Video Signage at Cowboys Stadium
Jun 14, 2012 10:18 AM, With Bennett Liles
And just getting the video signal to that many places over such long distances is a big job so why did you decide on the Gefen DVI and USB fiber-optic extenders. That’s a very competitive field so had you used those before?
It’s a very competitive field and there are other vendors. Gefen has always worked with us very, very closely and that’s been important when we first was starting out there was lots of things we didn’t know and we had no expertise in and when we went to Gefen they explained their products and they allowed us to do things that we formerly could not have done, the extension of everything from keyboards, mics to signals to processors has all become longer, more complicated and more vital. A lot of teams today are putting their computers behind walls in other rooms and just want the control areas to be in a completely separate area. With that kind of complexity you then need to come up with devices that will actually separate those signals and allow you to also see exactly what you would if that PC monitor were in a traditional set up and Gefen really comes through for us.
And you were using the Gefen KVM matrix switchers to make that happen, too.
Yes and that’s part of our back up system too which is important. When we have failures our system is able to use switch over to another computer and instantly takeover. That’s important and as you can imagine really failure’s not an option when you’re at the Cowboys.
On these live sports broadcasts there’s a lot going on and there’s a lot at stake so you’ve gotta have a good backup for everything.
Yes you do.
Everybody who has seen televised games there is curious about this. That huge scoreboard display that hangs over the middle of the field. Have you been inside that thing?
No, I wish I had. This is what I can tell you, I have seen it on the ground, I have been able to walk up to it when it was on the ground and look up into it but I was never in it. All I’m going to say is its vast and when you’re underneath it you feel very small.
I saw the pictures taken during the installation when they were about to lift it and it was like hoisting a battleship up to the top of the stadium. What a monumental job just getting that thing up there without damaging something.
One thing I want to say that’s interesting is when Mitsubishi was designing this board and everything about it was a first, it was interesting just hearing about some of their discussion about how to weight the cranes and to pre-weight the actual board so that way the mantle would be bowed in the correct degrees so that they could put the faceplates on the boards and everything would stay structurally sound but more importantly not move so that they are misaligned modules and because of the grandeur of the board you can imagine some of the complexities of the simplest problems that we’ve taken for granted because we’ve done many, many times over now become more complicated. So just weighing down the board before lifting was more challenging.
Just like pulling a huge multi-ton puzzle to the roof and hoping that all the pieces stay in place while it gets up there.
Everybody knows the stadium’s been there for a while. It wasn’t a right off the floor new construction so were you working with existing cabling, putting in all new lines or a mix of both?
Well it was brand new construction and the truth is we were working with many different vendors. We were working with some of the Mitsubishi vendors, some of our own vendors and subcontractors to bring in to do wiring so the cable runs were done by many different vendors and the reason is, and you can probably appreciate this, there were some runs that were made for different reasons and multi-purposed. When you’re building something this complicated as this building a lot of your decisions get changed along the way to compromise with other peoples plans.
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