SVT Off to the Races With Ikegami

Weather is no obstruction
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BRIGHTON, MICH.—SVT has been a pioneer in audio/video and communication systems integration for six decades. Our watchword is “integrating with integrity,” and we take that approach to projects for casinos, financial corporations and everything in between.

Recently, we were asked to oversee an upgrade to HD for the thoroughbred racetrack at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Okla. The ability to capture superior video at thoroughbred racetracks is becoming increasingly important to the facilities’ patrons and operators as well.

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The Ikegami HDK-55 cameras recently installed at Remington Park racetrack give race fans a much clearer view of the action.PRISTINE IMAGERY
The video produced at Remington Park is seen in-house on a 60x40-foot backboard—one of the largest in the nation— and also simulcast live to Las Vegas and worldwide. Viewers’ expectations today are to see a crystal-clear picture, and it makes a difference to bettors if they are looking at high-quality imagery.

We had previously specified Ikegami HL-65 cameras at Remington Park, and when it was time to go HD we looked to Ikegami once again. We found the ideal solution was the Ikegami HDK-55, which is a part of their Unicam HD camera line. The 1080i camera features 2.3 megapixel AIT CCDs, and is a cost-effective option for a camera that provides such high performance. The resolution is pristine, with an impressive signal-to-noise ratio.

Another aspect of Ikegami that stands out is the level of service. If a camera breaks down, you can get immediate support and they’ll send a replacement, if necessary. That’s attention that you don’t experience from other manufacturers.

In total, we have eight Ikegami HDK-55 cameras set up at Remington Park, each with their own live operator, connected via fiber. One camera is a “rover” while the rest are in fixed positions covering their own section of the track: Pan, Pan B, front turn, back turn, balcony, paddock, and winners circle.

TOUGH & DURABLE
These cameras take a beating no matter where they are situated. We knew from past experience that Ikegami systems would prove to be very durable, which is essential because thoroughbred racetracks are tough environments—there’s a lot of dirt flying around, and it can literally get into the cameras. Weather is a huge factor as well; in Oklahoma City you’re susceptible to hail damage, tornadoes, and temperatures ranging from 20–110 degrees. But the Ikegami cameras are workhorses, and they keep going throughout a schedule that often runs seven days a week.

The proof is what everybody sees onscreen. When patrons watch the HD video at Remington Park, they can actually see the horses’ veins as they run the track. What may have just looked like a cloud of dirt before now appears as fine particles.

Our task at Remington Park was to make the giant screen look as crisp as the TV in your living room. We accomplished that with the help of our Ikegami HDK-55 cameras. The picture makes the experience a step above.

David Scott is director of broadcast engineering for SVT. He may be contacted at dscott@gosvt.com.

For more information, contact Ikegami at 201-368-9171 or visit www.ikegami.com.