Some of us in PersonalTelco believe that a wireless lan service at the new PGE Park (formerly Civic Stadium) could be practical. Professionals like Cerulic do this for a living. They have a contract for the Newark Airport. Why not PGE Park? My webcasting page has details. -- Node512 is the PGE Park Area Node -- editor
Other stadiums are doing it.
The 3-Com stadiums in San Francisco has a wireless services. 3-Com Stadium
- The San Diego Chargers do it (web to follow)
- Encoding pictures and stats on a Palm/Visor
- Database with players photos and stats.
- Chat for other users, possibly chat with the players as well.
- Streaming audio from radio broadcast.
- Streaming video from 3-5 different, viewer selected cameras
Streaming video in 360 degrees using Be Here's 360 video behind the catcher
- Other interactive and commercial incentives
Yahoo's Finance Vision has a good split-screen, streaming model with a video insert. How it would be financed:
A partnership between PGE, Intel, Cerulic, AT&T Broadband and a media outlet like broadcast stations or newspapers could offer trades for services.
- PGE Park supplies labor
- Intel the wireless lan hardware and 360 video
- Celuric supplies the LAN and database expertise
AT&T supplies the broadband equipment
- KATU/KGW, the Oregonian, Tribute supply the promotion. How much would it cost?
I really have no idea, maybe $20-$40,000. Expenses would be gated by the likely ROI. If you have 100 people paying $10, that's $1,000 a game. With 20 games/yr that's $20,000. So a budget of $20,000-$40,000 seems ballpark. Each party would only need $8-10,000 investment.
What would that get? Here are some thoughts:
- Three Access Points with installation ($4000)
- One Network Server with software ($4000)
- One XDSL line at $80/mo x 12mo ($1000)
- Misc routers, cabling, software etc ($2000)
- One user-controlled internet camera ($3000)
- Three "live" wireless webcams ($700 each, $2000)
- Interactive stuff (weather, kinetic sculpture) $2000
- Data entry of stats/news before game ($15 hr x 8 = $120/game x 20 games = $2400
- Data entry during game ($35 hr x 4hr = $140/game x 20 games = $2800
- Compaq desktop streaming encoder/DVD recorder for broadcast booth ($3800)
- Software database development $65/hr x 100 hrs ($6500)
- Misc technical consultant fees $65/hr x 100 hrs ($6500)
- Total cost = $40,000
This cost is just speculation. I think it could be self-sustaining if running costs were under $20,000/yr. The simplest solution might be Toshiba's Magnia SG10 server ($1200), a sealed system with a built-in 7-port switch, WAN port and modem. The server provides e-mail and printer management, Internet connectivity to a DSL line, firewall security, local network management, intranet services and backup. It also comes ready to be used with Bluetooth or 802.11b. We feed 3-5 wireless Access Points like the $500 Axis 9010 Bluetooth or Toshiba's $500 802.11b Access Point near the action.
Webcams and instant replay might supply a killer ap. You'd be able to watch and listen to the broadcast, choose a camera, pull up stats and "chat" with others. Yahoo's Finance Vision has a good streaming model with a split-screen for stats and ads. Audio and video is streamed. The broadcast booth supplies play-by-play. Viewers choose a camera, even photograph the pitcher with a remotely triggered camera and ftp it to their own laptop or handheld. They could print it out for $5.
How would that work? Here are four alternative methods:
(2)All the cameras would be viewable on a single page. Video is input into a VPON webserver box ($1500) which is output as a multiplexed 6-panel webpage.
(3) Multiple cameras could be switched and zoomed by a single operator using remote pan/tilt/zoom controls. The operator switchs robot cameras for a live streamcast. Streamfactory, Earthcaster & Torrent are rackmount streaming encoders.
