Harris To Power the Magic’s Orlando Events Center

by Carolyn Braff

On Oct. 10, 2010, the Orlando Magic will open the doors of their new home, the Orlando Events Center, and the team is leaning on Harris (NAB Booth N2502) to ensure that the building is the most technologically advanced arena ever constructed. Powered by a broadcast and IT advanced media workflow, the center will feature 1,100 digital-signage displays, so the team can customize the fan experience by location.

“What we’re endeavoring to do with the Magic is to personalize each suite, each concession stand, each entrance to the building, to really individualize the fan experience,” explains Brian Cabaceiras, Harris VP of strategic marketing and technology. “By putting in a broadcast distributing system, we can have a much greater impact on the fan experience.”

Harris’s high-definition video-production and -distribution and IPTV system will enable the Magic to feed the 1,100 individual displays with replays, highlights, local messaging, and advertising, targeting content by location. The displays will be placed in suites, throughout the arena concourses, in Interactive Fan Zones in the arena lobby, and in parking-garage entrances.

“For our corporate partners, we can provide a targeted messaging system to different demographics,” says Alex Martins, COO of the Magic. “Pepsi, for example, can send one message within premium areas of the building — suites and club areas — at the same time they are providing a Pepsi message on the main concourse. They have complete exclusivity in the building overall but are sending a targeted message to different demographic groups within the building.”

Harris will design, manage, and support the IT infrastructure to streamline file-based workflows within the building. An on-SAN editing system will provide shared access to content, so editors can quickly ingest and edit video to create the highlights that will run on those 1,100 screens. Harris HD/SD servers with internal up-/down-conversion capability will provide content storage and playback in any format or aspect ratio. Near-line storage will give the Magic easy access to an entire content archive, and a broadcast-quality–graphics solution will provide the tools to display 3D graphics in the arena.

Harris is outfitting the facility with a control room equipped with signal processing, routing, networking, and fiber-optics gear to monitor signal flow throughout the arena. An array of multiviewers and remote monitoring will give operators in the control room direct access to content running anywhere on the system.

“This type of system,” Martins says, “provides a level of fan interactivity, fan amenity, and fan information that is really not available in any other sports and entrainment facility around the world.”