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New Gm Place Scoreboard Uses State-of-the-art Technology


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http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/spo...af-51eaffb8d541

Ben Kuzma, The Province

Published: Monday, October 30, 2006

From his fourth-level perch in the Sports Action Lounge on Friday night, Patrick Huband of Chilliwack watched two games at GM Place.

He liked the one on the ice. He loved the one in brilliant hues on the gigantic new $5-million scoreboard that debuted in the Vancouver Canucks' 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals.

"I can't take my eyes off it actually," said Huband, 40. "Considering how good that picture is, that's better than some peoples' media rooms. I love it. It's an exceptional piece of machinery."

The 49,000-pound scoreboard -- technically referred to as a ProStar centre-hung video display system -- features four HD-ready light emitting diode (LED) screens that are a whopping 24 feet by 13.5 feet and display 4.4 trillion colours.

In addition, four medium-sized stats screens (13.5 feet by 5.5 feet) anchor the corners and rings above and below the structure feature scores and advertising.

Engineers say it's the best package and picture-screen quality of any North American arena.

"I think it's amazing and with the huge TV screen I was actually watching that instead of the game," said Ian Kromm, 35, of Langley. "I didn't even know the top part lit up until the start of the game, so it's got everything you need.

"It's awesome and I like it a lot."

The scoreboard is a stark departure from the outdated Mark IV model that lasted more than 10 years. With technology rapidly changing -- the picture quality alone is like going from Betamax to DVD -- the old scoreboard can only be sold for scrap.

That's because the cathode ray tube system is so outdated, finding extra light bulbs was a world-wide mission of futility for Orca Bay engineers.

Here's a thought: With a province-wide zest for anything emblazoned with a Canucks logo or having any link to the rink, why not auction off chunks of the old beast with proceeds going to Canuck Place Children's Hospice?

"I think that's a heck of an idea -- I'd buy a chunk of that," said Huband.

Added Kromm: "They should probably auction it off. I'd love it for sure -- give me the whole thing."

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I was at the Canucks game last night, and the scoreboard is awesome. You definately have to see it in person to grasp how cool it actually is. There are still some technical issues with the scoreboard,e.g. a small block of pixels that are not working, but those problems are being looked after. Otherwise, a great investment, and much needed improvement.

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