Hospitality & Leisure

Digital signage solution for F1’s esport facility

The digital signage requirements

We designed the AV system for a cutting-edge Esports facility in F1 HQ. Esports drivers, sponsor events, and corporate days used the space. The AV system had to be flexible and dynamic, enabling staff to switch content from high-frame-rate gaming and sponsor logos to real-time camera feeds. The four gaming rigs were the room’s focus, each with a side-by-side 2×2 video wall. Due to the nature of the site’s curved walls, we built a custom frame on-site for perfect alignment. Each gaming rig has a dedicated engineering station, where gameplay and data are analysed for performance. 

Video distribution

We settled on NDI as the video distribution and management protocol early in the design process. After implementing it on several other projects, we were confident it was more capable and reliable and offered ultra-low latency. It allowed us to work with several cool brands and create a homogenous solution.

We used three NDI bullet cams on each rig: one to capture the driver’s face, another to capture the hands on the steering wheel and a third on the foot pedals, ensuring we could add some real emotion to the broadcast experience.

We used the Newtek NDI Screen capture application to return the gameplay from the gaming rigs via NDI, ensuring there was no extra load on the gaming computer GPU (scaling the output to a lower resolution and readying it for a more traditional HDMI over IP solution).

F1 digital signage screens

The streaming

We pushed video content back to the four video walls using NDI with the help of the 4K Bird Dog decoders, which then fed into DataPath FX4s. With all these sources and endpoints, we needed a software control solution that offered NDI and Dante routing and added production features to broadcast gameplay to various streaming services. We chose vMIX, which runs on all four engineer stations, allowing engineers to send any content from each game PC, mix between cameras and go between full-screen and split-screen configurations whilst maintaining a separate broadcast mix. We achieved this with several pre-defined layouts triggered by Elgato Stream decks, ensuring that operation could be as simple as a physical button press. 

Thanks to the flexibility of NDI and vMix configuration on the fly, engineers can quickly and efficiently adapt the video wall content to their liking. The multi-corder feature within vMix allows each input source to be recorded individually and the main output. This means the team can playback and review moments from the day’s sessions at will.

The signage software and control

On top of these 16 screens that form the video wall, there were six screens in the space showing a mixture of driver profiles and partner logos. Brightsign players took care of the digital signage and content triggering. The outer screens on the main video wall also doubled up as signage screens; their input source changed when required.

These Brightsign players received UDP commands from Crestron with a JSON module we designed for quick dynamic label updates. A Bose EX processor handled Dante’s audio, routing multiple sources from Dante’s Virtual Soundcard on the gaming rigs and engineer stations. A double 10” Bose subwoofer and two Arena match Utility speakers ensured the audio sounded as good as the room looked.

If you’re looking for digital signage solutions or need these services managed, get in touch!

Digital signage software

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