Hong Kong Jockey Club initiates rollout of HD operations

Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has chosen Snell Kahuna 360multi-format SD/HD production switchers as part of a major, multiphase upgrade of its broadcasting center to support HD operations.

The HKJC, which produces 9600 hours of TV programming every year, selected the Kahuna 360 switchers to replace an array of aging video switchers. 

Critical factors in the HKJC's selection of Kahuna 360 included its resilience and ability to auto-fallback seamlessly with no visible interruption in service — a major consideration for live racing coverage. The system's ease of use and effortlessness customization are important in the HKJC's compact production environment.

In phase one of the switcher upgrade, two Kahuna 360 4 M/E mainframes were integrated with HKJC's existing multiviewer and TSL tally control systems. Since each Kahuna 360 mainframe can support two or more control panels, four separate programs are produced simultaneously.

One mainframe serves as the field program switcher to produce a clean TV feed from more than 40 HD cameras as well as playout sources during the live race coverage. The other Kahuna 360 is the master program switcher, which combines the clean feed output with playout and bilingual data superimpositions to deliver the program feed in both Chinese and English. Kahuna 360's support of multiple layers and keyers as well as its DVE capabilities have been essential to fulfilling this requirement. 

Kahuna 360 will be a central component in phases two and three of HKJC's HD migration, which includes the design and build-out of a new broadcast center. "Kahuna 360's multiformat capabilities are a critical factor in HKJC's current migration to HD operations," said John Carter, senior product manager for production switchers at Snell.

"The system's built-in up/downconversion and autoformatting capabilities enable HKJC's TV production center to operate simultaneously in SD, HD and 1080p signals on the inputs and outputs, which means HKJC can produce high-quality HD productions without the expense of an external signal converter."