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University of Maryland Debuts Giant Football Videoboard, Christens Three Control Rooms in Program-Wide Video Upgrade

20/10/2021

University of Maryland Debuts Giant Football Videoboard, Christens Three Control Rooms in Program-Wide Video Upgrade Daktronics, RCI Systems, multiple vendors are critical to the major facility upgrade By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 3:05 pm

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Surreal. It's the only way to describe when, on that clear Oct. 1 night, TerpVision, the University of Maryland athletic department's broadcast and production unit, first fired up its brand-new videoboards and sound system at a packed Capital One Field.

The University of Maryland football team was hosting Iowa in a nationally televised game on a Friday night, and fans were getting their first look at the largest videoboard in the Big Ten Conference.

Introduced this month, the University of Maryland's HDR videoboard at Capital One Field is 6,532 sq. ft., the ninth-largest videoboard in college football and the largest in the Big Ten Conference. (All photos: University of Maryland Athletics)

It was surreal, says Josh Clayton, Assistant AD, TerpVision and Video Operations for the University of Maryland. We started this project more than four years ago and [Athletic Director] Damon [Evans] made it clear that he wanted us to be the best.

A significant upgrade over its predecessor in both size and image quality, the 120- x 54-ft. (3,600 1,620 pixels) display towers over the west end zone by a whopping 6,532 sq. ft. and projects images in 1080p and high dynamic range (HDR).

In terms of being the best, the Terps are certainly putting their money where their mouth is. The two new videoboards at Capital One Field are just the latest stroke in a multi-year effort to elevate the Maryland Athletics brand.

Over a seven-year stretch, the Terps have redone the centerhung videoboard at XFINITY Center (the school's basketball arena, which is also used for gymnastics and other major university events), put in connectivity infrastructure at their Field Hockey/Lacrosse Complex and Ludwig Field (men's and women's soccer), and are putting the finishing touches on a broadcast-operations center featuring three new control rooms to support in-venue videoboard and live-broadcast operations.

It is here Enjoy #TerpFam pic.twitter.com/luWtV0KC0e

Damon Evans (@Evans_TerpsAD) October 1, 2021

Although that big, bright behemoth behind the end zone might be the current conversation-starter, the Terps have set themselves up technologically for the future.

We took this as, How big can we be? How bright can we get? says Clayton. What can we do to instill Maryland Pride in what we're doing?

Videoboard Joins a Short List of College Screens With HDR The big videoboard at Capital One Field takes its place as one of only a handful of college football stadiums to feature videoboards with high dynamic range (HDR). Autzen Stadium at University of Oregon, Ross-Ade Stadium at Purdue, and Bryant-Denny Stadium at the University of Alabama come to mind. Maryland's also is the ninth-largest in all of college football.

A second new videoboard at Capital One Field is 34 x 18 ft. and replaces a 20-year-old screen.

And it's also not the only new big screen in the building. At the east end of the stadium, TerpVision made a like-for-like swap in size of the videoboard, while upgrading to 1080p HDR. The screen is 34- x 18-ft. and replaces a screen that was nearly 20 years old. Both boards were designed and built by Daktronics and feature a 10-mm pitch and 8,000-nits brightness.

The decision to go HDR wasn't one that the TerpVision team originally expected to pursue. In fact, four or five years ago, the initial plans considered going 4K. However, with no 4K endpoint deliveries anywhere on the horizon and the steep cost of building a facility of that nature, the group determined that HDR offered a substantial upgrade over current in-venue screens and contributed the flexibility to boost live-broadcast production as well.

It wasn't without its challenges, however. Not many schools have gone through the process of integrating HDR screens, and there's a lot of figure it out as you go to adopting the format. Clayton notes that locking in the ideal settings was a lengthy process, adding that it took more than 30 hours to perfect the colors on the videoboards prior to their public debut.

As my dad would say I'm his deep New York accent It's YUUUUUUUGE! #GoTerps pic.twitter.com/lLnmGxWtDU

Jason Yellin (@JasonYellin) October 1, 2021

In addition to the visuals, the school also gave a much-needed upgrade to its audio system, which Clayton acknowledged had drawn the ire of many fans. Crews installed 107 additional speakers in the stadium, including 42 in an array above the big new videoboard. That array includes 16 Fulcrum Acoustic Sub218L direct-radiating subwoofers, 22 JBL VLA301Hi-WRX loudspeakers, three Fulcrum AH463 coaxial horn loudspeakers, and a Fulcrum AH96 coaxial horn loudspeaker.

According to Clayton, the boards and the sound system received rave reviews following that first game on Oct. 1.

To hear back all of the positive news from the fans was great, he said following the game. It really hits you what you just built. It works, and it looks amazing.

The Mothership: Three Control Rooms Anchor Campus-Wide Effort The new videoboards may be the eye candy, but they're only a small piece of the TerpVision program-wide upgrade, which includes the opening of a broadcast-operations center featuring three control rooms within the XFINITY Center.

One of two mirrored primary control rooms, which are mostly tasked with supporting in-venue videoboard shows. The control rooms are fibered to five venues on campus, including Capital One Field and the XFINITY Center. Note: At the time of this photo, the room was not yet complet
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2021/10/20/university-of-maryland-debuts-g...
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