Arsenal Football Club has appointed Sony as its technology supplier to equip its new Emirates Stadium in Islington, London and help make it the first HD capable stadium in Europe
Due to open in August 2006 and expected to host one million fans per season, the spec has seen Arsenal place HD functionality and networking capability at the heart of its nascent communications network. As part of the deal, Sony Professional Services Europe and systems integrator, Venue Solutions, will provide the following:
Digital Signage: 439 screens will be sited in the general concourse, Club Level areas and executive boxes. Marketing managers will utilise Sony's Ziris content creation and management software to bring high quality tailored messages to targeted audiences, ensuring that Arsenal can control and manage every aspect of its screen-based communications network.
All screens throughout the stadium will be able to handle HD Images.
Live content production will be performed in an HD production gallery, which then feeds content to the large screen displays, the general concourse, Club Level areas and executive box screens.
For the general concourse, Club Level areas and executive box screens, HD content will be encoded to an MPEG4 (H264/AVC) stream that will then be relayed directly to each display over the stadium network infrastructure. To enable this design, Sony has created HD streaming receiver cards which are directly installed into each display.
Paul Hennessy, director Sony Professional Solutions UK, stated: "Sony believes that HD quality should be enjoyed and experienced by everyone and we are delighted that for the first time millions of people from all around the world will be able to watch their favourite game in the best quality ever thanks to Arsenal's investment."
Sony's Professional Services Team will manage the deployment of the HD equipment, which started in October 2005, and is expected to be completed by July 2006.