The London Olympics are now three weeks away and the media attention is starting to really amp up, particularly in the UK.
The Olympic Torch Relay is being covered by the BBC and along with being shown on broadcast, it is being relayed to the masses on large public screens in 22 towns and cities,including London, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.
The BBC Big Screens are live event sites that will broadcast coverage of competitions during the games, but right now are showing the relay, with the feeds being run through Capital Network’s Audience software.
Toronto-based Capital, which has decades of experience both in broadcast and digital signage software, reports:
Currently, the BBC Big Screens are being used to display live images of the progress of the Olympic torch runners, with an on-site BBC media truck sending the images over the mobile phone network back to the television centre in London. From there the pictures are streamed live to the BBC website and are also sent to the Big Screens operations centre in Birmingham. The BBC operates the Big Screen master control from Birmingham, while operations in each town allow local input.
The live content is then fed into the Audience system responsible for the scheduling and management of content, audio level control and data automation while also providing viewers remote access to the screens over the internet. Supporting information regarding the current position of the Olympic Torch as well as the upcoming schedule and route is then added.
The Audience output is then streamed over a private network to all 22 screen sites where it appears several times an hour. When the Olympic Torch relay is in close proximity to one of the BBC Big Screens the Audience feed is displayed on that individual screen all day.
The screens, mostly 100 inch diagonal LEDs, have become a popular and powerful tool for urban regeneration and promoting community involvement by providing public coverage of a wide variety of special events including live coverage of Euro 2012, the Wimbledon Championships and the Royal Jubilee.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.