Ross Video Partners With Ottawa Senators To Drive Bell HD Screen

If this year’s NHL All-Star Fan Voting is any indication, the Ottawa Senators boast a passionate fan base dedicated to seeing their team take the ice in the capital city’s first All Star Game. On Saturday Jan. 29, Scotiabank Place will host the 2012 Tim Horton’s All-Star Game, welcoming four familiar faces to the ice: Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, and top vote-getter Erik Karlsson.

The new Bell HD Screen offers more than 2,170 ft. of viewing space at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

This season, the Senators have rewarded their fans with a new, state-of-the-art video board and a commitment to upgrade to HD. To accomplish the technological transition, the Ottawa Senators have named Ross Video the Official Video Production Technology Supplier.

Ottawa-based Ross Video will supply the behind-the-scenes video-production gear that will drive HD video to the new Bell HD Screen at Scotiabank Place.

“We are very proud and excited to enter this partnership with the Ottawa Senators,” says Ross Video CEO David Ross. “Partnering with our hometown team to bring the latest technology to enhance the game-day experience at Scotiabank Place will benefit the Senators, Ross Video, and, most important, the fans that attend events at Scotiabank Place.”

Partner in the Control Room, Fan in the Stands
Ross Video’s partnership with the Ottawa Senators began in 2003, when the arena (then known as the Corel Centre) transitioned from analog to digital.

“We felt strongly that we wanted to have a partnership with them,” says Steve Romain, director, global sports marketing and business development, for Ross Video, “and, being our hometown team, we wanted to make sure things were done in a reasonable manner. [The team] put in a fair amount of Ross technology at that point: our old Synergy Series switchers, our Kondor router, and Ross terminal gear. Through the years, we’ve been a season-ticket holder, a supporter of them, and a technological partner.”

When the conversation turned to replacing the scoreboard and transitioning to HD prior to last season, Ross Video expressed an interest in becoming more involved in the partnership. This past offseason, the two partners formulated a plan to overhaul the Scotiabank Place control room.

Ross Video will supply the state-of-the-art HD-video production-control room with a Vision 4 multidefinition video-production switcher; XPression 3D character generator and motion-graphics system, which will enable the Senators to tie into the NHL’s statistics; SoftMetal video server; NK Series routing system; and openGear terminal equipment.

Ross Video’s equipment will be installed in early March, at which point Ross Video, system integrator Blackwater Integration, and the Ottawa Senators will engage in a logistical balancing act in executing the midseason turnover.

According to Romain, Ross Video is training Senators personnel on the new HD equipment at the supplier’s R&D facility in Ottawa.

Sens Score With Video Board
The Ottawa Senators debuted the Bell HD Screen on Dec. 27 after a feverish, five-day midseason installation. With four 16- x 21-ft. HD LED video boards, the Bell HD Screen offers more than 2,170 ft. of viewing space and nine times the resolution of the previous video board. Ring-shaped LED viewing surfaces are affixed to the top and bottom of the video board, for a total of six viewing displays. The total display surface of the Bell HD Screen provides more than a 700% increase in overall LED display space.

The new center-hung scoreboard was designed by and procured through Anthony James Partners and installed by Panasonic.

When hockey fans flock to Scotiabank Place this weekend for the NHL’s annual talent showcase, the video boards will display an upconverted SD signal. For Ottawa Senators fans, the video-board upgrade is already a success.

“It’s an amazing increase in capabilities,” says Romain. “The physical size is a huge difference; the brightness is a huge difference. It’s going to be really exciting to run real high-definition 1080i signals at that thing, and I’m sure it’s going to look amazing once that’s done. It really looks great, [and] it’ll look even better once the new [control room] is in place.”