It is “Lights, Camera, Action” at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, which is awash in innovative ESPN and HP technology, giving athletes, coaches and fans the sense they have reached the big time.
Since early 2010, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex has utilized the cutting-edge telecast expertise of ESPN – 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 handheld and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including 3 jumbo screens, that capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The cameras and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through a state-of-the-art Broadcast Center that features eight edit bays and links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles.
As a result, athletes, coaches and fans can see live action, ESPN-style game highlights and players/coaches interviews throughout the complex and beyond. And some of that footage may find its way onto one or more of ESPN’s many media platforms, such as ESPN’s SportsCenter or ESPN3.com.
HP technology throughout the complex allows athletes, coaches and fans to have a “hands-on” sports experience and completely customize their visit in ways previously unseen in youth sports. The innovative technology inside the HP Creation Center also offers guests the ability to create, download and enhance commemorative photos and images from their events, then immediately produce and print them onsite.
Beyond the HP Field House, HP kiosks utilizing the latest HP TouchSmart technology are setup throughout the complex to provide users with access to video highlights, field assignments, schedule updates and game day photos, as well as general complex information including maps, weather and dining options.
Here’s a breakdown of the technology elements throughout the complex:
COMPLEX VIDEO SCREENS
With more than 40 video screens, including 3 jumbo screens, positioned at 17 locations around the complex, the athletes, coaches and fans at the complex can see themselves during live action as well as in ESPN-style highlights and post-game interviews. The video screens also regularly display player interviews from the rest of the sports world, plus welcome messages from popular ESPN personalities, ESPN programs, breaking news and a custom ESPN-style ticker (‘the bottom line”).
Fans who can’t attend sports events at the complex can still see many of their favorite pro and youth players and teams compete on ESPN3.com, the network’s broadband channel (formerly ESPN360.com) that allows online viewers to see up to 20 different sports events in a single video player. Reaching more than 50 million homes nationwide, ESPN3.com is expected to feature more than 100 hours of sports complex programming this year involving a wide range of sports events.
Athletes, coaches and fans staying at Walt Disney World Resort during their competitions can view many ESPN-style highlights, scores and interviews from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the resort’s 27,000 rooms through a new in-room sports complex channel.
The centrepiece of the re-imagined HP Field House is the HP Creation Zone which provides an immersive guest experience utilizing innovative HP technology.
HP kiosks featuring the latest HP TouchSmart technology also provide fans field assignments and schedule updates. These kiosks give guests the opportunity to create personalized avatars which users can then enjoy one-click access to print, e-mail or share their designs with a personalized message or upload directly to Facebook.
ESPN INNOVATION LAB
The more than 2 million athletes, coaches and fans at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex may play an integral role in the research and development of innovative new ESPN telecast technologies at the complex’s ESPN Innovation Lab.
The lab, which is being guided by the ESPN Emerging Technology group, will be used to develop and test a variety of cutting-edge on-air telecast applications by utilizing the wide variety of sports events and athletes – more than 300 events involving 250,000 athletes on average annually- that take place at the complex year-round. Many of the new technologies developed by the ESPN Emerging Technology group have already been used on air, such as the EA Virtual Playbook application that ESPN used during its NFL and NBA coverage in 2009.
ESPN 3D DEVELOPMENT
ESPN is utilizing the more than 300 amateur and pro sports events taking place at the complex annually to test and develop its new ESPN 3D channel. In addition, technology companies are using the complex for emerging technology research and enhancements focused on 3D television.
In an effort to better serve athletes, coaches and fans, the sports complex’s web site has the look and feel of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The web site features expanded video capabilities, Google 3D maps and more up-to-the-minute information. The site’s web address is www.espnwwos.com.
About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 300 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group to develop ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom, as well as development of its new 3-D television channel. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 hand-held and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, that can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD and 3-D Broadcast Center that features eight edit bays and links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.wdwnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports.