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Success Story - Sportscene

You Need an Edge

The restaurant business is tough. Nine out of ten fail the first year and even if they make it past that extremely stressful first year, it's still a business that often requires 18 hour days if you're the owner or manager.

The thing most people don’t realize about restaurants is you need more than good food and service to venture beyond just surviving; you need an "edge" over the competition.

Sportscene––or, as its known in Quebec––"La Cage aux Sports", is a chain of restaurants and sports bars with the requisite number of TVs tuned to the sports channels but with a twist. While Sportscene provides wall-to-wall coverage of hockey, soccer and other sports, they also provide sports blooper feeds to their mix of plasma, TFT, projection and regular television sets scattered throughout the physical plants. In short, Sportscene has found an edge.

Sportscene’s management discovered that sports fans love to laugh at on field misfortune almost as much as they love to cheer on their favorite teams. The result of this epiphany is a sports blooper reel that runs in concert with the live and taped feeds of the games of the day.

Conceiving something is one thing, implementing it is another. So Sportscene turned to Group TID, Incorporated, 208 Beauvillier, Repentigny, Quebec to make their idea a reality. The end result has proven to be very acceptable––but it did take a bit of work to make it happen.

It was decided early on that the source for the blooper reels would be a PC file server to ease content storage concerns and insure that image quality was uniformly high. But that decision introduced its own set of problems because the VGA output requirement could be either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios depending on the display. Also, some displays could accept VGA inputs but others required S-Video inputs. It was a dilemma of sorts.

Group TID's VP/Project manager, Mark Berube, searched high and low for a solution. He looked at stand alone products and considered multiple video cards in PCs. But at the end of the day, he decided that the very best product available to accomplish this particular mission was TV One’s 1T-C2-150 scaler. The 1T-C2-150 provided the means to adjust aspect ratio outputs to fit the display's capabilities, featured both VGA and S-Video outputs and, because it used exactly the same CORIO2 technology as TV One's high end C2-7000 series video processor, provided the highest quality image of any scaler on the market.

Berube is pleased with his choice of scalers. "TV One was a charm to work with. We needed to find a way to output from a PC's VGA output to both 4:3 and 16:9 TVs and be able to center the picture properly on each one. TV One solved this problem fantastically. We've installed their product at 46 restaurants and have not had problems with a single one."

Sportscene’s clientele is happy as well. As they partake in the restaurant's delicious food and quaff the famous Canadian ale, they have the choice of watching their favorite team win another game or, if things aren't going all that well, they can forget the day's problems by watching the blooper reel.

Meanwhile, Sportscene's managers still work long hours but at the end of the day, they go home happy because they found their "edge" over the competition.