MINNEAPOLIS� The Portland Trail Blazers franchise recently turned to chief U.S. distributor of Barix products�LineQ to improve the fan experience of mobile radio streaming for its games.
The solution employs three Barix Instreamer IP audio devices to encode live game feeds into files for streaming over the Internet and to mobile devices. The streams incorporate live closed-captioning for hearing-impaired fans.
Because they own rights to their broadcasts, the Trail Blazers can create an entire program at Moda Center for distribution to their network of 30 radio affiliates throughout Oregon. The program includes broadcasts of all the games, as well as commercial content, announcements and pre- and post-game shows.
The Instreamers replaced the traditional gear to encode and deliver the program stream, as well as the dial-up phone service the team had been using for captioning. Using the Barix architecture, the radio broadcast signals are encoded in the arena and distributed in several ways. The system delivers the game audio to mobile devices inside the arena over a WiFi network and to fans via the Trail Blazers Mobile App within 75 miles of the venue.
The Blazers recently redesigned their mobile app, accessible via smartphones and tablets, and added free Wi-Fi connectivity within their 20,000-seat arena to enhance the in-game experience.
�This is important when you're moving audio content across handheld devices through a mobile app,� said Trail Blazers Vice President of Engineering and Technology Mike Janes. �The more data we would use, the higher the cost would be for our customers. We keep our bitrates intentionally low so our customers will be happy, and the sound quality remains outstanding.