RaceTech Off to the Races with Grass Valley HD Gear

RaceTech, a major provider of horseracing production in the UK for domestic and international broadcast, has upgraded its production capability to HD with the purchase of new cameras and video production switchers from Grass Valley.

The new Grass Valley LDK 4000 Elite cameras and Kayak HD switchers will be used by RaceTech crews on board three new HD OB vehicles to produce live and tape-delayed racing programming for Racing UK. This significant order includes 22 LDK 4000 Elite cameras, which have been ordered to acquire images in the 1080i/50 HD format.

“We have used Grass Valley cameras for the last eight years, so we’re very comfortable with them,” says Mick Both, Director of Engineering and Technical Operations for RaceTech. “We considered all the cameras available on the market, and Grass Valley offered us the best performance and value. We also like the customer support we have received in the past and know that it will continue going forward.”

Each of the three new OB vans will also be equipped with a Grass Valley Kayak 1.5 M/E HD switcher, which can handle the variety of SD and HD projects RaceTech requires, and includes important live production features such as clean feed, HD graphics keying, and replay control directly from the switcher panel.

“We understand the needs of customers like RaceTech that want to produce high-quality content in a single ‘house’ format and that’s why we offer cost-effective HD cameras in single-format versions, like the LDK 4000 Elite,” says Jeff Rosica, EVP of Grass Valley. “What we’re seeing is that production companies like the flexibility to choose what they need without having to buy what they don’t. And the Kayak is ideally suited to the types of productions RaceTech is doing on a daily basis.”

RaceTech provides television services at more than 1,000 horse race events in the UK each year. From a single truck, it supports several broadcast platforms, such as Racing UK’s direct-to-home satellite channel and Turf TV, its service to off-course betting shops. The trucks will also feed the large screens around the course and will be used for ISO recording and playback of all cameras when required as well as providing feeds for national broadcasters Channel4 and BBC.

“Our trucks are on the road all year long, and our switchers are critical in providing all the different outputs we need,” says Both. “The Kayak delivers on all of our requirements and the quality of customer support was also a key deciding factor in its selection and the crew couldn’t be happier using it.”

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