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CASE STUDY: Pala Casino Resort and Spa, California

Pala Casino Resort and Spa had a PC-based video multicast solution that was limited to 480p content, and a rash of reliability issues was brought about by overheating PCs, dust-clogged fans, and pesky Windows errors. To revamp the way it distributes video content throughout its facility, it chose Red Dot Digital Media to spearhead a massive overhaul of its network. Its goal was to create a custom network comprised of 75 endpoints, driven by a constellation of BrightSign media players.

“The change most noticeable to casino guests is that we’ve upgraded our content from 480p to 1080p, but the most impressive achievement of this project is what’s happening behind the scenes,” said Alex Ponomarev, media services manager at Pala Casino. “We have a remarkably complex array of video channels, and now we’re able to distribute that content with ease, thanks in large part to our partners at Red Dot and BrightSign.”

The first phase of the project placed a pair of BrightSign’s media players—an XD1132 and a 4K1142—in Pala Casino’s DPU room. Sourcing content from an existing bank of servers, BrightSign’s players select and distribute content from an array of 17 custom-designed video channels. The BrightSign 4K1142 pulls content from a selection of cable boxes and other sources, and outputs the content over HDMI to the XD1132, which in turn distributes to players at the end-point displays.

The project’s second phase followed a similar workflow, this time driven by a pair of BrightSign’s XT1143 players at the channel level, with one of them pushing content to 75 LS423 players as the end-points behind each of the displays.

In both cases, content is loaded onto a front-end player, which then pushes to the secondary player via HDMI. The secondary BrightSign player then encodes and streams the content to each of the LS423 players connected to displays located throughout the casino.

“Working closely with Pala Casino’s IT and marketing departments, we architected a two-phase approach intended to minimize disruption and distribute the investment over the course of several months,” said Darryl Kuder, Red Dot president. “In addition to the original design, Red Dot handled the installation, setup, and configuration of players, and delivery of a high-quality multicast system that enables Pala Casino to easily control its very complex content schedule.”

Distributing and scheduling content from 17 video channels to a network of 75 displays required extensive custom coding. Red Dot worked closely with BrightSign to develop customized code to convert the content and stream it out.

Crestron Fusion software was used to create the custom solution, which enables Pala Casino’s marketing staff to preload content for the week and schedule them via a series of UDP commands. Considering that many displays on the casino floor alternate between 5-6 channels per day, the bespoke scheduling solution does a remarkable job of simplifying the complex task of content scheduling.

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