings fan experience not only in their hands, but also up on the big screen, part of ticket sales, ticket scans, etc. With Xperiel, the whole arena becomes a device that provides experiences.”

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