Josh Dickerson, general manager of the South Cariboo Rec Centre, says the response to a new live-streaming system at the arena has been good so far. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Josh Dickerson, general manager of the South Cariboo Rec Centre, says the response to a new live-streaming system at the arena has been good so far. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Arena to livestream hockey, community events

Families can watch games live online

A new livestreaming service is up and running at the South Cariboo Rec Centre, allowing spectators to virtually watch minor hockey games and other community events at the arena.

The technology, first installed at the end of the summer, has been functional for about a month, following several weeks of technical delays and tweaking.

Canlan Ice Sports general manager Josh Dickerson said there were some adjustments that needed to be made to the multi-camera system, as well as a bit of a learning curve to familiarize himself with the technology before it could be launched online.

“The location of the camera where it was first installed wasn’t the best, so we had to relocate it,” Dickerson explained. “And then once the camera was moved, it all had to be recalibrated.”

So far, the technology – part of an $87,000 audio and visual upgrade funded by the Cariboo Regional District – is being used by the local minor hockey club and figure skating club, Dickerson said.

“The feedback so far has been very positive,” Dickerson said. “It’s fairly new, so people will need to get a sense of how it works and the ins and outs of the system.”

Access to the live-streaming is provided through the Pixellot app, which can be downloaded onto a phone, tablet or computer at no cost. In order to stream a particular sports club or event, a request to the club’s administrator can be made through the app, which the club can approve.

When being used for hockey, the camera’s technology automatically follows the game play, and allows parents or other family members who can’t attend in person to watch practices and games from anywhere they have internet access.

At this point, the system isn’t being used by the 100 Mile House Wranglers, but plans are in the works to amalgamate the technology with the Hockey TV program the team currently uses.

“We’ve really just scratched the surface of the technology,” Dickerson said. “The next step is to understand the technology and try to use every aspect of it. Right now, we’re simply using it as a camera to watch but there’s lots you can add to it, once we start to see some of the benefits of that.”

In addition to the camera system, the arena also underwent an upgrade of its aging audio system over the summer, Dickerson said.

The new sound system, which he described as “spectator specific” was installed in August and has also been well-received by teams, clubs and user groups.

“It’s more of a stadium-style sound system,” Dickerson said. “You can play music just on the ice, or just facing the bleachers.”

Next up for the rec centre will be upgrades to the outside of the facility, including repaving of the parking lot and relocating of the light standards – at an estimated cost of $500,000 – and the installation of solar panels on the roof, quoted at $225,000.

Dickerson said both those projects would likely get underway in the spring during the arena’s slower months, to minimize disruptions for the community.



melissa.smalley@100milefreepress.net

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