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Tech Beat: Barclays Center app provides streaming access to action
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Watching a sporting event live is an unforgettable experience. But how do you keep fans coming back when they can, without the commute, watch on a nice cushy couch in their living room complete with multiple, close-up, high definition TV angles and replays?
Brooklyn Nets fans can now get the best of both experiences thanks to the new Barclays Center app which, in addition to all the expected bells and whistles these days -- maps scores and texts to the scoreboard and allows fans to order food right from their seats -- also gives anyone inside the arena access to three or four camera angles right from their own mobile devices.
"Through StadiumVision Mobile and our partnership with Cisco, what we did is have three feeds where we can actually look at a replay reel. We have cameras set up behind the stanchions, we have cameras set up on the side lines, so the idea is when you're sitting in your seat, you can customize how you want to watch the game," Chip Foley with Forest City Ratner said.
In addition to having an extremely powerful WiFi setup to accommodate the digital needs of nearly 20,000 people at once, the data-intensive video part of the app was reworked to be different from other video feeds like those from YouTube. These are broadcast to devices via WiFi, similar to the way TV signals are sent to antennas or cable boxes.
"You're basically sending one stream, similar to watching the Super Bowl at home and your neighbor is watching too, and your neighbor's neighbor. Everybody's accessing the same feed instead of everybody getting a separate feed," Mike Caponigro with Cisco said.
And even if you're not a basketball fan or any sort of sports fan, this technology may still excite you because it can be applied to any event that happens at the arena.
"The good part is we have the framework setup so we can push up to four feeds through there. So whether we have concerts, promoters, the talent allows us to push the feed through there, so if you're sitting up in the upper concourse you don't need to bring binoculars now. You can actually watch right on your phone if you want the close up view," Foley said.
Barclays Center representatives said staff from other big arenas, stadiums and teams have been visiting and inquiring, most recently the popular Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, with interest in bringing this kind of video access to their venues.