The Philadelphia Eagles play their home games at Lincoln Financial Field, a nearly 20-year-old stadium with a seating capacity of approximately 70,000. Since its grand opening, the Eagles have invested in major upgrades including seating expansion, two new HD video boards, upgraded amenities, Wi-Fi, and two new connecting bridges for upper levels. Since the initial upgrades, the Philadelphia Eagles found themselves reevaluating their outdated, legacy AV system. “The system was traditionally serviced by a large HDMI matrix but the system was reaching the end of its life and it was time for us to build a future-proof solution,” said David Sullivan, broadcast and AV engineer for Philadelphia Eagles. “It was important we found a solution to distribute high-definition and 4K video through both buildings, including meeting rooms, training spaces, auditoriums, and premium spaces, like the club-level suites.
“We explored an IP-based solution to create a future-proof system. The goal was to leverage a network-based solution, provide greater flexibility and lower our troubleshooting calls. We were led to Visionary’s PacketAV Matrix Series due to their tight integration with QSC Q-SYS.” The combination provides peace of mind that the video is coming into the system and being distributed to the displays, Sullivan says. “With a traditional fixed HDMI matrix solution, you have no monitoring capability unless you’re in the room. Visionary’s IP-based solution enables us to sit in our office in a different zip code and pull up any stream from any room and quality control the signal.
“We started with a few training rooms and we’re finalizing a large-scale replacement where we have phased out every single large-frame video matrix and replaced it.”
Sullivan’s team integrated Visionary’s PackeTV AVN series H.264 IPTV Encoders to distribute local video feeds from the scoreboard, production, and television truck to the stadium suites. There are 1,400 HD television endpoints in the stadium complex. The televisions were initially integrated in 2014, therefore, the system had higher latency and lower picture quality. “The PackeTV AVN Series H.264 IPTV encoders provided a solution to update our existing infrastructure and provide a solution with lower latency and higher video quality. We were transitioning to 1080p and required an encoder that could handle 1080p.
“During COVID-19, we had to relocate and reconfigure the traditional meeting space,” said Sullivan. “We cleared an entire building floor. It was originally cubicles, but we turned the floor into a large meeting room because those individuals were staying at home. We took one encoder from the auditorium and sent it to 10 decoders across different rooms within the building. Traditionally, it would require a large AV integration and a significant investment. Instead, we could repurpose Ethernet connections and add a few displays to create a new meeting space.
“We were concerned the coaches would notice a difference in quality, compression and latency between the HDMI and IP-based solutions,” noted Sullivan. “The football coaches are using a handheld trigger and they are expecting an immediate response when they press play. Immediately, we realized Visionary’s IP solution paired with a capable network was able to handle this type of bandwidth.”