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Milwaukee Brewers Set To Debut Two Videoboards, 1080p Control Room on Opening Day

21/02/2024

Milwaukee Brewers Set To Debut Two Videoboards, 1080p Control Room on Opening Day Alpha leads the systems-integration process; ANC provides new LED displays By Kristian Hern ndez, Senior Editor

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 7:00 am

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As multiple Major League Baseball clubs look to upgrade their facilities heading into the 2024 season, the Milwaukee Brewers is doubling up with not only two videoboards in the outfield but also a leap in broadcast technology with a new 1080p control room at American Family Field. ANC is providing the LED structures, and, doing the heavy lifting to sync the new workflows to these main video displays, is Alpha at the center of the project.

[The project] is moving along quite well, as expected, says Darren Whitten, senior account executive, sports and live events, Alpha. We're starting to get into a lot of the commissioning and training right now. [The crew is] really stoked about some of the things they're going to be able to do.

A Jump in Tech: Club Transitions from 720p to 1080p The previous videoboard at American Family Field, home of the Milwaukee Brewers

Before a ball is even pitched, the Brewers have already picked up a technological win by jumping from 720p to 1080p. More than a decade ago, the club installed a new scoreboard prior to the 2011 season. With HD workflows having been introduced at the turn of the 21st century, the organization went full bore on the technology by introducing the LED display in 720p. Shifting now to 1080p, once a novelty, will distribute higher-quality video and allow a higher tier of creative video. Although many in sports-video production - both with networks and at professional venues - are opting to go down the IP path, the Brewers decided to stick with a production space run on traditional baseband.

It's definitely an upgrade for them with SDR capabilities, says Whitten. We've helped tie in their preexisting Ross Acuity switcher with the rest of the control room.

A rendering of the new outfield LEDs at American Family Field

As Alpha focuses on completing the Brewers' project, the busy offseason has the systems integrator involved in other builds as well. Nearly 800 miles away on the East Coast, Nationals Park - home of the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals - is undergoing its share of renovations, including a new videoboard and upgraded control-room workflows implemented with the help of Alpha. With Whitten as one of the project leads, along with Alpha Project Manager Rod Dombroski and Broadcast Systems Design Engineer Ben Pfeifer, the company has been able to navigate simultaneous projects while not prioritizing one over the other. Having control rooms running at 1080p at both American Family Field and Nationals Park has helped the company streamline operations.

It's almost rinse and repeat, Whitten says. To a certain extent, [two projects in the same offseason] isn't very stressful.

Games will be captured by Sony HDC-3200 and HDC-3500 cameras with Canon UJ111x8.3B lenses.

On the tech front, the Brewers' control room is based on an Evertz SDI routing core, with EQX 198 198 3G routing; two operators running Evertz DreamCatcher replay with 12 1080p inputs, four 1080p outputs, and Clip Playback; Ross XPression Graphics for a new graphics package created by ANC Studios; Evertz Scorpion IP gateways and frame syncs; and Riedel Matrix Intercom and Bolero Wireless for internal communications. Additional features include Evertz closed captioning, Telestream's Lightspeed Transcode System, furnishings by Forecast Consoles, and KVM from Adder Technology. Outside the control room, the in-venue show relies on Sony HDC-3200 and HDC-3500 cameras with Canon UJ111x8.3B lenses and Wave Central RF connectivity.

in-Venue Show: Two New ANC LEDs Headline Structural Upgrades The 1080p control room will be connected via traditional baseband.

When fans walk through the turnstiles of American Family Field for one of the club's 81 home games, they will be greeted by two new videoboards in the outfield. Alpha worked closely with video-display manufacturer ANC to sync up the LEDs to the new control room. On the ground, Whitten and ANC Senior Project Manager Jesse Vellucci continued to forge the partnership.

Past the outfield wall, two 8-mm displays headline a new centerfield main display measuring more than 12,077 sq. ft., twice the size of the previous structure. Other LED fixtures include 4-mm home-plate and base-line displays, which have become common at brand-new stadiums, such as Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX.

In addition to the main project, ANC tapped the services of Alpha to finish the new content-management system (CMS) that the in-venue team will use to fire these displays. [ANC] already had the CMS scope under their videoboard project, notes Whitten. But, when they didn't have the bandwidth or time to take care of it, they asked if we could handle it. It made sense for us to do it as a subcontractor.

The CMS comprises a Ross Ultrix FR12 router, three Ross Carbonite Ultra switchers, seven Tessera nodes, and an Xpression Tessera design station.

A Time for Learning: In Offseason, Production Team Gets Familiar With New Workflows The rack room at Milwaukee's American Family Field

When new technologies are rolled into a brand-new space, it's imperative to use time in the offseason to bring staffers up to speed. Finding the delicate balance of teaching the crew a new way of working while finishing the project is difficult, but, with the guidance of Milwaukee Brewers VP, Information Technology, Derek Hyde; Senior Director, Scoreboard Operations, Deron Anderson; and Senior Manager, Broadcast and Audio Video Systems, Mark Roberts, the club will be in a good spot by Opening Day on April 2 agains
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/02/21/milwaukee-brewers-set-to-debut-...
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