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IP-based audio system
TV pictures and radio commentary cannot convey what fans watching a football match experience from the grandstand. The blind and visually impaired find it especially difficult to follow the action on the pitch from the stadium when cheers or fan choruses raise the level of noise and helpful commentaries from a sighted person are drowned out. UEFA has decided to help this group of fans during EURO 2008 by providing an exciting live experience. For its audio distribution, UEFA selected the IP streaming components from Zurich-based Barix, pioneer in IP-based audio, intercom and monitoring.
In each one of the eight EURO 2008 stadiums, UEFA has installed one or two Barix Instreamer 100s, each with a microphone connected to record the background noise at various points. Other Instreamers with mikes were installed in commentary boxes so that they can hear the match commentary. The audio data was sent via the existing local-area networks in the stadiums to the Exstreamer 100s and then to the lounges reserved for the blind and visually impaired spectators. Both the Instreamers and the Exstreamers were directly connected to the LAN without additional PCs. The Exstreamers received the audio streams via the local network and delivered them via standard analogue outputs to the amplifiers and loudspeakers installed in the lounges. When the commentary is distributed, the background noise is cut off, ensuring the running commentary is not drowned out by the shouts of spectators.