Fox Sports, DirecTV To Offer NASCAR in 4K on Sunday
Game Creek Video Yogi is at the center of 21-camera 4K production
It has been a busy week for 4K motorsports on the global stage. Last weekend, Formula One’s first race of the season made the leap to 4K (all races will be in 4K this year), and, this Sunday, NASCAR takes the leap to 4K via FS1 and DirecTV at the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Fox Sports will produce the race in side-by-side shadow-cut with the HD show produced in the Game Creek Video FX unit and the 4K coverage produced in its Yogi unit. Director Artie Kempner will direct in FX, and a technical director inside Yogi will cut the show and integrate the same audio so that all viewers will see the same video, audio, and commentary.
“We are taking a hybrid approach to a single unified production,” says Brad Cheney, VP of technical operations, Fox Sports Media Group. “And we have filled up every single source just to pull this shadow cut off, as we have made everything 4K without getting in the way of the HD show.”
The 4K coverage begins with 4K cameras, and operating in 4K mode will be 17 Sony HDC-4300 cameras, an HDC-4800 high-speed unit, two HDC-P43 cameras, and a 4K Inertia Unlimited camera. RF cameras will shoot at 1080p and, along with the 720p in-car cameras, will be upconverted to 4K. All camera signals will pass into Yogi for color correction and shading before being passed on to the FX unit for the HD show. The Vizrt graphics will also be delivered in 4K, with the Vizrt Trio controlling both an HD and a 4K graphics engine.
Cheney says one of the challenges has been finding enough up/downconverters. There are plenty of signals to be converted and the Fox team is using 36 converter units from Evertz and Aja.
The next race to get the 4K treatment will be the Go Bowling 400, which will be held May 14 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS, and be broadcast on FS1 and in 4K via DirecTV.