(4) Robot cameras might be controlled by users or the webcast director. Panda's touch-screen can control 6 cameras. Videoconferencing solutions using p/t/z cameras include Sony's VC-30 ($1500 w/12-1 zoom) or Canon's VC-4 ($1000 w/16-1 zoom). Up to four cameras (two with P/T/Z) can be plugged into Canon's Canon's VB-101 ($1,699), a self-contained server box that plugs into 10/100M Ethernet or a DSL/Cable Modem. With the VB101, you can view four cameras and pan/zoom/tilt two cameras using your web browser at home. About the same features are on the Axis 2400 video server ($800 and FAQ) which outputs a split-screen on the web with four streaming pictures. One camera can be viewer controlled with pan/tilt/zoom. A computer with CD/DVD recorder could supply instant replay.
The first step would be encoding pictures and stats on a Palm/Visor compatible database. Chat would be next. Streaming audio/video next. Then user-controlled webcams. Is this in the ballpark?
Today, server/cameras like the Axis 2100& Netcam and webcam software like InetCam iVista and WebCam 32 use inefficient Motion-JPEG. Better quality can be had using the compression built into Windows Media Encoder and RealProducer but those solutions require special server support.
We could pitch it as a money maker. Daycare webcams typically charge $20 per parent per month. If a "virtual season pass" cost $20 and got 500 subscriptions = $10,000. At $10 per-event, additional revenue could be attained although webcasting rights need to be negotiated. Actual ticket sales wouldn't be affected while free webcasts might even promote ticket sales (and merchandise). You can ControlEverything.com with StreamingServers.
Stories That Could Be True:
Armchair quarterbacks go wireless at 3Com Park By Stephanie Sanborn
IT MAY JUST BE the best of both worlds: the excitement and electricity of attending a football game with thousands of other rabid fans, coupled with the convenience of instant replays and updated scores from around the league.
At 3Com Park, home field of the San Francisco 49ers, Santa Clara, Calif.-based 3Com is creating a wireless network to deliver just such a spectator experience. The idea was sparked at negotiations earlier this year over extending the name rights to 3Com Park -- formerly Candlestick Park.
"There was new ownership with the 49ers," says David Katz, vice president of strategic alliances at 3Com. "And [new owner John York is] located here in Silicon Valley, so he's thinking, 'How do I really reach out to the Silicon Valley community and make the in-game experience much more exciting and attractive to that community?' "
As an extension of their stadium-name relationship, the 49ers have given 3Com access to the stadium to develop a wireless network. Using 3Com AirConnect devices, 3Com is installing at the stadium a wireless network based on 802.11b wireless LAN technology. MarchFirst, a 3Com partner and professional services company, is developing the applications that will run over the network.
At first, fans will be able to access stats from the 49ers game they are watching, scores and stats from other NFL games and other sporting events, and general news. In addition, they will be able to send e-mail and instant messages to friends who are at the game or on the Internet.
MarchFirst will then leverage the bandwidth of the 802.11b network to add streaming media features such as instant replays both of the live game and other games around the NFL. There will also be the release of commerce applications so that fans can order food and merchandise from their seats and have it delivered to them.
Katz believes this is just beginning.
"Over time, we'll find out what people think are the most exciting kinds of applications," he says. "There could be an opportunity later for advertising and commerce related to things outside the park. It may be that people at halftime want to do their shopping at the grocery store."
The initial group of 150 Hitachi ePlate devices were placed in the 3Com Park luxury suites, VIP box, and press box during the 49ers' first few home games. Over the course of the season, the wireless devices will be deployed to about one-third of the park's approximately 70,000 seats, with expansion through the 2001 season. Eventually, fans will be able to use their own 802.11b devices to access the stadium network.
While 3Com handles the technological aspects of the project, the 49ers are monitoring fan reaction and fielding calls from other teams interested in setting up wireless networks.
"We've had a wonderful fan response. It's something people like to participate in -- everyone wants to be an armchair quarterback ... this is a technology and a football team that are going to give fans that opportunity," says Sam Singer, a spokesman for the 49ers. "Instead of standing up and yelling 'Here's what you ought to do,' you'll be able to do it on your PDA and say 'Look. I made the call.' "