Daytona 500 required two HD switchers

Veteran mobile production company Game Creek Video used a tandem of Grass Valley HD production switchers to handle coverage of the country's premiere auto race, the Daytona 500, for FOX Sports. They also used more than a dozen Ikegami HD cameras — in both fixed and handheld positions — with Canon HD lenses.

The multicamera, live 720p HD production of this year's Daytona 500 race was so audio-, video- and effects-intensive that it required the use of two paired switchers. One technical director sat at a 3 M/E Grass Valley Kayak HD production switcher as a sub-switcher to capture and interweave the live action replays and isolation feeds into a single feed, then sent them on to a Grass Valley Kalypso switcher in the main truck, where they were incorporated with other audio and video sources via a PESA router for the live telecast for viewers at home. An Accom dual twin-channel DVEous unit was employed as well for pre-built video effects.

The production company, based in Hudson, NH, sent four mobile units to Florida for NASCAR on FOX coverage, to handle everything from audio and video feeds to complete editing and Web streaming. The trucks were linked via fiber-optic cabling, ensuring a seamless flow of audio and video feeds.

Paul Bonar, vice president of engineering for Game Creek Video, said that they had so many sources for this production that they ran out of available input capacity on the main 4 M/E Kalypso HD switcher. The Kayak handled the overflow to meet the massive demand for video inputs the network required. Audio was mixed on a Yamaha PM 3500 52-input digital console.

The two switchers were also used for smaller races at Daytona during the week leading up to the main event.

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