Gravity Media – then branded Gearhouse Broadcast – in association with AV Tech – won the contract to upgrade technical infrastructure at four football stadia in Qatar. All four venues – Al Gharaffa, Al Rayyan, Al Sadd Sports Club and the Qatar Sports Club – are located in the capital city of Doha.
As the preferred supplier to the Qatar National Olympic Committee, Gearhouse Broadcast & AV Tech had previously completed a number of broadcast cabling and audio visual contracts at various sports arenas in Qatar. These included: the Aspire Tower and Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, Khalifa Tennis and Squash Centre, Qatar Sports Club, Al Arabi Sports Club, Al Khor Sports Club and the Al Wakrah Sports Club.
Along with the technical expertise and considerable local experience of the Gravity Media team, detailed logistical planning was key to ensuring successful project outcomes.
The stadia were all being upgraded from SD to HD – thus, the work required new cabling, wall boxes and technical equipment.
The upgrades involved installation of a total of 115 wall boxes across the four stadia, which were utilised with SMPTE hybrid fibre, HD video and audio and network cable.
Crucially, the equipment racks used for the upgrade were assembled in the UK prior to the installation phase and shipped to site pre-wired to all local termination panels. This meant only the wall box connectivity needed to be terminated on-site, which helped markedly speed up the installation process.
Harris distribution and conversion equipment was used, along with Tektronix video test equipment, Bel audio test equipment and Belden and Draka audio and network cable.
Gravity Media provided a supervisory management team of 12 Wireman, 16 riggers, a Project Engineer and a Project Manager. Each venue was assigned a dedicated installation team headed up by a Site Supervisor, who oversaw the pulling in of all cables from the TV Rooms to the correct locations.
The HD upgrade across the four stadia took two months to complete. As planned, the four stadia were HD-ready in time for the start of the Asian Football Cup, hosted by Qatar in January 2011.