Enhancing FIFA World Football Museum’s Sportsbar 1904

The spots bar is a focal point for the museum, particularly during game time Showroom of the FIFA Ballon d'Or exhibition at the future new FIFA World Football Museum at Zurich, Switzerland.Visitors in the showroom of the FIFA Ballon d'Or exhibition at the future new FIFA World Football Museum at Zurich, Switzerland.Three giant TV screens at the sportsbar "1904" inside the future new FIFA World Football Museum at Zurich, Switzerland.

AVS Systeme AG’s Thorsten Molinari, explains how his company has created some stunning AV and interactions for this iconic venue.

Thorsten explains: “AVS Systeme AG was established in 1994 with the mantra ‘the more complex your project, the keener our eye for detail’ – a mindset we still hold when operating today. We specialise in the design, creation and installation of professional audio visual systems, including large format displays and sophisticated sound and image tools for professional presentation suites and conference rooms. This entails bespoke optical constructions and moving, mechanical brackets. Myself, head of corporate AV, Christian Rigert, service engineer, and Bruno Epp, project manager, took leadership of this installation.

Before getting its teeth into this iconic venue, the company has been responsible for plenty of other top projects including transforming the University of Zurich’s large animal clinic lecture hall in its Vetsuisse Faculty by installing an audio induction loop system, a presenting station with multimedia connections, lighting, microphone and room control system as well as a projection booth to house a high-performance projector.

As a result, the lecture hall (which seats 140 students) became an interactive, immersive learning environment, allowing lecturers to stream live animal operations and procedures to the students via the projector.

Can We Kick It, Yes We Can!

But what about the venue for this latest AV adventure? Thorsten explains: “The highly-anticipated FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich is a three floor journey through the history of football, charting key moments in history and looking at cultural and social impacts of the game. Leading up to its opening, we were briefed with fitting an AV spectacular in every location to display impactful presentation systems, world first installations and real time multi lingual translation.

The brief specified having the best products available in their class, from the high resolution displays to the largest bandwidth streaming systems. We obliged by securing the first installation of SiliconCore’s Lavender 1.2mm LED display with three 2400 x 1350 resolution screens. These feature the first front service access LED system to be installed with a pixel pitch this small.”

Thorsten adds: “The Sportsbar 1904, located within the museum, quickly became a central hub of activity for both museum visitors and the general public, using the SiliconCore displays to showcase a complex range of content including up to 16 matches being streamed simultaneously. The screens needed to adapt to additional content such as FIFA show reels, advertising and presentations, as the layout of the space also needed to adapt and transform to accommodate evening conferences.

“The design and placement of systems installed within Sportsbar 1904 have helped the museum maximise extra revenue opportunities. The space is predominately aimed at business professionals as the perfect location for daytime meetings and private hire for evening functions and can be transformed into a conference suite. FIFA also uses this for entertaining its VIP guests. The three-direct view SiliconCore LED displays create an immersive presentation environment and due to the seamless nature, there is no risk of crucial data getting lost in the bezel. The system enables the content to be updated easily by the in-house team, enabling additional revenue streams to be maximised through advertising by complementary brands.”

Thorsten also explains that with a viewing distance of less than one metre, a 160° viewing angle and its seamless design, the displays were a good match for the project as close proximity viewing was an essential requirement with the bar seating literally inches away from the displays in order to maximise space in the area. To enable this, SiliconCore developed the first front service access solution for a pixel pitch this small, allowing the displays to be placed less than 200mm away from the back wall.

Thorsten continues: “Sustainability and optimised total cost of ownership were big considerations for FIFA, which dictated all of the product specification for each gallery area. The SiliconCore LED Display was desirable as the Common Cathode technology reduces power consumption by 40%. All the projectors within the main museum are lamp-free, also saving power and significantly reducing maintenance with no consumables to monitor or replace.”

SiliconCore’s Common Cathode also means very little heat is generated by the screens, so no additional cooling infrastructure is needed and visitors can sit bear to the screens and stay comfortable.  The maker also quotes an extended lifetime of 100,000 hours and a low maintenance requirement.

Ease of operation was another crucial factor so AVS worked with Grassfish, specialist in digital comms systems for retails and visitor environments, to create an info system touchscreen control panel that grants access to all museum wide solutions. This includes a digital signage function so that a scrolling banner for breaking news and other live messaging can be easily updated by the in-house marketing team as they occur.

Thorsten explains: “We developed a central management system to provide access to site wide AV equipment instantly from one space. Digital media play-out is managed by a Pandoras Box Server and all visual systems are integrated with an Ocilion IPTV system to ensure the bandwidth of the Internet within the building was never compromised, even at high streaming times.”

The product customisation across the board was managed to very tight timescales from a flexible and dedicated team of suppliers, ensuring every element was perfect before arriving on site.

As a result, the technical innovations of front service allowed for the best use of large display in this critical focal point for the museum. The ability to scale the displays allowed for flexibility and adaptation in design. Idea was to ensure that the technology is not experienced as an appendage to the environment, but rather the environment itself, becoming the visual walls that adapt to every unique environment the customer wishes to create.

So what’s Thorsten’s favourite part of the install now it’s all finished and working?

Thorsten enthuses: “For both us and the client, the most striking technological feature within the museum is the Lavender 1.2mm pixel pitch LED display from SiliconCore. The museum is the first to feature these displays in the world and we are incredibly proud to help them in leading the way with new and innovative technology solutions. It is high end systems like this that set it apart from others and has seen Sportsbar 1904 quickly turn to a meeting point for all kinds of sport fans and business people during the day, beyond the parameters of a museum.

“During live events like Champions League, Sportsbar 1904 is a crowd magnet and it bursts at the seams, so knowing that we can rely on the Common Cathode driven displays and that people can comfortably sit right next to them is ideal.”

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